Discovering a consumer need and filling it have helped Eddison Bramble and John Pasmore turn their publishing business, New Image Media, into a $1.5 million company in just three years.
Bramble was photographing hair styles when he came up with the idea for his magazine. “Stylists wanted to showcase their work, and see what other stylists were doing,” he recalls. “I thought we could create a magazine to benefit both the consumer and hair care professional.”
He took the idea to his friend, John Pasmore, who had launched his own magazine, Intrigue, a few years earlier in Houston. The new partners decided to test the waters with a booklet featuring various stylists for a hair show. The booklet was a success, says Bramble, who took the photographs. Ads were sold to stylists and the book was distributed at salons.
With the booklet’s success, Bramble and Pasmore developed a four-color glossy magazine called New York Hair and Style in 1993. But there were problems with finance and distribution. “We had zero start-up money,” remembers Bramble, and so the partners asked the stylists to pay in advance for placing an ad (a full-color page cost $500). “If they could only give us $50 at the time, that was fine,” says Bramble.
They did the layout and copy fitting at Kinkos. When the pair ran low on cash, “we’d make a round of the salons to pick up more deposits,” says Bramble. They cut costs working out of Pasmore’s studio apartment and used Bramble as the photographer. They also called in a favor from a printer for a run of 2,000 copies, and approached hairpiece distributors about dispensing the magazine with their product to hair care stores.
Mike Kim, president and owner of Shake-N-Go, a hairpiece maker based in Maspeth, New York, liked the idea. “With extensions and braids becoming more popular, more women are doing hair at home, and want some sort of reference for styles.”
The first issue generated $157,000 in sales, and Bramble and Pasmore put the profits back into the business. With the money, they began generating a slew of annual magazines, including Elite Hair, Elite Braid and Modern Hair and Style, which are all nationally distributed. Another publication, Modern Braid, will be sold at newsstands beginning in March. Pasmore says circulation for each title has grown from 2,000 to 50,000.
While competition is stiff, Pasmore claims that what makes his publications unique is the way they are produced. “We use glossy paper where a lot of our competitors don’t,” he notes. Lesline Powe, owner of Hair In Motion in Queens, New York, says the books are a refreshing change:” It doesn’t seem like it’s the same magazine all the time–there are a variety of styles from all over the world.”
The magazines’ success has prompted Bramble and Pasmore to create yet another title. The slick, trendy, multicultural Oneworld debuted in 1994. Addressing a young audience, Oneworld started out as a quarterly, with the goal of eventually appearing 10 times a year. The magazine features cutting-edge