Meet the stockists: Magazine Brighton
Drawn by its sea air and energetic cultural life, Brighton is home to a high concentration of artists, creatives and students – which adds up to a healthy appetite for independent magazines.
Evidence for this is Magazine Brighton where business has been steadily growing since the store opened in the city’s bohemian North Laines area in December 2014. We spoke to owner Martin Skelton about how much Brighton’s indie-mag scene rocks.
What made you decide to open Magazine Brighton?
It was a mix of passion and practicality. My passion was for print of all kinds and, over the past 15 years, for the growing number of independent magazines taking up more and more space in our house. The practicality was that a) I got the chance to do something that I wanted to do that was going to impact on my ability to help put food on the table, and b) the sad closure of the Borders store in Brighton which carried a number of indie mags, which meant there was no longer an outlet for lots of them in this diverse community, and c) the quick availability of a shop in the right street at the right rent with the right vibe. So we pressed the green button.
How do you navigate an indie-magazine novice around the store?
We love the mags and know them well, so we can talk to people about them and guide them to mags in which they might be interested. We hold monthly meetings in the evenings, send out a newsletter, have a pretty informative website and put descriptions up as new mags come into the store. We also try to group our mags according to subject matter although this is sometimes tricky given how so many mags bleed one category into another. We try and be as relaxed a place as possible.
Which are your biggest selling titles?
They’re the obvious ones, I guess. We will always sell lots of The Gentlewoman, Cereal, Kinfolk and so on. In some ways these mags are now on the cusp of becoming non-indie mags. Other mags such as Delayed Gratification and Ernest sell really well, too. But many of the smaller mags sell well given their print runs.
And which are your new personal favourites?
Too many new favourites to mention… Right now, this morning, we might give a gentle sigh about the third issue of Rakes Progress, a garden and plant magazine, that has recently arrived. It’s simply gorgeous. But for varying reasons, we like most things.
What does the future hold for Magazine Brighton?
We want it to be a place people love coming to, a place that sparks thinking and conversations and which celebrates all of this good work that is going on. I’ve certainly had ideas for magazines I’d like to start, but we also want to support Brighton students, especially, to start their own. We want it to be fun, and there’s only so much we can do before it risks becoming simply ‘work’. It’s been great so far and we don’t want to change that.
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