Starting a magazine shop
This interview first featured in the Coverage newsletter in April, 2018.
Rare Mags is a brand new magazine shop opening its doors in Stockport, England, tomorrow. How exciting! I've been following along with development of the shop on Instagram (following a successful Kickstarter campaign last month), but I wanted to find out more about how a magazine shop is realised.
I asked co-founder Martin Wilson to describe their journey...
(And check out some photos of the shop coming together, below.)
For many (many) years, I worked for Magma Books in Manchester (a brief hiatus to manage a kitchen and gain a mortgage notwithstanding), where magazines and independent publications became an important part of what a bookshop needs to be. I founded Henry Press as a printers and publishers as a way of bringing simple, beautiful and importantly accessible (read cheap, to make and buy) publications to the market.
Holly (my co-founder) in this time had trained to be a teacher, immersing herself in design technology. Then she decided that the other part of her life—cycling—needed some time, and so now that’s what she does.
Rare Mags was born as a way of making a thing we could both be part of and bring our separate skills to, and give others a space to show their work. The shop is opening this week, and the air is still thick with plywood dust. Stock is arriving from far and wide, and the effort has now shifted from a successful Kickstarter campaign to thoughts of the grand opening. Stockport is the setting for all of this, which sits close to Manchester, but with such a contrast in topography that it couldn’t feel more different.
A magazine shop is a relatively simple idea in principle, but making all the other things you do count is the challenge. Rare Mags will be hosting a varied and tight schedule of exhibitions and accompanying publications, to showcase the best publishing talent we can find. The future of the town of Stockport will be enshrined in this plan.
🛍 If you're in the Stockport or Manchester area, head on down to Rare Mags' opening event tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm!