1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sarah Hartley and I'm the creator and editor in chief of Holl & Lane Magazine. In addition to the magazine, I work full-time for an architecture firm, am the wife to a very patient man, and have a 2.5 year old son who makes each day a little better. I have always had 3 things I wanted to accomplish in my life - write a novel, own my own boutique, and start my own magazine. In 2011 I began blogging (and still do this sporadically) and was blown away by the responses I received when I was open and honest about my life. This pushed me to pursue the idea of the magazine further and that's when Holl & Lane was created!
2. On the Holl & Lane Magazine webpage, in the About section, you say, "We seek inspiration and encouragement in the big stories and the little details, and together we create home and add flavor to everyday life.” I just love the part, “we create home,” In what ways do you do this?
We create home in a couple of ways - the first is a bit more literal. The name Holl & Lane is a play on the cross streets of my home. It's the intersection of dreams coming together - my first home, and my own magazine. But also, the idea behind H&L is that you are curled up with your best friends talking about your honest lives. We seek to make you feel comfortable and allow you to be vulnerable - the same as you'd feel in your own home.
3. What initially caused you to start Holl & Lane Magazine?
I saw a need for more honest media. As I mentioned, the idea developed further as I was blogging honestly. I talked about my hardships through pregnancy and life with a newborn and it was then that I saw this need for people to hear from everyday women, like me, about true life. So often we see magazines that tell you to fix this or fix that and I want to remind women that they're great how they are and that life isn't always as perfect as magazines make it out to be. There are hard times - we've all had them - and the more we talk about them, the less taboo they'll be. There are so many conversations we NEED to be having that people are afraid to have. I want to help erase the stigma.
4. Can you tell us more about your tagline, “create beautiful conversations” ? What does that look like in the daily lives of your readers?
The conversations around our topics are so important and we want to encourage our readers to share. We believe that each time you open up and share your story, you allow someone else the chance to say, "Me, too". And that is so powerful. So if you start to create conversations within your daily lives, you're giving someone else the power to do the same.
5. Why are you passionate about telling women’s stories in this platform? About encouraging women, no matter their circumstance?
I am so passionate because so many women feel they have to keep these things under wraps - mental illness, addiction, eating disorders, infertility, miscarriage - and if we talked about them instead, we'd be allowing women the chance to be fully happy, to embrace life instead of hiding the tough times. Often times when you talk about what is really going on, you feel so much better because it's out there in the world and you don't have to hide anymore. I want to give women that option, the platform to share and unburden themselves.
6. You tell us on your, “Join the Family” portion of your website that your mission is, “to tell those stories that don’t get heard enough, to start conversations around the IMPORTANT topics, to help you feel less alone in a world that sometimes feels scary.” What is your overall goal in starting, running, and spreading this mission through, Holl &Lane Magazine?
My overall goal is to be a recognizable place for women to come when they're seeking solidarity and strength. When they want to feel supported no matter where life has placed them. When they want to find other women who have experienced similar situations. I want to be their go-to. And I want to help women who feel that they may have nowhere else to go.
6. Do you have any plans for the future of H&L?
I have a lot of plans :) Most recently we've started donating money from the sale of each issue to a charity based on the theme of that particular issue. That's something I've been wanting to do from the beginning - to give back. I'm also hoping to start a podcast next year because I think hearing the stories in the voices of the writers will be so incredibly powerful. I'd also love to introduce products and items that further promote our mission. But mostly I just want to continue to get better and better, to tell more and more stories, and to make this a full-time job for myself.
8. Last question! What is the highlight of your day?
The highlight of my day is when I get off from work and get to daycare to pick up my son. When he first sees me, his whole face lights up (and I'm sure mine does as well) and he comes running at me full speed screaming "Mommy!". It never fails to make the stresses of the day fade away.
Interview by Joette Orndorff