Tulsa Business Journal: Tell us a little bit about your business. When did/will you start it? Why? What is the overall mission of your business?
TulsaPets Magazine: TulsaPets Magazine is a local publication, founded by Marilyn King, focusing on our pet community. The first issue published in January 2007.
My magazine’s primary missions are to provide pertinent information for our local pets and to create an awareness of local animal issues such as overpopulation, abuse, cruelty, and the importance of spaying and neutering. Responsible pet ownership is another key focus.
TBJ: What is your background? What made you interested in starting this particular business?
TPM: My background is in trade publishing. I have more than 25 years of experience in publishing and spent most of that time at PennWell Corporation in a variety of capacities, the last 12 in advertising sales. I have combined my experience and love of publishing with my love of animals.
TBJ: What triggered your idea for your business concept?
TPM: The idea for the magazine came to me because of my background and love of pets. I wanted to start my own publication and believed in my mission.
TBJ: Have you started a business before?
TPM: I have never before started my own business.
TBJ: What was/is your goal when you started your business? How has it changed (if it has)?
TPM: My goal was to create a forum for local pet issues, such as human interest, behavior, training, etc., for our pet community and also to promote rescue and adoption at local rescue groups and shelters, which are at overcapacity.
I want to let people know they can get a great dog from a rescue group or a shelter. I want to stress the importance to save a life and adopt a pet.
TBJ: How are you funding your business?
TPM: Advertising funds the magazine. I have also created a niche market to enable the local pet businesses to advertise effectively to their customers/audience.
TBJ: Have revenues been what you expected and/or hoped?
TPM: Revenues are on target with my projections and each issue is growing. I am adding a fifth issue in 2009.
TBJ: Where would you like to take your business in the next year?
TPM: My goal is to take TulsaPets Magazine to a six time per year publication.
TBJ: In the next five years?
TPM: My goal in the next five years is to continue providing the Tulsa pet community with an informative publication for our companion animals and to possibly expand to a few other cities.
TBJ: What is your most memorable business success? Failure? What did you learn?
TPM: My most memorable business success was obtaining advertising commitments from my advertisers. And getting positive feedback. There have been some bumps in the road but nothing that has discouraged my mission.
TBJ: What do you hope to gain from participating in the Spirit Award?
TPM: I hope to gain more experience in running my business from participating in the Spirit Award and learning what others are doing to make their ideas a success. I would also hope that any publicity my magazine gains from the Spirit Award participation will create awareness for our local pet community.