For the next installment of our #issuusuccess series, we’re getting to know the producers of Sweet Paul Magazine — Paul Lowe and Paul Vitale. We spoke with them about how their quarterly came to be what it is today, how they developed such a strong working relationship and how issuu helps them accomplish their goals.
We are a lifestyle magazine for anyone looking to make simple, elegant meals and stylishly easy crafts for the home. We use homemade and handmade to help our readers create a one-of-a-kind style for life’s everyday occasions. Read Sweet Paul Magazine.
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Sweet Paul Magazine is shaped profoundly by Paul Lowe’s love for food and lifestyle projects, but it also helps that he and Paul Vitale together make a killer one-two punch. From a blog to a seasonal print and online magazine, Sweet Paul has emphasized the quality of its content and its partnerships over all else. For Lowe and Vitale, a lot of their success can be attributed to how issuu helps them maximize the value of their work beyond the confines of Sweet Paul’s pages.
The phrase “perfection is boring” has guided Paul Lowe, aka “Sweet Paul,” throughout his professional and personal life. He first heard the phrase as a young boy from his grandmother, after she had made a less-than-stellar cake. “It kind of resonated with me, and I kind of always took it with me,” he says. “When I started working as a stylist, I wanted the food to look like someone had made it. Way back, all the food styling was polished. Everything looked perfect and painted. But when you roast chicken, it doesn’t look perfect. It has brown spots, black spots …I wanted to actually show that.”
“We really whet people’s taste for more of the content that we have. We’ve been so happy with our issuu partnership.”
Frustrated over a lack of creative freedom in his work, Lowe began producing original content under the “Sweet Paul” moniker. Sweet Paul first launched as a blog in 2007, and then as an online magazine in 2010. Not long after, Sweet Paul the physical magazine went to print, which is also when Paul Vitale entered the picture. Vitale credits issuu as a key driver of Sweet Paul’s success, saying, “We don’t give all of the content in the issuu version, which really whets people’s taste for more of the content that we have. We’ve been so happy with our issuu partnership.”
In today’s changing publishing industry, both Lowe and Vitale emphasize the importance of offering both print and online content. “We are very lucky because we do have a strong online presence,” says Lowe. “[Starting online] worked really well for us.”
Vitale agrees, and further explains the importance of Sweet Paul’s print and online audiences. “We’re all trying to produce a more elevated version of a print magazine, and I think there is a place for that definitely,” Vitale says, “but you can’t beat the wide distribution that you can get online.”
“We are very lucky because we do have a strong online presence,” says Lowe. “[Starting online] worked really well for us.”
“Another thing about the magazine industry right now,” says Vitale, “is that we don’t see the other magazines that are doing similar work to us as competitors. We see them as people who are fighting the same fight we are, and trying to put out this beautiful, amazing content to speak to their readers.” Sweet Paul Magazine actively pursues opportunities to collaborate with other high-end, niche publications. Their advice to aspiring publishers? “If you want to do it as a passion project, there is always a way to do it yourself.” says Vitale. “Partner with companies like issuu, and build great relationships — you will make it work.”
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