Making use of our resourcefulness and ingenuity in tough times.
FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
How did this organization come about?
The idea for this nonprofit organization came about during the pandemic of March 2020, when its founder, Jessica Lo, lost her retail planning job at an apparel company that relied on department store sales for revenue. Due to the nationwide closure of retail stores that were deemed nonessential, she was out of work. When she saw an outpouring of creative content from former colleagues and friends, she was inspired to invite them to collaborate on producing an independent magazine showcasing their most recent works and lifestyle pieces under quarantine.
At the close of the project, Jessica decided to create a nonprofit organization by the name of It’s Work[s] Collective, suggested by a member of the editorial team — a name reminiscent of that first issue “Work[s] From Home” coined by its creative director, Fionna (a childhood friend). She wanted the publishing umbrella to continue to exist for future projects after she realized that this group of women had volunteered both their expertise and personal time towards creating an enjoyable product. She felt the spirit of collaboration was such an important thing to capture during a global crisis coupled with a lull in the job market, that it was imperative to recreate a similar experience for other professional women groups in the future.
After the first “quaran-zine” was published, and the editorial team (the majority of whom were busy working moms) disbanded, leaving the original zine title open for a reunion down the road, Jessica spent the rest of her unemployed days creating a new concept called “Slow + Sustain” (S+S), with a trademark applied for under It’s Work[s] Collective, Corp. In this issue, she reached out to former colleagues from corporations she had worked for in the past as well as local businesses that were navigating the pandemic by coming up with innovative solutions to stay afloat in a much-altered economic landscape. Both the participants and the magazine had to be incredibly resourceful in producing the first issue of S+S.
By the time a second issue of the Slow + Sustain concept was in development, Jessica had returned to work full-time, and a new team of creative volunteers came forward to take over editorial duties for the magazine. Jessica stayed on as the overall Concept Director (C.D.), to guide the next group in the process and ethos of Slow + Sustain. The program is made up mostly of volunteer contributors, with only a handful of key roles for paid freelancers. These key people were selected on the basis of their existing work and experience that were deemed by the magazine to be aligned with its mission. Several were introduced by past participants, some applied in open calls, while others were sought out by the C.D.
Who is this program for?
There are two levels of involvement for volunteer work: Participants and Contributors
Participants are women entrepreneurs, founders, artists and writers who want to inspire our readers by sharing their enterprising journeys in creating unique goods and services. Interviews with participants will take place over the course of three to four months, and includes working with our section editors, cohesion editor, and other participants to craft their publication story and participate in discussion panels prior to publishing. This offers participants the opportunity to network across industries and market their brands to the general public. Our publication containing participants’ articles will be available for sale at $20, as a biannual magazine containing a total of sixteen women and their brand stories. Commentary and artwork from our volunteer contributors will be interspersed within the final product. Participation is free of charge, where most print magazines would charge for advertisement, promotion, or endorsement. We don’t charge, because we believe in supporting women led businesses and supporting this cause.
Contributors are women who are interested in taking on creative roles in writing, graphic design, marketing, site design, or hacking the administrative details. These roles are recommended for people who have some portfolio work and feel confident that they will be able to represent both participants and our magazine in producing a sellable printed product at the end of a four-to six-month engagement. We are happy to take on those who are honing their skills in aspirations of landing paid work at more established organizations than ours and are willing to cross-train and support them in whatever ways we can as a team. This is a great experience for people who would like to meet local business owners and submit a content pitch about prominent small businesses that are women run, as well as engage in ethical and sustainable practices.
What do we need from you?
Volunteer-Contributors are required to submit their CV, explain their motivation for applying for the position (see below for roles) and what they wish to gain from the experience. Pitches should include visual mockups and key points that will be covered so the editorial group can place the article cohesively within the issue. Biweekly meetings with the team and regular check-ins with the Concept Director will be held throughout the collaboration period.
Cover Artist; Layout Designer; Cohesion Editor.
We believe in creating opportunities, so these roles are also appropriate for students or recent graduates seeking to expand their work experience, as well as more seasoned professionals who have been on hiatus from the workforce. The result is a published magazine and commercial product for public consumption credited to paid contributors for future client engagements. Work references and recommendations will be provided upon request at project completion.
What does the collaborative process look like?
