When you have an idea for a business that you just can’t shake, sometimes you just have to dive in head first without ever looking back. I mean, why waste time focusing on the things you lack when you can utilize that time to build your vision through your strengths — because, honestly, what’s a better time to start your journey than right now? Well, at least that’s what today’s Boss Babe ended up doing. She didn’t know where her company was going to take her, but she knew it was going to be the start of something great.
Sophie Macks is the creative genius behind everyone’s fashion-forward Instagram account, Beyond The Mag. Within the span of three years, she completely transformed Instagram’s space by creating beautifully intricate editorials through over-the-top imagery and storytelling. While there were challenges and obstacles along the way, Macks always knew to trust her gut and follow her aesthetic and creative vision to help build Beyond The Mag into the fashion/editorial business we adore today (I mean, hello, she does have 101k followers for a reason). Meet the creatively beautiful, Sophie Macks.
New York City
NYC bar for a girls’ night out:
We love to mix in game nights so Ludlow House — plenty of comfy seating areas and top-notched cocktails.
Go-to spot to easily get inspired:
The shower! No joke. I also find a good trail ride inspiring.
Best way to chill after a long day at the office:
Assume horizontal position as soon as possible and watch an amazing documentary.
Favorite childhood dish:
My Nana’s spaghetti and Swedish meatballs.
Fashion designer you could always wear:
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came up with Beyond The Mag:
I literally woke up one morning during 2014 holiday break right around New Year’s, made the Instagram handle, wouldn’t tell my family or anyone what I was doing, and worked on it constantly 24/7 for the next few months — during which I remained completely anonymous. I always knew I would have my own business since the time I drew a “contract” with crayons in pre-school. I was so passionate and enthralled by what I discovered each day in the digital space and how I could make it work for what I wanted to achieve. BTM is always evolving and has many components, but ultimately I describe it as a multi-functional creative platform which fosters content creation, curation, and international collaboration through my vision, voice, and presence/lack of presence.
We currently love your recent feature with ROBERTO CAVALLI. How did that collab come about and what was the story you were trying to convey through your stunning editorial imagery?
Thank you! I’m so happy you love it. Roberto Cavalli wanted to partner for the first time with digital influencers to create original imagery & conversation around their beautiful Spring & Resort 2017 collections. Through my series of three, I wanted to convey a story of “unconventional spring” so to speak and bring the clothing to life via specific composition, perspective, and elements associated with spring, like florals, into a somewhat contrasting and surrealist environment. I was super lucky to have such an incredibly talented team on board.
How do you choose to define success?
Quite subjective, but I define “success” as an overall state of homeostasis and exponential growth/results from doing something you genuinely love.
What would you say was the most challenging experience when trying to make Beyond The Mag a profitable business? How did you figure out to overcome that obstacle?
There are always new challenges and obstacles, but at the beginning, I think it was really about 1) Monetizing most efficiently given how much time and resources are utilized for every BTM image series or piece of content —– figuring out opportunity cost in a brand new industry with no rule book or guidelines. 2) Monetizing at a value consistent with the level of quality created and platform presented upon.
Long explanation short: taking extra time to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with individuals, brands, creative talent, audience, etc. presented solutions.
As someone who seems to have their shit together when it comes to their brand, what advice would you give someone who’s looking to create their own brand/identity?
To remember exactly that: “their OWN brand/identity.” There are so many people who are experts at being “experts” and convincing you they know better, and while sometimes they do in finite areas, you’re the only one who can make your brand stick. Remember, technically speaking, there has never been a brand in existence identical to yours. You make the rules.
The way you perceive the world is truly mesmerizing and stunning. How long did it take you to find your creative aesthetic and how did you learn to trust yourself when it came to creating content you knew you wanted to make?
That’s very kind! Well for better or for worse, that existed from the get-go. While my aesthetic has certainly developed and evolved, I was always sure of what spoke to me and what didn’t. So while I lack in MANY other areas and have enough shortcomings to sink a battleship (seriously, like how much time to you have? Lol), making decisions and trusting my instincts, thankfully, isn’t among them. It did take a while before I was comfortable labeling myself as a “Creative Director.” I never threw that title around loosely due to the definition and knowledge of what a real CD meant thanks to my previous occupation — I didn’t see myself in that category or think I had any right to it. I’m still stingy about it, but I’m more comfortable with the idea of different genres and ranges of CD’s.
If you could collab with anyone, past or present, who would it be and what would it entail? Photographer Erik Madigan Heck, stylist Karla Welch, designer Demna Gvasalia, and beauty Empress Pat McGrath.
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
I can’t share that. 😉
Any advice for future boss babes, especially those looking to be a creative entrepreneur?
Always know what you DON’T know and ask questions. Be confident in what you DO know. Go into it in full on no-fail-mission mode.
Written by Raven Ishak
Photography via Vanessa Granda and Daniela Casado.
Hair Styling: Bumble & Bumble