Meet the stockists: Love Note, Vilnius
Alge Ramanauskiene is the founder of Love Note, an independent magazine retailer in Vilnius and our first stockist in Lithuania! An indie mag-maker herself, Alge is passionate about the scene and lovingly curates her two newsstands to bring the best of independent publishing to her hometown. We spoke to Alge about how Love Note came together, her favourite magazines and her plans for the future…
What inspired you to open Love Note?
My long-time affection for independent magazines. I remember I had this rare chance to escape alone for two days and I spent it in a little town by the seaside, doing nothing but walking in the woods and by the sea, watching the big waves and lonely seagulls. That was when I was hit by the thought – why not just do it?
I had no business plan, just the idea of bringing the most interesting independent magazines to Lithuania – the ones I used to bring home with me from my travels. I ordered the first batch of magazines (Kinfolk and Delayed Gratification) without having any idea where I would sell them. So I went to a friend that had a little coffee shop and roastery called Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories and asked him if he’d like to have a magazine shelf at his coffee bar. To my big joy and surprise he said yes, and so it all began. After a few weeks I had a call from another friend who has a small, lovely design shop, 4 Urban Soul, and so Love Note now has two homes.
Do you have a background in magazines?
I’ve been working as a journalist for many years and after having my first child (and quitting my former job at a local newspaper) I became editor-in-chief of design and lifestyle magazine Llamas’ Valley, which I founded together with my husband. For a few years we’ve been publishing two magazines – an international English version and a local one called Lamu slenis in Lithuanian. Now we’re focusing on the local one.
What makes Love Note special?
To me it’s special because I can do what I really love. I believe that for local people it’s nice to finally have a place where they can find a selection of the most interesting and beautiful contemporary magazines from around the world.
What’s the indie magazine publishing scene like in Lithuania?
It’s growing. Slowly. We have a few independent titles that are desperately struggling for survival. But I believe it’s the same story everywhere – being small is more interesting on one hand but more challenging on the other hand…
How do you choose the magazines that go into the shop?
I trust my instincts. Being from the magazine world myself I know the indie publishing scene quite well, so I constantly look for new titles and niche publishers. Love Note has three main directions: design, travel and food. But I like keeping my eyes wide open.
What are your current favourite magazines?
I’m deeply in love with Water Journal, published by a Lithuanian living in London, Edvinas Bruzas. I grew up by the sea so I really have this thing with water… I also love Elementum journal and their way of writing and telling stories about nature. I enjoy the concept of Fathers magazine from Poland. To satisfy my design cravings I choose Residence bookazine and Oak the Nordic Journal. I love the concepts of Drift and Ambrosia, which explore coffee and food culture respectively, one city at a time.
I was also a big fan of two magazines that have been away from readers’ radars for a while but are planning rebirths soon – Avaunt and Fool magazine. So I’m looking forward to browsing them again. And last but definitely not least, I’m extremely happy to have DG at Love Note for quality journalism insights on the fast-forward drifting world we’re living in.
What does the future hold for Love Note?
I’m looking forward to opening the Love Note online shop and expanding the collection of magazines too. I might want to open my own coffee/magazine shop one day, but first I probably need to get bored of writing stories myself. And that’s the tough part…
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