So, we’ve been writing about some great media sources like SLiNK and “Plus This! The Show.” So, we thought we’d catch up with Shannon Svingen-Jones, the founder of FabUplus! Shannon’s mission to “find others who were like [her],” led her to communities of “beautiful, funny, fit, healthy plus size women!” Like Bold Magazine’s founders, she decided to create an outlet for them. Hooray!
Shannon’s “journey to self-love and body acceptance is far from over,” she says. And she invites us to take the journey with her! We linked up with Shannon a few years ago when she began and we’re so proud of the journey she’s been on. So, let’s get into the goods on her and her magazine!
Bold Magazine: We read your story on your “about us” page. Can you tell us where your journey has led you lately?
Shannon: My journey is always leading me to try new things, things that I have not tried before because of my size. In fact, this past spring (2016), competed in my first Triathlon this spring and it was an amazing experience. I hope that through FabUplus I can inspire and encourage other people to also step out of their comfort zone – which is more like a dis-comfort zone! – and embrace who they are today, whatever their size. I know that producing and publishing the magazine helps me to do that and I believe it will help my readers do it too.
Bold Magazine: That is so awesome! Tell us about your giving back campaign!
Shannon: We are serving a demographic of women who have traditionally been ignored by mainstream media – and, quite often by retailers who advertise in mainstream media. With FabUplus, for the first time in many women’s lives, they are finally able to relate to a magazine, not only with the diverse body shapes and sizes that we use in our photos, but also with the content.
Our curves section addresses body issues that women of size can relate to. We want to give women back their confidence and with that in mind, we have created a private safe FabUplus Facebook group (LINK https://www.facebook.com/groups/560913257424116/). Here, women can discuss the information in the magazine, share their stories and hear the stories of other women’s struggles – and successes- with body acceptance. We want to help our readers, our community, to improve their self-esteem and gain confidence in who they are as individuals, to learn how to judge themselves for the remarkable human beings they are, rather than by their body size
Bold Magazine: Love it, Shannon! So, where is your magazine distributed?
Shannon: FabUplus is distributed all throughout North America. In Canada, at Chapters, Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway and Overweitea Food Stores. In the US at Barnes & Noble and Books a Million. You can also get a digital copy HERE http://www.fabuplusmagazine.com/#!subscribe/b293s. We even have our subscribers coming from as far away as Australia and the UK!
Bold Magazine: This is a big undertaking! Tell us the story of how you got your magazine underway!
Shannon: It was a huge learning curve, especially because there really isn’t a role model magazine that focuses on the plus sized community. I spent much a huge amount of time and effort researching. I needed to know what potential readers wanted to see in a body positive magazine. Originally, FabUplus was set to be a digital magazine, but after surveying members of the plus sized community, they all wanted to see it in print. I believe it is important to listen to what they were saying, they have felt unheard for so long and it’s time someone paid attention to this incredible community, so I then made the decision to print the magazine as well as make it available in a digital edition, and I am so glad that I did!
Bold Magazine: Okay, we have a good one for you…. Who has been your best interviewee so far?
Shannon: This is such a hard question! I have met so many amazing people with so many heartwarming stories, and I am sure that there will be many more to come. Everyone I have interviewed has been a “favorite” because everyone has been so uniquely different and they have come to the interview with so much share.
Bold Magazine: Okay, we’ll let you slide on that one! So, what’s the response to the magazine been like so far?
Shannon: The response to FabUplus has greatly exceeded my expectations! In the first five days after our launch, we had sold out of several Barnes & Nobel stores in the US – and that felt amazing. The emails continue to come in from my readers telling me how much they love this magazine and how they feel so emotionally connected to the content that I am providing, that I am really touching them on a level that they never imagined that a magazine could. And – one of the things I am hearing from my readers is how much they like the ads in the magazine as well, they are excited to see clothing in the ads that will fit them, that they can go and buy right away. The entire process of our first issue being out there for people to read has been an incredibly, positive experience.
Bold Magazine: So you’re in print. You’re online! What’s next?
Shannon: We have many exciting plans for the future of FabUplus Magazine.. you will just have to keep your eyes peeled to our social media for some interesting announcements. I can tell you that we are hitting the road and heading to Toronto on July 15th thru 17thfor the Fuller Woman Expo and have plans to be in Atlanta for the Curvy Fashionista Expo in August, but there is so much more happening and it’s all because the plus sized community has embraced FabUplus and our approach to living a fabulous life, no matter what your size!
Bold Magazine: Yes! What’s the message you’d like all of our readers to know?
Shannon: Live your best life now, not 50 pounds from now. You only have one shot at life, make it count, regardless of your size.
Bold Magazine: What is your role in the magazine? Obviously you can’t do it all!
Shannon: You are right there, I can’t do it all! I have had the support of some amazing contributing writers, and a wonderful Art Director that does the layout of the magazine. It has been a collaborative effort.
Bold Magazine: Lastly, Shannon, what makes you BOLD?
Shannon: My passion for living my best life now and my positive attitude – and my commitment to sharing that with others in the plus sized community.
There you have it! We’re all about rising stars in the plus community and Shannon definitely is one!