Renee Douros | Founder + Editor of Hitched Magazine
Talk about inspirational, Renee Douros had the marvellous idea of starting a wedding magazine like no other, it's the non wedding, wedding magazine. It's so damn good that even if you are not planning a wedding, you would still want to get your hands on a copy. The articles and images are out of this world, so much thought goes into every piece of this glorious magazine.
Renee put her all into making this dream of hers a reality, if that doesn't inspire you to pursue your dreams then I don't know what will.
Not only has the beautiful Renee given us an insight in to her magazine, she has also kindly shared her stunning home with us. The images of Renee's home are shot by Peta Rudd, check out more of Peta's work here.
We were lucky enough to have our wedding featured on the pages of Hitched Magazine in their second issue. We will cherish this magazine for the rest of our days. Renee and the whole team at Hitched are talented beyond belief and even though I am no longer a bride to be, I will still be buying every issue.
S A Y H E L L O T O R E N E E D O U R O S
How did the wonderful “Hitched” concept come about?
I was finding myself uninspired and disappointed by the general sameness evident in a magazine industry that is largely driven by commercialisation with a big focus on product placement and paid editorials. I became obsessed with publishing a title where content and form were dictated by aesthetics and ideas rather than advertising and business models.
I identified a niche market in the wedding industry for a title that celebrated equality, originality and creativity. A publication that was a sumptuous, visual feast for readers who aren’t necessarily getting married or even have plans to. I also had a strong idea of what I didn’t want the magazine to be and this was informed by what was making me cringe in other titles.
What is your background, how did you get to where you are today, the Editor of Hitched Magazine (The best wedding mag in the world)?
I started my first business when I was ten, a ‘Fun Fair’ that I charged other kids in my neighbourhood to use. Then, when I was 18 I launched my first profitable venture, a swim-school that was operated from my parent’s backyard pool.
I studied two completely unrelated things at university, public relations and interior architecture; I figured ‘hey, one of them is bound to land me a semi-interesting job!’.
Upon graduating I bounced around from job to job and realised that I hated what I was doing. A late night phone call with my dad was a really pivotal moment, he told me to quit my job and peruse my passion. So I listened to him and et voilà,
Hitched was born!
What do you want readers to feel when they read your beautiful magazine?
Inspired, enlightened and excited.
Talk us through how you set up a magazine from scratch? How long did it take you to get from the idea of Hitched to launching your first issue?
Hitched was conceptualized in January 2012 and we launched our first issue on 3 April, 2013. I took it through a rigorous creative process, refining it over and over again and really nutting out exactly what I wanted Hitched to be.
You need two things when starting a magazine from scratch. The first is money, and a lot of it; I had been saving for years knowing that one day I would put it all to good use somehow. Secondly, you need a good team of people around you who can contribute to getting it off the ground and encourage you when you’re feeling deflated.
How many people work at Hitched and what are their roles?
We have a team of six talented ladies working with Hitched. Some may interpret it as over-kill so early on but I’m a firm believer in the value of a strong team.
Our Features and Production Manager Tori is my rock, she reminds me to calm down when I’m stressed and plays a massive part in pulling each issue together.
Jacinda our Art Director is truly one of the most creatively talented people I’ve ever come across. She’s an asset to Hitched and a kind soul.
Karmin is the hard-hitter. The one who asks the tough questions and handles stuff that goes well over my head.
Yadira is our little pocket-rocket Marketing and Advertising Sales Manager. She’s like a little Chihuahua; tiny but feisty! She’s also a writing whiz.
And then there’s Rosalie, she started off interning with us and is now our Production Assistant. She’s a breath of fresh air in the studio and is always enthusiastic about everything we’re doing (even the mundane stuff!).
How long does it take you to pull together an issue, what is the process?
We’re always working on several issues consecutively. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the game! The whole procedure is really different for each issue and because we produce most of the content ourselves our roles are extremely hands on. Although, initially we always kick-off a new issue with the entire team, our chalkboard wall, copious cups of coffee and entire days spent brainstorming new concepts.
If you could give any budding entrepreneurs advice for starting their own business, what would it be?
Be prepared to hustle; there’s going to be a lot of early starts and late nights. Carve out your own niche and find someone who is willing to act as your mentor, gently guiding you through the ebbs and flows associated with owning your own business.
