July 28, 2017
Flipping through the satin smooth, elegantly styled pages of Dote Magazine is a luxurious experience. Filled with enlightening stories and tips for an inspired lifestyle, Dote elevates the print medium with their thoughtfully considered work.
We had the pleasure of meeting Editor in Chief Kate Klassen when she first joined the Market Collective family in 2011 and she was selling her illustration work under Uh Oh My Deer. A few years later in 2014, Dote Magazine launched at MC’s 6 Year Anniversary - a lifelong dream of Kate’s.
Kate’s sister, Vicki Manness had also been selling her delicious treats at MC as Pretty Sweet. Vicki now runs her own bakeshop and is also the Food Editor of Dote Magazine.
After chatting recently with Kate, she told us that the initial network of contributors for Dote largely came from the community relationships she had made at MC. Now, Dote Magazine has it’s own vibrant community!
From experience, we know that all ideas come from endless conversations with anyone who might be willing to lend an ear. What did some of your early conversations surrounding creating a magazine look like?
At the outset of the idea, the conversations were all “dream big”, fun, creative ideas - things like, what kind of content we would have and what we wanted our aesthetic to be. As a designer and artist, those are the things that are important to me and where I spend time daydreaming.
Shortly thereafter, I had to get learning about how to actually make a magazine. I met with a friend who also publishes a magazine in the city to pick her brain about all of the things that I had no idea about, and those conversations were a lot different - sometimes it even made me question if this was the biggest mistake ever. But at the end of the day, I trusted my big ideas and jumped in with both feet.
With all things creative, there seems to be that “Aha!” moment when you realize that all the late night chats, coffee shop brainstorming, and passion oozing out of you is actually going to come to fruition. At what point did you feel that your dream might actually become a reality?
I had taken a lot of time to create a full business plan, something that, as a creative person, I knew would be very important for me to ensure that I would always stay on track. I pitched the plan and the big idea to some trusted advisors, and they caught the vision and bought into the plan. At that point, I knew that I had something special and could actually see my way forward.
You each have such unique skill sets. One of you is a talented illustrator, another is an amazing baker, and your third sister is an english major and writer. How did your personal creative streams help to form the idea behind Dote Magazine?
We are all creative, passion driven gals. As three sisters growing up, we didn’t always get along, but when we would sit together and dream up how we would all be in some sort of business together, it felt so natural and fun. After all going our separate ways for school and life, we came back together and it all just seemed to be the perfect fit.
What was the most challenging part of pursuing magazine creation?
Definitely, the most challenging aspect is the money/sales side (as I’m sure it is for most new small businesses). None of us are really naturally inclined towards the business-y side, so we have brought in people who really understand that area and bring such value to our team. But a free magazine that depends on advertising in an economy that’s not-so-great, will always be tough.
How do you want Dote to grow?
This is a funny questions for me. I want to grow Dote in the direction that Dote needs to grow in (is that the most cliche thing ever?). I am a huge believer in not pushing things. I will actively pursue the directions that I want to take us in, but just because I want something doesn’t mean that it’s what’s best for me or the direction of Dote. Since the very beginning of Dote, things have happened very organically and naturally - if I pursued one avenue and it seemed like that door was closed, we would simply change course. It always kind of felt like a stream and we are just riding this little wave to see where it will take us.
That being said, I would love to get to the place that we can publish quarterly rather than just twice a year. And I would love to grow our northern and western reach, and from there, we’ll see where we end up.
Why do you feel that it is important to be a part of a community like MC?
The Market Collective community is so important to me because of the connections you forge with people, the support that is offered from others artists and vendors, and, for me, stepping out of my comfort zone to chat with lots of people who may or may not be interested in what I’m doing - one of the best experiences that I have had!
What did your early experiences with MC teach you, and how did they help to inspire Dote?
My early MC times really taught me that what I do has value. It’s very easy to sit with my paint brush and paper, painting things that no one will ever see. It’s hard to take that first step to get out there and show the world your craft - it can be scary and definitely carries a feeling of vulnerability, but when that first person stops at your little booth, picks up your artwork and smiles, that is so incredibly validating.
I would never have had the courage to start Dote without learning that my ideas and “big dreams” had value.
Come visit Dote at our 9 Year Anniversary!
Photos by Diane + Mike Photography