September 29, 2018 by Burgundy Woods
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As the fashion industry continues to grow in San Antonio, Texas, the strength in professionalism, presentation and product does as well. This, being of huge importance to Style Lush TV as we continually search for role model stories and examples of San Antonio excellence. Just this past year alone we have seen construction improve with local design, events that set new bars for entertainment and night life, a sustainable fashion movement, and one of our favorites, the embrace and mainstreaming of digital media (finally).
It’s no secret that digital is the way of life, especially with media. The noticeable wave is (arguably, but not really) well over ten years old now and there’s no signs of this stopping. In fact, because “digital” is so common knowledge, the new challenge now, is keeping up with its daily evolutions. We live in fast changes and zig zagging trends. The constant hunt for strategies that keep content seen, the weekly education to maneuver your platform. It all bounces so chaotically. It is not an industry for the lazy. On top of these constant changes, these days, website design, creating video, maintaining social media; its all easily accessible, even to the most inexperienced digital person. Creating and maintaining these items are as simple as an affordable online resource, and because digital is so consumer friendly now, because of this accessibility, the game has completely changed. The challenge is no longer, can it be created. The challenge now is… do you have a voice?
How do you measure modern digital voice?
You measure it with three things: Quality. Originality. Artistry.
Enter ELEANORA Magazine.
September, team photo
A new voice launched in San Antonio, Texas this past September and its setting new bars for all three. An elegant and intelligent digital magazine born out of struggle and frustration, chimes in on what it is to be a modern woman with dashes of theatre and nostalgia for creative affect. The quality is incredible. The artistry is magical. We sat down with Eleanora Morrison, Founder/CEO of S.H.E Media and Editor in Chief/Creative Director of ELEANORA Magazine, to dive deeper into this new kid on the block and gain insight into their background story and creative process.
SLTV: You have been around exciting and fashionable publications, have a creative background in the arts… what finally drove you to create S.H.E Media?
EL: Our company S.H.E Media and our publication ELEANORA Magazine were born out of creative necessity. In hindsight, all passions and endeavors Melissa (Co-Founder/CMO of S.H.E Media; Deputy Editor and Associate Creative Director) and I have explored throughout our lives, both artistically and professionally, have converged to conceptualize and co-create this sort of hybrid product that melds all worlds and skill sets together.
As far as explaining my background and my role, the story becomes simpler to define the more that time passes. I was raised in a household that was much more creative than I ever realized. My childhood was shaped by storytelling, and that was always through a variety of mediums. My involvement in the performing arts gave me a daily escape and the experience of creating characters and sharing other worlds with audiences. Whether in dance, theater, or music, I poured my soul into classes and rehearsals and performances…those years were so vivid and defining.
However, what I realize now as an adult, is that my parents were constantly telling me stories. Whether that was my father, through recounting romanticized tales of his generations of family history, or my mother, through transforming our home for every celebration or Holiday, and creating narrative through the traditional Italian food she cooked us every night for family dinner. With that multi-sensorial, “feel-good” magic as our foundation, peppered with the cast of loving, larger-than-life characters who were always in and out of the house for dinner parties and events with my parents…it is no wonder that all of those experiences are now emerging in the form of creatively directing a digital media platform completely based on storytelling, living in that space where fantasy meets reality.
Aside from my creatively influenced childhood, the other career-defining influence in my adolescence and young adult life was when my mother ventured into the publishing industry. She launched her first magazine when I was about thirteen. She officed from home and in the car while managing carpool, practices, games and performances for me and my younger brothers…she integrated her career into our lives, and that became the norm.
Whether my mother was closing major print ad campaign deals with national brands, or brainstorming a feature with her Editor in Chief, solving issues at the printers, attending events with international public figures or bringing me with her to fashion shows — all of that transferred to me via osmosis and it became my comfort zone. When she launched her current publication, I was graduating from college with a B.A. in Communication. She needed a writer, and I had spent years honing those skills, so my mother put me to work immediately. I contributed about six articles per issue while I worked my day jobs and performed in community theater in my spare time. Now nearing a decade later, it is no surprise at all that I’m doing what I’m doing. We still support each other professionally, and now my mother is a mentor and an ally in the industry. The writing was always on the wall, whether or not I saw it…and I didn’t see it until about ten months ago, when my business partner Melissa came into the picture.
Eleanora Morrison, Founder/CEO of S.H.E Media and Editor in Chief/Creative Director of ELEANORA Magazine
SLTV: Can you Introduce us to your partner and elaborate on her background?
EL: Melissa and I first met five years ago when I was working for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. She came back into my life over a coffee meeting last year, and something between us just clicked. Four hours later, we were already working together and we have been pretty inseparable since. If my wild ideas have established the vision for this project, it has been Melissa’s structure and discipline that has been the engine to get it off the ground.
Melissa’s background is in marketing and branding. She has fifteen years of experience in marketing strategy, at both the corporate level and on the more independent level. She also has a few years of experience in the print publishing industry from her earlier career years, before she moved to Texas. Her creative pursuits have always been in the more visual vein: photography, graphic design, video, etc. Melissa is an expert at bringing the storytelling aspect to the real-life content we create with our brand campaigns and special sponsored features. Our professional partnership works seamlessly because I ideate vision and inspiration, find the editorial hook and the people to bring it all to life…then she takes my look books and mood boards and scribbled drawings, either adds something of value creatively or challenges my concepts to be even better, and then puts everything into a manageable plan that assures we meet deadlines and operate with precision and excellence. We each provide the thing for the other that is necessary for our perspective roles to function, and our skillsets to be showcased at the highest level.
Ellie with Melissa, Co-Founder/CMO of S.H.E Media; Deputy Editor and Associate Creative Director
SLTV: You’ve said your digital magazine is a hybrid between the print and digital world. Can you elaborate?
EL: Sure. We are a digital magazine. A hybrid between the print and digital world, with a mix of longer, traditional print-style editorial and lighter (but always elevated) blog-style editorial. Everything is female-focused, but produced with the intention to make an all-inclusive impact.
SLTV: The launch of the September issue is incredible. What will continue to be the focus?
EL: We are original and independent, with a concept that shares stories of pioneering, strong women both from the past and today. Even though we produce and publish out of San Antonio, our editorial is nationally (and hopefully soon-to-be) internationally focused. S.H.E is an acronym for Sharing Her Story: the Everywoman, and it is our personal manifesto and mission that informs everything we do.
Our website changes every month with the release of a new issue, and we alternate the content every other month to focus between history and today. For example, our September issue, “S.H.E Is,” featured Carmel Snow, the historic Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar. All of the editorial was based on her career and her life, and styled with vintage-feeling ready to wear clothing. Our October issue, “Her Influence,” will feature modern-day women who embody what Carmel Snow stood for and the ideals she really pioneered. We feel that alternating between the two will really give the connection for our readers between the past and the present, and inspire the future of the female experience through championing messages of substance, authenticity and neutrality, as opposed to what we often see in the mainstream media.
artistic expressions from the magazine
SLTV: Talk about some of the obstacles you faced during this new chapter in your careers and how you overcame them.
EL: On the micro-level, every day comes with its own set of challenges. One minute we are celebrating a brand campaign we won or a shoot we executed, the next minute we are addressing a minute technical issue or working on a large-scale problem to solve.
On the macro-level, it took years of moving our own personal mountains to get to this point.
Two years ago, only a few months after my wedding, I lost my job when I least expected it. I am so grateful that it happened, because it set me on the proper life path, but it came with its set of big challenges. I had to navigate all of that collateral damage, both professionally and personally in my new marriage, and it took a lot of courage and humility to do so. It built up my resiliency and gave me a new perspective on what actually mattered in life. It was both a frightening time but also a beautiful time, because I committed to finding who I was creatively, and what I was meant to contribute to the world. It was in the darkness that I was able to chip at flint long enough to ignite my light.
Leeper, channeling her inner Carmel Snow on the digital cover
Melissa’s challenges have been mostly personal, with two major life events occurring this past summer. We were in the middle of building this product to launch, and her life blew up. Both events blind-sided her, and therefore were very difficult to work through and overcome. As her partner, I did all that I could to move the train forward and make sure what we were building was something that she could focus on and find comfort in to get her through the worst. We leaned on each other with that boulder of her personal challenges on both of our backs, and somehow trotted on to make it to the top of the hill, despite everything. We launched on deadline – September 1st.
Now that we have launched, our product has really taken on a life of its own in only a few weeks, which I don’t think we anticipated would happen so soon. We are grateful for that, and thrilled to be on this journey together, creating something with a purpose that is much bigger than ourselves.
It is incredible to see this caliber of digital magazine come out of San Antonio, Texas. Support them and check out the September issue of ELEANORA Magazine.
We’ve got more fashion news headed your way, stay tuned for more news right here, on Style Lush TV.