Several weeks ago, we at Poetic Licence got the awesome opportunity to talk to Jennifer Prince, the owner, editor and publisher of Clutch, a woman’s magazine based in Lynchburg, Virginia. Here’s a little bit of our conversation:
So, Jennifer, what’s your Clutch story? How did it come about?
Interestingly enough, I have a background as a science teacher. Most people wonder if I majored in Journalism or English, but I majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. It's so different from what I am doing now! After being published in two books, I started writing and editing locally. My heart really wanted to fill a void in the publication scene, so I started a women's magazine designed to focus on local things while inspiring women in their life's journey.
How would you describe Clutch?
I love to think of Clutch as a girl sitting down learning things from her friend. When I think of blogs, they are relatable and relevant, and so our magazine is a little more "bloglike" and informal than most. I think that's welcomed, though, in our world of keeping things personal via the blogosphere and social media.
Could you elaborate on why Clutch thrives in Lynchburg specifically?
I believe that there is a great support out there for small businesses [in Lynchburg]. We have a strong arts community to go along with the sense of entrepreneurialism. Clutch resonates with those who have a love for art due to its design, and our genuine approach speaks to the women in the area. Our culture of local women is really smart around here - they want to learn about what is going on while being able to make their own decisions and not feel like they are being "sold" on something.
You’re picking out your clothes for the day. Where do you start? Shirt? Shoes?
For me I start with what I'm doing and how dressy I need to be. In the colder times I enjoy wearing skinny jeans, which pair with just about anything. Admittedly, my absolute favorite is the warm weather. It's so nice to be able to just throw on a dress, pair it with good shoes and be ready!
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Too many to fit in my closet. I'd have to say around 60, but truly, I'm afraid to count. Ignorance is bliss!
What is your absolute favorite Poetic pair, and why?
Ah! This is so difficult as I have so many. I'd have to say that the newest pair always gets the kudos. The ones I'm wearing [European Wishes] are the perfect mix of dressy and casual - I adore the cork with the stripes and flowers. Plus, they are versatile, go with so much and add just the perfect amount of height.
Poetic Licence is all about expression. How do you express your individuality?
When it comes inward expression, I try to act upon ideas and creativity. Outwardly, I try to stay away from popular trends, and I also shop where things are more unique and they only carry a few of that one item. By shopping at a locally owned store, I know that - most likely - there won't be 4 other girls showing up in the same outfit as me. I also adore vintage things, which are mostly one-of-a-kind survivors of an era.
What advice would you give a young female aspiring entrepreneur?
Definitely gauge the feasibility of your ideas along with actually acting upon them. The first thing that I did before I started the magazine was research how much it would cost - design, printing, writing - so that I could know if it was something that I would even be able to do. I know so very many people that have great ideas for businesses and such, BUT they never get around to the "doing" part. Please put feet to your ideas once you determine if it's feasible or not. Also, I would highly suggest making friends with other entrepreneurial women. It helps to have ladies who understand what you are going through, and you can support each other along the way. Likemindedness is so valuable.
What is in store next for Clutch?
I always have a little something up my sleeve! But for now it's getting our next issue together along with doing some pre-planning for next year. I also have started to hire a team - in addition to my designers and writers - to help with the day-to-day and our local partners, too. It's exciting to see things grow while also providing opportunities for local women.