Erica Willick – Co Founder of Gorgo Magazine – Photo used with permission from Erica Willick
Excite to share with you my recent interview with Erica Willick, the co-founder of Gorgo Magazine about the formation of the magazine, their unique approach to publishing and what they look for in modeling talents.
James Patrick: What was your background prior to the launching of Gorgo Magazine?
Erica Willick: (Laughing) Corporate finance for 10 years. Fire ignited by fitness.
JP: What inspired the launch of the magazine?
EW: Gorgo co-founder Val Solomon and I created Gorgo out of our own dissatisfaction with the fitness magazine content and imagery.
We craved more than hoola-hoop workouts and surface level content.
The images also didn’t fit us as we strived to embrace our everyday fit that is not stage lean or airbrushed.
JP: Discuss your multi-phase strategy for Gorgo from going to online only to eventually printed issues.
EW: The print industry is in major flux. Head out to any airport or coffee shop and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone holding a print magazine. Everyone’s faces and attention are on their devices. Print is certainly not dead but it’s not the only option now for distributing content and powerful images in magazine format.
So in the first phase of Gorgo, we started exclusively online to establish our brand and evolve our offering based on what our community craved. Now just one year into its existence Gorgo has developed a character, more powerful than our first vision of her. Many of our subscribers are using Gorgo as a verb, noun and adjective. “That’s so Gorgo!” or “Be Gorgo” or “I am a Gorgo Girl” is used by women now.
The next phase of Gorgo is fully underway and we can’t wait to reveal where we’re going to take health & fitness content next. I expect our Gorgo Girls will be thrilled when we roll out this phase in the late spring.
Gorgo Magazine Photographed by James Patrick
JP: Gorgo has a unique approach to publishing without advertising. What was the decision behind this and how do you make this possible?
EW: Print cost is prohibitive unless you are funded by advertisers and we wanted to create something that didn’t need to cater to a funding source because we created Gorgo for one purpose – to give everyday fit women a voice and to inspire her to find her true strength.
Now with the traction of the subscriber funded online magazine we are able to put out a print edition this spring. The content in the print edition is better than anything out there because we cater to no one but our subscribers. The images are powerful and raw and real because we don’t have to sell (out) to pop culture.
JP: Could you share with us what you look for in modeling talents for the magazine?
EW: You’re “Gorgo” in what you do. You support other women in their fitness journey, you have depth to your actions which means not endlessly posting selfies of you, your abs, your ass, and you have a balance and love for real health and fitness.
JP: You no doubt receive a lot of pitches from models wanting to work with the publication, how do you handle and sort through these?
EW: We’re really busy so the pitch needs to stand out to be taken seriously. One glance at photos or words that don’t fit our magazine’s brand and mission & we’ve hit the delete button. Well… we typically acknowledge because we’re respectful, but we don’t pursue.
JP: What do you find works in a model’s pitch and what do you find does not work?
EW: The strongest pitches from models come when they have something more to offer than some photos. Don’t pitch me random photos. Pitch me solutions. Ideas are shit. Everyone’s got them. The question is, can you execute? It doesn’t just have to be articles, though we always use photos of the writer if they have them. Where is this industry’s creativity? Think out of the box. I’m surprised no model has sent us images of herself with some inspirational Gorgo-esque words on them to be shared on our social medias – with the Gorgo logo on them. Or a video blog that rocks and is Gorgo editorial. Or…or…or…
JP: Are there any specific no no’s models should know about before pitching to a fitness magazine such as yours?
I figure if you’ve done your research by reading our articles and looked at our covers you’d know not to submit in photos of yourself in sexy poses or outfits. Too many clearly don’t understand that or couldn’t be bothered to take 15 minutes to check us out in depth before submitting. So in return I don’t take more than 10 seconds to hit delete.
JP: What, to you, represents the ideal cover model?
EW: Her everyday fit. Strength and personality emulating from her body. Bringing others along through genuine help. Authentic.
JP: Lastly, what are the plans for Gorgo in the coming year?
EW: Next level in more ways then one.
Special thanks to Erica for joining me in this interview. Be sure to check out the Gorgo Magazine website
as well as Facebook page
. You can also follow them on Instagram @gorgomag