Twitter has been abuzz lately with talk of new digital magazine Curio. I love the word Curio (definition: rare, unusual, or intriguing object) and am only a little bit cross that I didn’t think of it for the name of this blog. Describing itself as ‘premium yet friendly’, the mag piqued my interest immediately (I like to think of myself as premium yet friendly, truth be told).
The first issue went live today – you can check it out online now. It’s packed full of insightful, original features and quirky offbeat photography – definitely a read to be savoured (oh if only it was safe to take iPads into the bath). And as an ex magazine sub-editor who’s a stickler for detail, I’m pleased to report the magazine’s production values are high quality, which is something that some online mags have struggled with.
I caught up with Tara Germain, the editor, earlier this month, to find out more about how the magazine came into being…
What inspired you to launch Curio?
The short answer is that I got bored of waiting for someone else to do it! I’d been thinking about doing something for a while as, although I was still reading all the print and online interiors magazines (and still do), I was finding it difficult to engage with them. They seemed quite formulaic and tied to an individual aesthetic and I wanted something that was a bit freer, something premium looking, but friendly and intelligent, which could talk about other things as well as interiors. It had to feel meaningful too, not just pushing the latest must-haves.
How did your background in PR help you in the process?
I was a PR director at Freud Communications and the BBC in London before doing an interiors course and then going on to work for Curio’s Managing Editor Sarah Lidwell-Durnin’s interiors brand Natural History as a director and stylist. Obviously, PR is all about communication so writing and pitching Curio as an idea came quite easily. However, not having a background in magazines and the contacts that would have brought has meant a steep learning curve. I have been learning as we go, which has been equal parts exciting and terrifying.
What have you enjoyed most so far about putting the first issue together?
I have loved meeting (and persuading!) interesting people to be involved. We had zero budget for the launch issue so everyone in the magazine has worked for next to nothing – which is amazingly gracious of them.
Any exciting features coming up you want to shout about?
I love the photo-essay by Jonathan Legge, a designer who has worked for Ilse Crawford, on his granny’s beautiful house in Ireland and the memories he associates with it. The house is gorgeous, but it’s the warmth and lyricism of Jonathan’s reminiscences that makes it special.
And finally… how would you describe your own style?
It’s a cliche, but classic with a twist.
Check out the first issue of Curio online now>>