Written Portion: Interviews, Narrative and Editing
Section editors (S.E.’s) are responsible for participant intake (think of these as clients in a real-world situation). Whether the participants are assigned to them through the magazine, or directly sourced by the S.E. — they are responsible for interviewing between three and five participants; recording the interviews in audio; transcribing (using software supplied by the magazine); editing the transcriptions; writing some narrative and introductory comments regarding their participants; providing quality photographs or illustrations for the articles; creating a mockup for layout; collaborating with the concept director and layout designer; facilitating online community events such as panel discussions to promote magazine sales. Images can come from the participants or the S.E. working on the article — if the S.E. wishes to produce her own photographic material or illustrations. The content and direction of the article should be agreed upon in the initial pitch to C.D., C.E. and layout designer to ensure all articles within the issue complement each other/adhere to the publication’s ethos.
S.E.’s will work with the Cohesion Editor (C.E.) and Concept Director (C.D.) to adjust to the overall needs of the current issue and the magazine’s overall ethos until the first submission deadline for written content when the cohesion editor will have editing rights to articles from each S.E. All volunteer work must be submitted via email to both the magazine for review by the C.D. and C.E. These will be proofread by the C.E. according to style guidelines she has prepared and communicated prior to project commencement, and inquiries to S.E.’s will be made for any clarification needed.
Suggestions for flow and order will be made in an edited long document for review with the C.D. Once the document is reviewed, it will be returned to the S.E.’s for a final review before sharing back with participants for their comments. The team will make corrections provided by participants and obtain full resolution images from the participants and caption information at this juncture, prior to moving all text documents to editing software for layout. This is essentially a cross-proofing practice, meaning there are multiple layers of proofreading that should occur in order for the text to be readable for most.
Visual Portion: Graphics and Social Media/Marketing
The C.D. is responsible for bringing on contributors and participants and will work with design candidates on creating visual material that caters to the needs of the group at large. A direction will be given at the start of project commencement based on the current issue’s list of confirmed participants. S.E.’s are encouraged to collaborate with the layout designer, explaining the thematic direction of their sections and providing aesthetic layout examples for inspiration. Since the organization is a young one and does not have a large subscriber base yet, it does not have the luxury of requesting submissions from the public. The chosen cover artist candidate will be asked to produce three line-art options and three full color options based on the selected line-art. The result will need to be vectorized for reuse throughout the magazine’s layout and marketing to drive home the current issue’s visual identity.
Final layout will go through a similar editing process to the written portion, except that all editors will need to have their eyes on the layout and images in addition to plain text. The goal is to present a pleasant, sellable end product that participants will want to keep and share with their vendors, clients and prospects in the course of their entrepreneurial endeavors. The contributing team should be motivated to create an end product they can be proud of as a portfolio piece. After producing the current issue, contributors and participants will have expanded their network and may wish to collaborate on other projects outside of this magazine. This is also a good way for small business owners and independent contractors to source new talent by first working with them for compatibility.
All articles must be reviewed and signed off on by participants prior to publishing bulk print copies for sale to the general public. Participants will have a preferred rate for printed magazines that does not include shipping cost. The current issue’s contributor team will be gifted copies by the magazine for their efforts in helping to put together the magazine.
How much time will these activities take?
Set aside between one to two days per week for gathering content, editing, conversations with team members and proofreading. The team meets on a biweekly basis but one-to-one meetings may take place more frequently, depending on what is needed from whom in accordance with the project timeline.
Terms & Conditions of Use
The information published and contained on this website is provided for informational and recreational purposes only. Slow + Sustain Magazine, its parent company, It’s Work[s] Collective, Corp., owners, operators, agents and volunteers (“We”) do not warrant or represent that any information placed and/or published on this website is reliable, accurate, complete, error free, verified, peer reviewed or free from defects. We make no representations or warranties whatsoever regarding such information, it is provided as is and should be used at your own risk. Additionally, We do not warrant, endorse, guarantee, assume responsibility or make any representation with regard to any information, product or service that is advertised, offered or provided by or through an third party on the website. We are not and will not be liable for the acts, errors, omissions, representations, warranties, intentional acts or negligence of such third party providers or for any personal injury, property damage, financial damage, expenses, or death resulting directly or indirectly from the engagement or use of the products or services provided by such third parties.
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