Saying Goodbye to 303 Magazine
After two years of being a fashion writer for 303 Magazine, I watched my final article, a style piece about a pair of newlyweds running a horror blog in Denver, go live last month. More than anything, I was watching a chapter close. It felt a bit surreal, bittersweet, but it felt right. Beyond the weight that comes with the phrase "I'm a writer for 303 Magazine", or the awesome realization that a press pass might as well be a magic key that gives you access everywhere, the local publication has played an important role in the fashion career I've decided to pursue.
One thing you should know about me is that I'm fearless. I might not have all the answers, I might not always know what the hell I'm doing, but I'll be damned if I let fear hold me back. I remember I read over the Careers tab at 303 Magazine's website around October 2015, mentally checking off all the qualifications I didn't meet. I was on a computer at the teller line at Chase Bank, taking advantage of a slow hour to google anything related to Denver fashion. I wrote down the editor's email, decided to apply, and gathered some writing samples from an early blog I'd had (as I didn't have any published samples to send over). I was nervous but hopeful, and I pressed SEND.
A month went by and I'd heard nothing.
Was I surprised? Not really but I decided to try again. By now mid-November, I edited my email message until it sounded as professional as it could, and I polished my writing samples before hitting SEND again. When I was in college, the most popular question after "What's your major?" was "What do you want to do with said major?" and one of my constant answers was "Well, I want to write fiction but I also want to write for a magazine." I knew that writing for 303 would be a good foot in the door. I said a silent prayer and hoped for the best.
A month went by, and ZILCH. Nothing. I made my peace with it and was content that I had, at least, tried. I looked for other ways to get into Denver's fashion scene and found a monthly blogging opportunity with Denver Style Magazine at the beginning of December. What's that one saying? "There are no small parts, only small actors"? I was determined to make the most of the blogging stint and remember I wrote my first piece on what would become one of my favorite local brands, Ruckus Apparel, and on one of the people that would become my inspirations, Josh Schmitz. Looking back, it had FIRST PIECE written all over it but I was nothing short of excited.
Then, as the year was about to end, I got a reply from 303 Magazine.
The editor told me they were taking on new interns for January and that it could lead to a position as staff writer after a few months. I, of course, accepted. I remember meeting the new interns at a bar named Finn's Manor, and I met one of the people that would become my "fashion ride or die" (as we call each other), Joce Blake. "I just moved here from Memphis," she told me when I introduced myself.
I was simultaneously pursuing wardrobe styling outside of the magazine and I began to do double duty as I wrote about Denver's fashion community but also built my styling portfolio. Days where I'd pull clothes for a photo shoot, put the styling together, and then drive across town to interview the latest subject of my article became routine. Any time my editor, Brittany Werges, suggested a piece or an idea, I took it on as a personal challenge to see if I could get it done, and I would. In the fall of 2016 both of these journeys began to collide when I styled my first lookbook for 303, a guide on How to Wear All Black Better.
Writing and styling for 303 Magazine would open doors and give me a platform to display my work as time went on. I got to dress Denver Bronco Chris Harris Jr. for an article written about him, I got to get a first look at Star Wars and The Power of Costume and learn how much wardrobe can drive a narrative, I got to meet the man that made custom boots for Netflix's The Get Down and listen him talk about embracing failure because it teaches you something new. As I wrote the stories of all these amazing locals, they got to hear my own story as well. Even if they don't know you that well, they're glad to hear of someone who's putting in the work to make their dreams come true. Halfway through that journey, I remembered that I told my peers in college that I wanted to write for a magazine. And that's exactly what I was doing.
As I fixate my eyes on the big picture, on the big dream of climbing to the top with fashion styling, I sometimes forget to acknowledge the milestones that make up this journey. I started out as an intern and became a staff writer, combined with my styling outside of the publication I was able to make a name for myself in Denver.
If there's anything you take away from reading about my time at 303 Magazine, it's that you can't make stuff happen if you don't try to go for it. I think it's better to face rejection than to question what could have been. Also, take what you've been given and make the most of it. Success is ultimately the product of your work. Lastly, remember to be thankful for every opportunity that you get.
As for me, I can only be thankful that one of my aspirations came to be. Now, on to what's next.
Leather Jacket- FashioNation / Grey Button Down- Thrift/ Distressed Jeans- Guess/ Metallic Shoes- ASOS / Socks- Urban Outfitters
Photos by Noah Berg