In the rush of modern life, as lives get cluttered with voice mails and e-mails and deadlines and obligations, it's hard to find balance. But Christine Carville, 27, and Danielle Chang, 28, want to change all that with Simplicity, a new magazine and Web site (www.simplicityonline.com) designed to help people enjoy the simple pleasures.
Launched in February, the idea came when Chang was living out of a suitcase in a Hong Kong hotel room. She realized how superfluous many things in life are and committed herself to living more simply by redefining necessity. Says Chang, a graduate of Columbia University in New York City, "It's important to balance your life and include within that balance a healthy dose of personal time." Feeling that others would benefit from her philosophy, Chang brought the idea back to the States.
Chang works as the CEO, while friend and fellow Columbia grad Carville is the director of sales and marketing. Positioning themselves outside of the Cosmopolitan and Glamour minions, Simplicity will focus on essential areas for urban-minded women aged 25 to 40: ideas, style, home and frivolities are included.
It's also about using technology to make things easier, not more complicated. "Our company is basically an Internet company with a magazine," says Chang. The online content will directly correspond to the magazine content. If, for example, they write about a spa getaway in the magazine, readers will be able to purchase spa products on the Web site. At press time, the site's e-commerce portal was set to launch sometime this summer.
With start-up costs hovering in the ballpark of $250,000, Chang notes that Simplicity is also experimenting with a new business plan. They don't expect advertising or subscription revenue to be the primary focus; rather, they're looking to profit from selling the products and services featured in the magazine. Notes Chang: "We see [simplicity] as a state of mind. It's about stepping back and thinking about what you're doing. [It's about] being present in the moment."