Some say print media is as dead as disco; but donâ€™t tell that to Brittany K. Earls. Taking her best shot at magazine mogulhood at a time when many publications are slashing staff or shutting down, Earls, now 25, launched Genesis in October 2009—and has never looked back.
Well, for the most part, anyway. â€śI have second thoughts every day!â€ť she says. But so far, her plan appears to be working. Genesis celebrates driven achievers across all walks of life â€” entrepreneurship, the arts, philanthropy. Its slogan is â€śBe the Firstâ€ť (get it?), and many of its profile subjects are young, admirable self-starters who bear a certain professional resemblance, itâ€™s hard not to notice, to Earls herself.
A native of Gainesville, Georgia, and a graduate of Georgia State University, Earls relocated to New York â€” â€śalways my dream city to move to,â€ť she says â€” on New Yearâ€™s Day 2010, just months after her debut issue hit newsstands. â€śTwenty-four of our 30 advertisers were NYC-based,â€ť she explains. â€śI quickly took the hint.â€ť
Today, Genesis has offices in Manhattan and Atlanta, and boasts a circulation of 100,000 digital readers and â€” no small triumph in 2011 â€” 40,000 readers of the print edition. In recognition of both her achievements and her promise, the nonprofit foundation 100 Urban Entrepreneurs recently brought Earls into its funding-and-mentoring program, offering her $10,000 in financing and eight weeks of intensive business mentoring.
As Genesisâ€™s editor-in-chief, Earls oversees a team of eight, and her ultimate goal is nothing less than a profitable media property that will last decades. â€śMy staff and I understand that if we take care of Genesis now,â€ť she says, â€śit will be a major source of income for us for years.â€ť
Hubristic, especially in an industry thatâ€™s currently enduring difficulties? Maybe, but Earls is nothing if not confident â€” a quality she lauds in others as well. â€śI admire anyone who has been able to create greatness from scratch,â€ť she says. And she might even put them on Genesisâ€™s cover as well.