Meet the brains behind Founded Magazine! We are so excited to feature these creative and inspirational women on the blog today. Founded is an online magazine that is providing a guide to living an authentic and fulfilled life - where purpose meets passion. They cover topics ranging from career to wellness to relationships and community; that promote vulnerability in relationships, mindfulness in your days, and meaning in your work.
Our communities collided on the little app that started it all and after chatting with Avery Johnson, the Editor-and-Chief, and Sarah Furman, Creative Director we knew that Be Bona Fide and Founded Magazine shared the same passion: igniting genuine and authentic relationships on and offline. Without further ado let's get real with Founded Magazine...
You, in a few sentences:
AJ Hi! I’m Avery. I’m a weekend adventure-chasing creative type fueled by black coffee, fresh air, and spin class. I currently call sunny San Diego home as I can’t seem to get enough of the ocean. I am a digital coordinator at a boutique PR agency, and a freelance writer and a spin instructor on the side. I am also the co-founder and Editor in Chief of Founded Magazine.
SM Hi, my name is Sarah! I am a newlywed, redheaded Midwestern girl who loves all things creative and pretty. I’m a sucker for anything well-designed. As an introvert, I love my alone time but above all I love people and getting to know each person’s story. Long conversations over coffee is one of my favorite things to do, besides reading and eating donuts (of course).
What is the story behind your passion project/what you do daily (Founded Mag)
AJ Growing up and into college, I struggling with body image and disordered eating for ten years. Being a part of a strong, caring community who could dive into the tough stuff with me is what brought me through recovery. After that I noticed a need for honest conversation and a little more authenticity in many of my relationships and saw how it played out online. It is too easy to edit yourself these days and put on a happy face-- but true connection, healing, and growth happens in the nitty-gritty details. There is such power in sharing your story. I wanted to make a space for that. Founded is a way to build community and encourage one another while we share life with one another.
SM For the last few years, I have been doing some serious self-discovery. I happened upon The Yellow Conference in the summer of 2014 in the midst of all of this. It was through Yellow that I met Avery, my co-founder. During the course of our few days together we bonded and started chatting about a similar dream we had of creating a place where we can encourage vulnerability and authenticity; a place where women are not afraid to share the deep parts of their life in hopes of encourage others to do the same, and to push through similar obstacles in life. Being open and honest about and letting people see the “real” me has been one of my biggest struggles in life, which is why I want so deeply to encourage women to do the same. I’ve had a long time dream of finding a way to share stories of lives--pain, love, hurt, joy, fear, overcoming--real, authentic lives. It was a few months later that Avery emailed me with her dream of starting a magazine to do just that, and that is where Founded Magazine began.
AJ I recently switched from freelancing to working full-time. I typically wake up between 5:30 and 6am and try to squeeze in a workout (Pilates or Spin). Then I take my time eating breakfast. I love sitting with my coffee, avocado toast, and whatever book or magazine I am reading at the moment. (I love Sunset and Fast Company right now!) or working on Founded. Then I head into work around 8am where I work with brands on growing their online presence through social media and community management. After I clock out at five I head to the studio. I teach spin class 4 times a week and love the energy and inspiration in that space! Afterward it is either dinner with friends or cooking back at home before working on Founded, my blog, or other freelance projects. Sleep is immensely valuable to me, so it is lights out around 10 or so (I try try try for 8 hours of sleep!) and wake up to do it all again!
SM I definitely don’t have a steady daily routine right now because, being a newlywed of about a month, I’m still getting used to living with a man! I like being up early. I have a “9-5” job to pay those bills so I usually get up a few hours before I have to be in, usually around 6am. I make my coffee, have a little quiet time and bum around a bit, then start getting ready for the day (ahem, still working on getting back in a workout schedule post-honeymoon.. that hasn’t been easy!). Then it’s off to work for the day. It feels like our week is pretty jam-packed each night with friends, small group, finding time to spend with the hubby, and keeping the apartment in shape! We’re working on finding a balance right now, but I’m doing my best to manage time and energy to fit in alone time (which as an introvert is a necessity!) and plenty of time to work on Founded and keep myself inspired. Weekends are for coffee shops, naps, adventures, church, and keeping myself sane!
What tool/app/item in your life can you NOT live without?
AJ My planner! I am a pen and paper kind of girl, so I am all about the notebook agenda. I am currently obsessed with my Day Designer. Not only does it have plenty of space to plan out my days and my to-dos, it has amazing goal setting worksheets in the front.
SM My journal. It’s how I process EVERYTHING! I would be completely lost without it.
What does “living authentically” mean to you?
AJ To me, living authentically means embracing every piece of myself and my story- even the broken pieces. It means challenging myself to live out my values daily. It means being true in my relationships, open + vulnerable with my trusted circle, and there with my tribe through the ups and the downs.
