Alum’s online magazine features ‘real women’
A girl’s purse is her best friend. It travels everywhere with her and always has what she needs to make it through her day.
Towson alum Shelby Newsome said that she founded Tote Magazine in hopes that the online publication would serve the same purpose – traveling with girls in their purses, phones and across college campuses.
“I want it to be something that any college girl can look to and get useful information for something they are going through and kind of to help inspire them to see girls that are doing really amazing things and think, ‘wow I could do that too,’” Newsome said.
After developing the idea behind Tote with a friend during her sophomore year at Towson, Newsome didn’t actually begin formatting the publication until last May before her graduation.
“It was for my senior thesis class actually in photography that I had decided, you know what I am going to try to do a prototype magazine of what I want it to look like so for that I had done all of the graphic design, most of the photography, all the writing myself,” Newsome said.
Now, after putting out several issues the first of which was released in September, she has a photographer, a graphic designer, a vice president and marketing director and several contributing writers who help her produce each issue.
“I am hoping to expand with the contributing writers I have been getting more interest and its just something I want to grow just so there is a lot more content and a lot more information that is accessible to college girls,” Newsome said.
Tote Magazine is currently only available online where users can view both a flipbook style of the complete issue and individual posts which are updated more frequently.
Accessibility via phones, tablets, or computers is also an important function for Newsome, which is why she prefers the online publication to print.
“I wanted it to be very interactive so if a girl sees a product in the issue or if one of the cover girls really speaks to them they can go to click on the website to buy the product or to learn more about the cover girl,” Newsome said.
Tote Magazine covers topics such as beauty, fashion, DIY projects, entertainment and lifestyle. They also have columns like ‘The Intern Diaries’ where a student from American University describes her experience working as an intern for the fashion magazine Marie Claire.
“I think it was the September issue we had ‘My First Pantry’ so it was about grocery shopping for the first time in your apartment when you have an apartment because its hard, its stuff that happens but its nice to have some tips on it,” Newsome said.
The cover girl of each issue of Tote Magazine is a young woman who is either in college or a recent graduate and is currently doing something that Newsome believes can be inspirational for other girls looking to do similar things with their lives.
“Being able to interview the cover girls has been really awesome just because these cover girls are doing really amazing things with their life,” Newsome said. “I love learning more about them because I’m graduated and I am pursuing my dream right now but I mean I can still look at these girls and be blown away.”