LADIES WE LOVE | BRANDIE GILLIAM
Nothing thrills us more than watching women conquer obstacles and chase their dreams.
In honor of Women's History Month, we're eager to speak with Ladies We Love!
There's a certain je ne sais quoi about Brandie Gilliam that we just can't get enough of. Perhaps it's the way she balances her creativity with running a demanding business. Perhaps it's how she always strives for excellence in her work & life, and manages to make it look effortless. We were eager to find out just what it is, so we reached out to the founder of Thoughtfully Magazine.
/ BRANDIE GILLIAM
PV: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
BG: I'm the founder/editor/publisher and creative director of Thoughtfully Magazine, a women's wellness and self-care publication found at Whole Foods Market, Barnes & Noble and more. I'm passionate about living my best life from the inside out and inspiring others to do the same.
PV: You used to work in a corporate setting. What inspired you to start Thoughtfully?
BG: Leaving the corporate setting after 15 years nor starting Thoughtfully was part of "the plan." It just kind of happened. After a relocation to the Gulf Coast of Florida in August 2013 with my husband's job, I no longer had the demands of a busy corporate marketing career looming over me and longed for an outlet to create and do what I do best. It dawned on me out of frustration one day that I didn't need someone else to validate my work by carrying some title or give me permission to create if that's what I truly wanted to do. The rest is history. I set out to create and in 3-4 months, I was holding the first issue of Thoughtfully in my hands.
PV: Tell us about the aesthetic and goals of Thoughtfully. How has it evolved since its inception?
BG: My goal is to always push creatively and stretch our aesthetic limits every issue while inspiring wellness in our readers. We're a small indie mag and in many ways, I've had to operate in a "take what you can get" space. But I've been determined to make the best of every stage we've been in and maximize our limited resources. It's been amazing to watch the magazine grow and see its evolution in both our design and content. As I've become more comfortable creatively, so has the magazine and you can really see the visual progression over our last seven issues. We're nowhere near my full vision yet aesthetically and content-wise but we're well on our way and I trust that over time there will be an even closer alignment to what I ultimately envision. I'm really excited about revealing Issue 8 at the end of next month on newsstands!
/ THOUGHTFULLY MAGAZINE
PV: What skills or assets did you need to grow/learn to get Thoughtfully to where it is today? Did you ever imagine Thoughtfully would be as beloved as it is?
BG: Everything! All of Thoughtfully is done in-house so you can only imagine the skill set that has to be brought to the table to make that happen. Thoughtfully has stretched me and grown me in ways I never imagined, but mostly internally. It's been the most incredible and fulfilling project I've ever been a part of and the hardest by far. Thoughtfully has tested every single boundary and limit within myself and strengthened my capacity for so much more. I simply wanted to create something on my own terms as an outlet for my creativity and passion for thoughtful living that I could be proud of. I never intended for Thoughtfully to become a national magazine and to become one so fast. I feel blessed, thankful and extremely humbled to get to be a part of and at the helm of Thoughtfully.
PV: You regularly contribute as a writer to your magazine, in addition to being Editor-in-Chief/Creative Director. How do you decide what to get involved in? How do you balance being a creator and editor and the same time?
BG: When you're a small business owner, you have to know how to be resourceful and wear a lot of hats. My current title doesn't even give justice to my daily role with the magazine, as I'm involved in and manage everything. My decisions right now are made out of necessity and what I believe will drive the highest quality content each issue from what we have available to us at the time. It's imperative that I roll up my sleeves in every area of this publication and do whatever it takes to have a successful end-product.
PV: What has been your favorite spread, article, or issue? Why?
BG: I've enjoyed working on each of our issues for different reasons but creating our cover features with Candace Cameron Bure in Issue 5 and FullyRaw Kristina in Issue 6 have been highlights. I'm also really excited about Issue 8 (which we're working on now) and can't wait to reveal it next month! My favorite pieces are the ones that are collaborative and mutual in their energetic exchange. I'm really not interested in being someone's check box on their press list. I look at every piece as a collaboration and partnership because we really believe in the content that we're taking the time to share and write about. I've become much more confident and resolved in this outlook over the last year.
PV: What other magazines/content-creators do you aspire to or admire as being pioneering in their field?
BG: I admire the work of Lisa Messenger of the Collective Hub Magazine, Sarah Dubbeldam of Darling Magazine, Rachael and Elena Baxter of Conscious Magazine, Hugette Montesinos of DISfunkshion Magazine and Brooke Saxon-Spencer of Belong Magazine to name a few. Maranda Pleasant is also doing some awesome work with THRIVE, Mantra and Origin Magazines. Each of these women push creatively and aesthetically while remaining true and authentic to their mission. They create content that is distinct and connects with their readers, and have been pioneers in their respective categories.
/ BRANDIE AT WORK
PV: Back to you, what do you do for fun?
BG: I love spending time with my hubby (of almost 10 years this May!) and son, my sweet little Angel (a 6 yr old Lhasa Apso dog), and my friends and family. Community is so important to me. I can also listen to music for hours on end and I enjoy dancing, yoga, curling up to a good book or movie, wandering and spa time. I'll take a spa day or wellness retreat anytime!
PV: Favorite vegan beauty products? Favorite plant-based meal? Favorite pick-me-up (beauty- or food/drink-related)? Favorite vegan/plant-based restaurant? Favorite charity?
BG: One of my favorite vegan beauty brands over the years has been 100% Pure. I love jump-starting my day with a green beauty smoothie and drink a lot of GT's Kombucha. Since living in LA now, I can't get enough of Cafe Gratitude. I give and have been involved with so many wonderful charities over the years but World Vision, World Wildlife Fund, Charity Water and the Environmental Working Group immediately come to mind and are all doing incredible work.
PV: What's next for you and Thoughtfully?
BG: To create, get even more comfortable in my own skin and inspire more thoughtful living in the world. I'm on a mission to live passionately, beautifully and thoughtfully every day.
Follow Brandie and Thoughtfully on Instagram @thoughtfullymagazine, Twitter & FB @thoughtfullymag
and subscribe to the magazine here.
All Photography by Ashley Streff