Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fashion. I hope you grow up.

I don’t think it’s a secret. I love fashion.  My love for fashion goes beyond what might be considered ordinary.  I am a collector of all things beautiful, even if they are not practical.  My 12 x 12 foot closet is filled with pieces that each have a purpose, from sequins and 6 inch Louboutins to my black studded denim jacket, ripped Levis and Steve Madden Navajo thigh high boots.  And still, I am not satisfied.  I am not a collector of clothes. I am a collector of soul inspiring fashion that expresses “who I am” on a given day.  

It’s fashion week season and I follow them dutifully and vicariously.  I may not love everything I see, but I can appreciate the artist’s imagination. I love fashion that speaks to my soul. That says  - hey, this is who I am. Deal with it.  I love fashion that speaks to me, and says, “I am yours, take me.”

Sadly, that doesn’t happen as often as I would like.  I can appreciate how difficult it must be to tap in to the psyche of women and men all over the world and create something that is soulful, artistic and beautiful.  

Here’s the thing. As a woman who is not 20, I love seeing women of experience on the runway. Women who are  . . . like me.  Women who are fierce and confident.   And let’s face it. That’s just smart, because women of a certain age are the market place.  

I am a woman of a certain age. I am a grandmother.  I do not wear elastic pants, kitten sweaters and sensible shoes.  In fact, quite the opposite, and I practice yoga and exercise 8 hours a week for the privilege of wearing high heels every day and clothes that fit.  

I would love to see a runway show that actually knows who I am, because I am your customer. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

A One Woman Publishing Show: The Entrepreneur’s Experience

Lynn Armstrong is an entrepreneur running a niche magazine about entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.  She produces SKY Magazine under her company SKY Publishers Ltd.

A professional writer with 20 years of experience in the corporate realm as a corporate planner and strategist, Lynn ventured into the entrepreneurial world first with the creation of Lynear Thinking Strategy and Communications Ltd., a practice that helps private sector companies, cooperatives and non-profits with planning, strategy and communications.

"In 2012, I was looking for a way to tell the stories of entrepreneurs in a way that would help them achieve their business goals.  I was researching various magazine models and SKY happen to literally fall from the sky. One of my clients called me one day and said he had seen SKY Magazine for sale on Kijiji. I called the number and the rest is history. I bought SKY Magazine in October 2012 and put out my first issue December 2012.”

"I am a one woman show.  I am the publisher, editor, writer, advertising executive, book keeper, distribution manager, digital editor and online manager."

"Each quarter, I produce the magazine with the help of two other entrepreneurs, Greg Huszar, photographer, and Amber Moon, designer.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished.  My competitors, by comparison, have multiple sales staff, writers, at least one editor and a quite likely financial backers.  Did I mention I am my own financial backer? The revenue from each issue is used to pay for the production, printing and distribution of the magazine."

"Being an entrepreneur is really about running a right sized business and knowing what you are willing to put at risk.  An entrepreneur needs to know how to use his or her resources in the best way possible. When I bring business owners into SKY, I am working with them to ensure their budget is best utilized on the page."

This labour of love, of visions of skies, flamingos and ducks.

This labour of love, of visions of sky, flamingos and ducks. 

I’ve got to take a little time / A little time to think things over. / Better read between the linesIn case I need it when I am older. / This mountain I must climbeels like a world upon my shoulder / Through the clouds I see light shine / It keeps me warm as life grows colder . . . 
From “I want to know what love is”, Foreigner 

Photo by Scott Goodwill / Location: Bodhi Tree Yoga, Regina, Sask.
January 2015.  The new year. A second chance.  A time of vision and intention, of clarifying the path ahead, of culling those things that no longer work, and making space for new things. 

I set out on this path three years ago with the intention to do what I love, and to love what I do, to live and work with and for purpose, and to live in freedom.  Change is in the air for SKY, as it must be for all things. Today I am thinking about the journey so far, what I have learned and what the future looks like from this vantage point of experience. 

My Intentions 

I would publish stories that are read world-wide about interesting and inspiring people who live and work in their passion. I would be an instigator of personal freedom.  I would inspire people to accept and live in their own vision, and be inspirational to others to do the same.  I would publish the book that changes the way we look at work. I would inspire a revolution of living in colour. I would paint the sky all the colours of possibility.  - Lynn Larson Armstrong

I would publish stories that are read world-wide about interesting and inspiring people who live and work in their passion.