What is the most rewarding part of starting a magazine like Hitched?
Seeing what started off as a sketchy idea scribbled down on a post-it note become a reality and of course the warm messages of support and praise that we receive from our readers everyday, it makes all of us smile and validates the job we’re doing.
What has been the most challenging moment for you?
I’m a perfectionist by nature; good enough is never good enough. I must always do better and better and it drives you crazy sometimes. My biggest challenge has been learning to say to myself ‘Relax for five minutes. Take a deep breath.’
Can you give us a little sneak peek into what’s coming next issue?
So much! Hitched is taking a little trip to New York and London in August/September for a series of interviews, shoots and large-scale fashion editorials with some wonderfully inspiring and talented folk. You’ll see the fruits of our trip trickled throughout the pages of many issues to come.
Issue three is going to be our best issue yet! Our guest illustrator is one of my personal favourites, we’ve got some gorgeous real weddings that we are really excited to share with our readers plus some interesting reads with a typical ‘Hitched’ twist, we take a look into the creative spaces of some of our idols and we’ve got a fashion editorial that will knock your socks off.
The highlights so far?
The overwhelming response we received when we first hit the newsstands still astounds me. Copies were flying off the shelves of newsagents and our social media accounts and inboxes were running hot. It was crazy!
What are your thoughts on the wedding industry and how do you think it’s changing?
Couples these days are more empowered and confident to have a wedding that is entirely their own. Publications like Hitched magazine inspire readers to think outside the box and host a celebration that is unlike anything else there guests have ever or will ever attend.
If you could offer all the brides to be out there one piece of advice, what would it be?
Do it your own way. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by what everyone else is doing. Think about who you are as a couple and let that dictate your theme.
A LITTLE MORE ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. All the way.
Heels of flats?
Flats. I just nabbed myself a pair of Kenzo house slippers! They’re amazing.
I swear by a lychee caprioska
Sarma – a dish that is native to the Balkan regions of Eastern Europe where my family comes from. It’s basically minced wrapped in boiled cabbage leaves. It sounds gross but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Russia. I’m fascinated by the history of this country. The shelves of my home library are filled with Russian literature and historical tales.
Favourite magazines (apart from Hitched)?
Tank Magazine – they have a very unique take on contemporary culture
Betty Magazine – a quirky expression of femininity and vintage charm
Favourite Instagram accounts?
@aguynamedpatrick – New York City through the eyes of a local
@Nicole_Franzen – A photographer I admire. Her Instagram does not disappoint, Flowers, food, amazing light and interiors.
@ElisabethErin – Erin’s photos are more art than just iPhone photographs. How she does it I don’t know but the results are remarkable
Garance Dore - She approaches fashion and the world she lives in with a great sense of humour, it’s infectious!
Yimmy Yayo – This has been a staple of mine for years. Sometimes rude and often vulgar – I can’t look away.
The Jealous Curator - A visual feast for the creatively inclined
The list is endless! Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, The Row, Pamela Love and Oliver Rousteing for Balmain.
Staples in your wardrobe?
Quality blouses in an array of colours– thank-god for Equipment. A good heel – Alexander Wang is a personal favourite at the moment. A quality vintage fur and a great bag that I can shove my life into, Status Anxiety are doing really beautiful totes at the moment.
What’s in your handbag at the moment?
At the moment I’m sporting my YSL tote that I picked on a trip to London in 2010, a giant Mimco travel wallet, my iPhone and Blackberry, a moleskin and sharpies for writing down ideas when I’m on the go, Aesop handbalm, Ray Bans (both sunglasses and glasses), Balenciaga perfume and red lipstick – it will salvage any outfit or tired face.
What can you not live without?
My parents, brother, boyfriend and my dog - she has the face of a teddy bear!
I love to know about creative souls homes and office spaces, what does Hitched HQ look like and what does your home look like?
My home and the Hitched Studio are extensions of each other and very much reflective of my personal style. Eclectic and colorful with a strong vintage twist. Living and working from beautifully styled surrounds I believe, is integral to productivity and overall well-being.
How do Peppa Hart readers get their hands on a copy?
We’re stocked at over 2,000 newsagents Australia wide and online at hitchedmag.com.au/shop. For overseas readers we’re throughout New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Dubai and the United Kingdom at newsagents and English language bookstores.