Ashleigh Grogan

Ashley Grogan

 

Business: Young Vagabond

Age: 24

State: Victoria

 

Frustrated with the way young women are represented in the media, Ashleigh Grogan and friend Haylee Collins decided to do something about it – they created their own magazine.

 

Young Vagabond was launched in November last year on the back of a crowdfunding campaign and the pair are now putting together their third edition.

 

“When you look at all media – TV, movies, advertising, magazines, newspapers – women are under-represented or, more often than not, sexually objectified,” Grogan says.

 

As an example, she describes browsing through a book of 100 comic book covers which featured only two superwomen, “who were in trouble”, and others that featured women had their clothes ripped and needed rescuing.

 

“That negatively influences them (young women),” Grogan says.

 

She says Young Vagabond positively influences and empowers young women by encouraging them to pursue their passions irrespective of whether it’s considered “cool” or “sexy”, and by introducing dialogue around issues that are considered taboo and topics that are just plain ignored by mainstream magazines.

 

“We feature role models worthy of admiration and celebrate the achievements of women across all industries,” she says.

 

While launching a physical magazine may at first blush appear counter intuitive at a time when print media is losing market share to online publications, Grogan says they decided to take a piece of media that traditionally disempowered young woman and turn it into something positive.

 

She also says that surveys also show that over 60% of teenage girls in Australia aged 15-19 still read magazines.

 

Their first edition was published after raising $18,000 and 15,000 copies were distributed around Australia through Body Shop stores.

 

For the second edition they decided to drop the arrangement with the Body Shop so the magazine didn’t develop a corporate image.

 

Grogan says school libraries are now buying the magazine, which is also available in an online format as well as hard copy. They can be ordered through the website.

 

She says they also have plans to expand the business into events such as talks at schools, clothing and its presence online.

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