I purchased SKY Magazine from the founding editor October 2012 to fulfill this intention. Since then I have created 10 quarterly issues from December 2012 to December 2014.  I have evolved the model from a 100% paid advertising model to an 80-20 mix of advertising and editorial.  I have expanded the magazine from print to the digital world and it is available  on line world wide through and I created a social media system comprised of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. SKY is alive and well, and its voice is growing.  We have an affiliation with Metro Living Zine in Vancouver, through a shared love of fashion, business, intelligent content and intelligent women working together as entrepreneurs.   

I would be an instigator of personal freedom.

SKY Magazine is about entrepreneurs living and working in their own vision.  Since becoming the publisher, each issue has been fully comprised of content about entrepreneurs and their businesses.  

I also became a yoga teacher in 2013. I teach with the intention of helping my students find freedom in their practice, through their body and mind.

I would inspire people to accept and live in their own vision, and be inspirational to others to do the same

In each issue, I have sponsored community based initiatives by providing space, photography, writing, print and distribution at 50% to 100% of the rate card.  Over the past issues, I have supported Heroe’s Makeover (Mother of all Makeovers), Saskatchewan Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week, Moustache Bash, Swervin Mini Indy Laps for life, Water Can, Children’s Wish Foundation, George Reed Foundation and Just Walk It Off, a cancer fundraiser.

In July 2013, I published the Karma Issue, which told the story of the cancer survivors who participated in Just Walk It Off, including Dionne Warner, eight time cancer survivor, Leah Barnard, Jodean Howie and Nicki Bayfield-Ash.  I dedicated eight out 16 pages to the story.  National Crane Services Ltd. provided a $1000 sponsorship to help tell the story of these women. SKY Publishers Ltd. and Lynear Thinking, both my own companies, absorbed the cost of the story.  This changed the way I look at the SKY Magazine, its philosophy and purpose.  From this point on, I would no longer be satisfied with producing a 100% advertorial product.  

In the fall of 2014, SKY’s cover took on an editorial purpose.  The cover story, “The Traveller’s Spirit" featured Fallon Huffman, an entrepreneur who owns Queen V Fashion House, which includes an online store and real time retail boutique in Regina, offering unique brands that inspire those who seek refuge from mundanity.  Fallon has been nominated for a Women of Distinction Award and Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur award, and she is an inspiration and a strong voice for young women interested in entrepreneurship.

The winter 2014 issue focused on the giving, and those who give of themselves. Through sponsorship I shared the stories of The Moustache Bash, a fundraiser for the Regina Prostate Assessment Centre, Dr. Roberta McKay and Mr. Elmer Brenner whose giving goes beyond the measure of money but to giving of themselves during the process, Heroe’s Makeover, featuring Becky Panter, founder of Saskatchewan Angel Dresses, and Desiiree Rattray, 2013 recipient of the Makeover, who went to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital in memory of her baby, “Iron Will” who passed away shortly after we published her story in the 2013 Summer SKY.  

I would publish the book that changes 
the way we look at work. 

After two years of writing, I published “How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond: Painting the SKY”, which outlines my entrepreneurial journey.  On December 16, 2014, the book was launched on the online bookstore at Friesen Press

Told through a metaphorical language of ducks and flamingos, poetry, business and yoga, How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond is a journey that begins with the wind to Nirvana, into the Belly of the Great Whale, through the Rain of Nails, and to the other side of entrepreneurial freedom. This is a flamingo's guide to flying with valuable insight for business leaders and those looking to change the colour of the sky in their world.

Lynn Larson Armstrong offers a unique perspective as a corporate planner and communicator in the boardrooms of large corporations over 20 years in the telling of this tale of two feathers. Lynn is an entrepreneur, living well in Regina in her own vision, and helping others live in theirs as Publisher of SKY Magazine, and owner of Lynear Thinking Strategy & Communications Ltd. Lynn is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor, and a board member for non profits in her community. Her mantra is do good things, and good things happen.

Buy it here.  

I would inspire a revolution of living in colour. 

I  would paint the sky all the colours of possibility. 

It’s time to fly.

2015’s editorial direction for SKY Magazine will continue to cast a light on the entrepreneur’s experience.  As a niche magazine serving a niche market of entrepreneurs in various industries, SKY will continue to stand out as the magazine in which to be seen and read.  
Each issue will be themed to reflect the changing seasons, and our standard will be nothing short of intelligent, honest and beautiful content, from cover to cover. 

Our intention is to grow the size of the magazine and refine the rate sheet in order to provide a bigger bang for those who participate in the creation of the magazine each quarter. 

The Editorial Calendar is being created right now. If you have an idea for a story or if you would like to book your space for 2015, contact the Publisher.

The marketing program for the book, How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond,  will be implemented in 2015 with details to follow.  Book two is already under way, with a launch date of 2016. 

See you in the air.