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This week I caught up Hollie Ella, the founder and editor of It’s a Country Life Magazine, the brand new rural and equestrian magazine which will launch next month. I wanted to catch up with Hollie Ella, to find out why she has decided to begin publishing her own magazine at just 21! Here we find out more about Hollie Ella, her magazine and her plans for the remainder of 2017.
Hey Hollie, thanks for agreeing to an interview. First of all, could you please tell my readers more about yourself?
Hey Lydia, thanks for inviting me to do an interview, this is somewhat of a first! It’s normally me interviewing others for the magazine or blog! Of course, so I am Sussex based 21 year old, self-confessed country girl. I live with my hugely supportive other half James, on his farm with our 6 month old puppy Bella, who keeps us on our toes! I am lucky enough to keep my 17.3hh 5 year old Irish hunter on the doorstep which is a childhood dream come true! I would like to say this allows me to ride more…but with the demands of a puppy and magazine, that would be a lie.
What country pursuits do/have you participated in?
I have participated in hunting both down in Sussex and up in Yorkshire, I have been Game-shooting (my other half holds a shoot on his farm throughout the Winter), I am keen to take up clay shooting, we also have a clay trap on the farm which is great for practicing without the cost of lessons! Through blogging, no less, I was also invited to try my hand at fly fishing down in Reading with Sportfish who are actively trying to get more women involved in the sport. It’s safe to say – I was hooked!
So, what first prompted you turn your blog ‘It’s a Country Life’ into a magazine?
I started the blog just under a year ago now, at the time I was working for a publishing company, and I had thought to myself for a while, there is no magazine that targets us – the emerging generation. I did some research, and found there was a gap in the market for such a magazine, and so after doing some research through social media, asking people for their advice and their thoughts, I decided why can’t I give it a go? So here we are – the very first issue is at the printers now, with pre-orders above and beyond what we had anticipated.
Hollie, you are slowly being recognised as an upcoming influencer on the rural and equestrian scene. Did you expect the success you have experienced so far?
Thank you – not in a million years is the honest answer. I had never been the most popular girl at school, nor am an extrovert. I am known by close family and friends to be quite shy (until you get to know me!) and reserved. I am often overwhelmed by the response from my followers; their comments, their likes and the sheer number of them. It is quite a surreal experience, one that has been a real learning curve, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What are your thoughts on the modernisation of the rural and equestrian industry? Do you think we are now seeing a change?
I do yes. I am all for supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs like ourselves. I feel this is bringing a new and fresh look and attitude to both industries, which I feel is needed for either to thrive. With so much madness going on in the world it is great to see young people using their initiative to bring their passions forward into the future.
There are a lot of country and equestrian magazines to choose from, what makes your magazine stand out from the rest?
There are indeed. I think the difference with IACL is that it is written by myself and a number of contributors and is targeted at us, our generation. There are many fantastic publications out there, but none, in my opinion which tick all of the boxes. The magazine is written differently to many publications on the market at the moment – hopefully you will see what I mean if you have ordered a copy, and this, in my opinion makes it far more enjoyable and personal to the reader.
What can you tell us about the exciting first issue? Are there any particular brands featured? Competitions?
We have some super exciting things lined up for the first issue, we have hundreds of pounds worth of prizes to be won, including our exclusive Golden Ticket give-away opportunity in collaboration with Fairfax & Favor. There is also a competition to win a photoshoot with you & your horse amongst many other competitions and giveaways!
We have been lucky enough to be able to work with some fantastic contributors, without whom none of this would be possible! Especially the amazing Nick from Events Through A Lens for his brilliant work on the front cover image!
You must be so excited about the first issue being released shortly. How do you plan to celebrate?
I cannot wait, fingers crossed everything goes to plan! Although quite frankly I am relieved the first one has been ‘put to bed’ as they say! Hopefully with a rather large G&T in the sun surrounded by my incredibly supportive family & friends. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably go for a nice long ride across the South Downs on my youngster!
Finally, can you tell us what are your plans for 2017 and ‘It’s a Country Life’ Magazine.
With the launch of the first issue scheduled for later this month, we are planning to release issue two this Winter, which will be full of Christmas gift ideas! With any luck you may just find as with our own stand at a show or two later this year. As ever, we will be attending a number of events up and down the country, so, if you see us come & say hi!
Thanks so much for the opportunity LDE, we will see you at Hickstead!