Hello Mr. Fallah, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. To start, may you please tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m the founder and Creative Director of Beautiful/Decay magazine and Apparel. I also exhibit my personal art work and occasionally undertake freelance design jobs.
What inspired you to start the Beautiful/Decay magazine with Jay Littleton?
Jay and I were bored kids in the suburbs of Virginia with not much to do. When we started Beautiful/Decay, it was just a small black and white zine that we made to pass the time and connect with other artists around the D.C. area. I stopped making the zine after a few issues and Jay and I went our separate ways to college. During my last year of college, I restarted Beautiful/Decay as a full color magazine.
After the first 2 issues I met my current business partners Ben Osher and Fubz. They both had a zine called Manifest in the Baltimore area. They first came on to help with advertising and marketing. After a few more issues, I made them my partners and we have been running the magazine together ever since.
When did the magazine first come out and what was it like?
It was hard and confusing. I had no idea what I was doing. I made lots of mistakes early on and learned valuable lessons from them. Trial and error has been a constant with Beautiful/Decay. Luckily, in the last few years, we have been fortunate to undertake projects that have helped move the magazine in new and exciting directions.
How has the magazine grown?
The magazine has grown very organically. It has been a steady climb to the top. Each year we set goals for ourselves and continually meet them. Since we donâ€™t have a backer, rich parents, or a trust fund, the magazine has had to move at a very nice natural pace that has made for a strong foundation.
What type of content do you publish within the magazine?
The magazine is an art and design publication geared toward young, trendsetting creatives in the art, design, fashion, and music world. We donâ€™t discriminate between various genres. Instead, we pick and choose the best and brightest creative minds to feature in each issue.
Can you tell us about the Beautiful/Decay apparel line?
Beautiful/Decay Apparel is one of our biggest priorities currently. It started with only 4 shirts and in less than a year and a half has turned into over 60+ styles of apparel. Iâ€™m still amazed at the sudden popularity of the line. We went from only being sold on our online shop to selling to over 200 shops in a matter of weeks.
What else have you done with Beautiful/Decay?
We have just re-launched our website with hundreds of new functions. You can now read interviews and features with some of the best artists and designers, research thousands of galleries in our international gallery guide, post your own links and events in our public feed and events section, and shop on our large online shop that is dedicated to artist run apparel lines as well as our own Beautiful/Decay products. The site is truly dynamic and I urge everyone to log on and start using all the new artist resources that we have developed.
We also have a great weekly email blast that features art exhibit reviews, artist features, videos, and product highlights. You can sign up for it on our homepage at www.beautifudecay.com.
Do you remember any particularly memorable moments in the history of the magazine?
I think every time we have a new issue come out itâ€™s a memorable moment. I still sit around and wonder how my tiny little black and white zine has tuned into a multi-faceted business. Itâ€™s really an honor to be able to do what you love and to have loyal readers around the world.
What are your future goals for the magazine?
Our future goals are to keep expanding and improving all aspects of our business. The magazine will continue to grow and flourish, the apparel line will keep expanding and our website will continue to be a leading art portal on the net.
Do you have any favorite artists or designers?
I have hundreds of artists and designers that I admire. There are simply too many to list but if you want to see a great selection just go to the beautifuldecay.com website and look at our blog. Everyday I post new artists that inspire us.
Can you recommend any useful resources such as websites or books?
Some of my favorite sites are www.vvork.com and artnet.com. I also loved the book Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines fame. It’s a great story for all entrepreneurs.
Do you have any advice for artists or fellow entrepreneurs looking to start their own magazine?
The best advice I can give anyone is to simply work hard, have a clear vision, and stay true to what you do. So many people talk the talk but very few actually follow through with their ideas. I really believe that 90% of success is hard work and only 10% is talent.
That wraps this up. We want to thank Amir Fallah and encourage you all to check out his magazine and website.
Amir Fallah www.beautifuldecay.com