Q+A: Natalia Borecka of Lone Wolf Magazine


Name, @username, craft, elevator pitch:

Natalia Borecka@nataliaborecka, I’m the Editor-in-Chief, Creative Director and Founder of Lone Wolf Magazine. We’re putting substance back into fashion and turning it into a vehicle for personal empowerment and education.

What tools and/or apps are essential to your work? 

I’m kind of like a one-person marching band—I do it all—so making sure that I’m using my time effectively becomes the greatest challenge. I've found that the only way I can be productive is when I use a timer system. I give myself a pre-specified amount of time on any one task, and I literally set a timer. This helps me make sure that I have enough time left over to do all the important stuff. One app that I couldn’t live without is Boomerang, an email manager. Boomerang is really incredible for anyone who is inundated with emails. For me the problem is that a lot of my emails take time and deliberation, even if I want to reply right away it's not always realistic to do so. But when you get so many new emails daily, any unanswered email from a few days ago often goes completely forgotten. Boomerang really solves this problem. I don't know how I ever lived without it.

Where do you like to go on a day off? 

My job is to come up with new ideas, so on my days off I gravitate toward places where new ideas live. I particularly love those shamelessly large corporate bookstores that are all three stories high with coffee shops tucked into them. You can get lost in all that amazing content. Really, if you think about it, being in a big bookstore is kind of like spending time online; you get so much information at your fingertips, but unlike the internet the content is all carefully curated and brought to the world with painstaking effort. It’s like an idea museum. Every time I’m there I feel like a Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.


Who do you look to as an example of success? 

I don’t look up to one particular person as an example of success, for me it’s more an idea of the kind of woman I want to become: a woman that is self-realized and living to her full potential. I look at J. K. Rowling, Phoebe Philo, Gloria Steinem, Diana Vreeland and Maya Angelou—these are all women I admire for being tuned into their life’s purpose and living up to their fullest potential as human beings.  


What’s something you know now that you wish you’d known when starting your business?

I really wish I had known that you can’t hire someone just because you like them personally or think they have potential. You can’t give someone a fancy title and expect them to live up to that title. People just don’t work that way. A title has to be earned, fought for and conquered to mean anything. It took me a long time to get my business on the right track when I first started it because I collaborated with people I personally liked, and thought had potential, instead of seeking out those who actually had the skills that would help grow the business. 

"You can’t hire someone just because you like them personally or think they have potential."

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What other businesses are you excited about? 

I’m really excited about calm.com, a startup that helps you relax if you're having a stressful day at work. I love it because I'm not that great at meditating, and this app breaks it down into digestible portions, guiding you through it. You can do it anywhere, on your own time, on an as-need basis. Just pop your headphones in for two minutes, and ta-da, you’re calm.


What’s the next thing on your to-do list today?

Right now I’m putting together the creative direction for a fashion story about the Pre-Raphaelite Muses and casting models for an upcoming blog shoot. 


Sometimes procrastination is a virtue—what are you putting off right now?

Emails! I’m always putting off answering emails, but to my defense, I couldn’t get back to everyone even if I tried. Right now I have over 2000 emails to respond to. As it is, I spend about four hours a day replying to emails…and every morning, there’s a new batch waiting for my attention. Sometimes I feel like Sisyphus, except instead of pushing a rock up a mountain I'm replying to emails all day. Heaven is definitely going to be a place with no emails to answer.  


What was your career catalyst?

I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when it finally happened it was really organic and more out of necessity than anything else. I graduated when the recession was in full bloom and there was simply no work. Strangely enough, at a time when no one would hire me for a respectable office job, I started making really good money through my on-the-side-thing as a fashion photographer. That experience was a huge paradigm shift, and showed me that what they say about doing what you love and the money will follow is completely true. My work as a fashion photographer proved integral to eventually starting Lone Wolf Magazine, which was a childhood dream of mine.


Best piece of advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

My advice to anyone who wants to start their own magazine would be to stay true to yourself and focus on what it is that makes you different. Everyone seems to follow the same formula in the world of magazine publishing, as if there is only one way to make a fashion magazine. Not every fashion magazine has to look like Vogue, not every lifestyle magazine has to look like Kinfolk. If you want to stand out, you need to do something different. I think part of the problem is that a lot of people are guided by the wrong things; they’re either hungry for a fancy title, or they want to feel that their lives are more extraordinary than their peers. That’s not really a good reason to start a fashion magazine. When I started LoneWolf I wasn’t looking to be the next Vogue, but to put something very positive into the world in an industry that was particularly known for making women feel bad about themselves. I focused on filling a void in the market, and doing it in the most authentic and honest way possible. I think that’s the key to being successful. 

A book recommendation and a peek at Natalia's desk

A book recommendation and a peek at Natalia's desk



Be sure to follow @lonewolfmag for more from Natalia & co. It's a seriously stunning publication with inspiration (both written and visual) for days and a truly refreshing perspective on fashion.