Speaking with Sarah Dubbeldam, founder and editor in chief of Darling Magazine, is like grabbing a cup of tea with someone who doubles as your muse and your best friend. She’s insightful, witty and eager to lend you personal advice and encouragement at any given moment—just like her magazine! Sarah’s approachable personality shines through the thick pages of this shelter magazine, placing it at the very top of our desk and bedside piles. Today, she shares the story behind Darling’s rise from an idea to an 11th issue (out now!), as well as the passionate discussion it’s starting worldwide.
How did you get into the editorial world? Tell us what sparked your interest in this creative field, and how you went from “art grad” to “magazine founder.”
I’d always been an artist, and using creativity to bring about social change and good was a passion of mine. So after college, I decided I wanted to work in film because I saw it as a positive media for communicating bold messages effectively. But after I got an internship at Sony Pictures and realized how long that road might be, I started brainstorming how I could work in another field of media and have the same effect, but perhaps with more control over the content.
My friend Kelli Lane and I started brainstorming about starting a magazine (that we would actually read) and came up with the concept of Darling. For the next four years, I worked three different freelance jobs to have the flexibility to work on Darling on the side. During this time, a team of about six women and myself met weekly and laid out the foundations of Darling until we had a very clear company vision. On Nov. 11 at 11:11 p.m. (no real significance—just fun), we launched our online blog. In May of 2012, we did a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for creation of the print magazine, and when it was successful, we produced the first issue in fall 2012. We are now currently on our 11th issue!