“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading,” -Amy Poehler
By Brittany Tiplady
There are two things in life that bring me paralyzing fear: being attacked by crows in public, and the thought of going through life having never lived out my dream. Oh, and also Vegas pool parties; that’s my true nightmare.
My fear of never setting sail as a quotable trailblazer haunts me daily. I have always been told that I am “bound for success” or “going places.” But when the only places you are going are the same monotonous destinations year after year, those kind sentiments become the pressure and anxiety that cause me to wake up with a bad case of TMJ.
One year ago, I put down my serving tray and decided to chase my deepest career aspiration. I had spent a year post-journalism school, waiting tables and teaching ballet (which I still do, and still love), wandering in unfulfillment. I had multiple freelance pitch emails gone unanswered or declined. I self-published a couple eBooks of poetry that earned me a few bucks and then dwindled in popularity.
I came to the conclusion that you just can’t make a career out of writing anymore. I was severely depressed after 9 months. I’m talking didn’t get off the couch for a summer, threw a hot pancake at my boyfriend, read a lot of Sylvia Plath, depressed.
I have always been a busy, creative, challenged person. I was a child actress by the age of 5, my name and face appearing in a television show that was broadcast globally. By the age of 12, I was dancing nearly 30 hours a week, while playing piano, managing my homework and filming the odd made for TV movie. At 20, I took a year off of university to travel South America alone and learn the language of my lineage. By 21, I was working three jobs while finishing my degree and supporting myself in the one of the most expensive cities in the country. I don’t do, and never have done, monotony.
When Kristi and I started our long-time vision of Loose Lips, we were both at a career-lull and courageously leapt into the fog. A year later and we are still trying to emerge from the mist.
Starting a business purely on passion is like hitting a piñata blindfolded. You can keep swinging all you want, but it takes the right angle to hit the jackpot. And boy, are we still working on finding that angle.
Kristi and I are the two of the most sensitive and headstrong women you will ever meet. We have different needs and outlets, but the same loving nature and finding the recipe that successfully divides sisterhood and business partners is another narrative of it’s own. We love each other, and we love our business. We are hard workers, and active wine drinkers, and that’s what has kept our momentum steady even in the droughts our magazine has endured. She reads my tarot cards, and I tell her when she’s being overly stubborn. Balance.
Earlier this summer, I was sitting in my friend’s San Diego bedroom having a post beer heart-to-heart talking about what it really takes to carry out your dream business. While I try to live through Brené Brown’s talk on vulnerability (the best, seriously), sometimes you just have to cut the bullshit and talk about how hard life is. That bedroom conversation sparked my fingers to get tapping at this narrative; to breakdown what it means to build something so close to your heart. What it means to be a young woman in business, with no idea how to run a business, and gain a solid 20 pounds in the process.
Trying to juggle multiple day jobs, my relationship, friendships, health, and personality conflicts in the work place is tough.
My work weeks sometimes extend up to 80 hours. In one day, I can be 8 hours of a lululemon employee, and shuffle the rest between ballet teacher, mentor, and small business owner. Loose Lips is a full time job that we squeeze in between the jobs that pay our rent. I dread getting the “when are you free?” text messages. That isn’t because I don’t love and value all of the wonderful people I have in my life, it’s because the only precious minutes I do have free are usually spent trying to meditate in bed between my second and third job of the day, dreaming up a morning in the future that I can sleep-in past 5 AM. Some people get it, and some don’t. My tribe has grown smaller, but stronger and I like it that way. I see my parents only on special occasions and often wish an assistant would teleport into my living room with an armful of groceries.
Work life balances does not exist in the entrepreneurial world but I am finding it slowly in my own nooks of sanity. My fiancé works out of town, and so his weeks home are my time to delve into my relationship and slow down on business. I am learning to answer emails after I finish teaching children, and post photos on Instagram when my car is actually parked. I have stopped calling Kristi at 11 PM with a brilliant idea because she’s probably trying to have sex with her boyfriend and that would just be rude.
I rarely get to take vacations or “long weekends,” and I most certainly don’t know what free time is. In my world, free time is an evening to do laundry after I’ve exhausted every last pair of underwear and drink half a bottle of wine while making compulsive lists in my day planner. I do not live a whimsical, spontaneous life; I’ve got work to do, dammit!
So why did I start a magazine if my life is so tiring and awful? Why do I put myself through this is gruelling schedule? Because it’s the reason why I get up everyday at 5:12 AM. Estee Lauder said: “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” Personally, I’m finding a good hybrid of the two makes the magic happen.
Co-creating something of my very own is the closest thing I know to motherhood. I have nurtured this baby with no handbook, and solely on intuition and a whole lot of failure. When I feel like I’ve had enough I remember that Kristi and I have produced something that gives women in media a voice. That’s huge in a day where media is slowly grinding to a hashtag.
We have created an outlet that has brought together a team of inspirational, badass, authentic women, some of whom were complete strangers to us before. I get to write, edit, and share stories every week that make me proud to be the only female-focused publication in the city that is talking about everything from local ladypreneurs to breast cancer survivors.
I get to interview and create connections with like-minded women who make me a better feminist, and a better journalist. I’ve learned that I really don’t like networking events, but love to hug at the end of goosebump-producing interview. I’ve learned that when people say “oh, I’ve never heard of that magazine before,” it’s better to shut up and trust that one day they will.
Loose Lips does not have have any seed money. We invest our pennies into this baby every month. We pay our co-working office rent, and plug along. We trudge through the fog willing the clouds to lift. We keep the dream alive, we hold a strong faith in the process, and a drink a $12 cold-pressed juice we can’t afford in the mean time. One day we will walk into our own office, filled with writers, and the buzz of news, and know that we made this happen from scratch. The vision is there, and this gestation period is only the beginning. It’s a labour of love this little magazine of ours.
Being the co-editor, and co-founder of Loose Lips Magazine has been the greatest adventure of my mid-twenties and I don’t plan on giving up on this dream any time soon. It’s called girl power for a reason.
Brittany Tiplady is a part-time poet, and a full-time goat cheese enthusiast. She loves the indoors, fast wifi, collecting maps, and a generous glass of red wine.