SM Being true to who you are and who you want to be. I have spent too much time being worried about and acting out of what others think of me, and of WHAT I want to do in life rather than WHO I want to be in life. When I started exploring who I want to be, I realized that a lot of what I was doing on a daily basis wasn’t being true to that and was instead trying to be someone I ultimately wasn’t. To me, living authentically is first exploring the person that you want to be, and once you understand that, make decisions based on that person instead of making decisions based on what other people are doing or on a title you are working towards, gaining more followers, etc, and not being afraid to say something that might turn someone away from you.
If you were a song, what would you be:
AJ Hmmm. My favorite song changes weekly… but if I had to BE one, it is definitely New Romantics by Taylor Swift. I think she captures this 20-something life stage beautifully-- all about being free, exploring who we are, and just enjoying life and all the ups & downs that comes with it! And I just love Tay.
SM This IS a hard one! Simply because I’m absolutely obsessed with Kings of Leon, I have to go with one of their songs, Wait For Me. I understand it as a song about learning to take life as it comes, about healing, and about being okay with who you are.
How do you recharge + renew?
AJ While I love living in community, I recharge alone. I love curling up with a good book and a glass of wine in my room, or heading to the beach for a swim and nap on the sand. I also love Pilates or hitting spin class to push my limits, sweat it out, and soak up some endorphins!
SM Getting away and having some alone time usually does it for me. Journaling, praying, or just relaxing and listening to music on a beautiful day always makes me happy.
What is your favorite source of influence/inspiration?
AJ I’m with Sarah on this one-- blogs and reading! If I am in a rut in my own writing, I always read other writers I admire. Hannah Brencher is my go-to. She keeps it real and has a way with words that will make your heart flip-flop. I also love reading non-fiction. I just started “Creativity, INC” by Ed Catmull, the founder of Pixar. I’m excited already-- SO many good ideas for business and life in there.
SM Podcasts, blogs, and reading. I love reading! RIght now I’m reading “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson. It’s definitely inspiring me to live a life of taking risks instead of finding the easy way out, and to not “pray” obstacles away but to lean into them and grow from them.
One change you’d like to see in your lifetime: (big or small)
AJ It would be amazing to see a world where everyone was just a bit nicer to one another. It breaks my heart to scroll through blog or social media comments and see SO MUCH negativity in there- people ripping one another apart. It is disgusting. It’s not just online though- we move through our days sometimes like other people are just in the way- on the freeways, at the stoplights, in line at the grocery store. But what if we remembered these are souls, living breathing people with stories and hopes and dreams just like us. Ah that would be a beautiful thing.
SM More self-confidence. For myself, especially, but also for anyone and everyone else. We are so hard on ourselves and on each other. I want to be able to love myself and be confident in who I am, and I want that for everyone else. I think our society would be such a beautiful place if we all believed in ourselves.
Your biggest flaw:
AJ I have a hard time knowing I am not “right” all the time. As the oldest sister and a natural born leader, it can be hard to sometimes humble myself, receive feedback, and make necessary changes at work and in my relationships. I want to know it all and be a boss- but that space can be a dangerous one when I start to think I am at the center of everything… I have to constantly remind myself it is not always about me and to take feedback and direction with humility and grace.
SM I think I summed that one up in the last question. My entire life has been a struggle of accepting myself. For so long, I never thought I would amount to anything or have the ability to live out my dreams. I am finally working myself through that, which I think will be a lifelong process. I still have a hard time with it but I just have to remind myself that it is not true!
Do you believe social media has affected our society? In which way?
AJ Social media has transformed the way we communicate. My job right now would simply not exist without social media! But from a relational standpoint, I have connected with so many incredible women and entrepreneurs online that I never would’ve known. I made true, real-life friends that began on Twitter and Instagram connections, including Sarah, my co-founder! On the flip side, social media gives us a way to edit our lives and in a way, disengage with those around us. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the lives others are living out online and start to feel lonelier than ever. That’s why I love Bonafide, and what we are doing on Founded. We want to paint a real picture that goes beyond the filters, edits, and likes. Sure, share your life online, but don’t forget to truly LIVE each present moment.
SM Absolutely! It has it’s pros and cons. It has created constant comparison and a need for instant everything. I think it is a big contributor to our generation’s self-esteem issues. But, I think there are a lot of people who are fighting against that and trying to use it for good. I only follow people who are positive, and I try to only post positive things to try to encourage that. It has also opened up our world so greatly! Founded Magazine started because I heard of Yellow Conference through social media, and then Avery and I actually first connected over Instagram before we even met at the conference. None of you would even know I existed if it weren’t for social media!
Our communities share the same passion in creating a more realistic representation of ourselves and strive to start real conversations on social media. We want you to join in on the conversation about authenticity on social media THIS THURSDAY as we team up with Founded and co-host our very first Twitter Chat! We will be getting really real and want to hear from you!