Into the Fold isn’t so much a blog, as an online magazine. Created by Camilla Ackley after she grew disillusioned with women’s media encouraging them to change things about themselves, Into the Fold is a mag which aims to be real, and cover the genuine issues women face every day. SUBCULTURED caught up with Camilla about running a popular website alongside studying for a degree.
- We’ll start off nice and simply, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, for example where & what you study?
Hello! I’m in my last year studying Philosophy at the University of Bristol.
- What inspired you to create Into the Fold?
I was really tired of seeing websites for women that encouraged them to change themselves and to be something that they weren’t – at ITF, we aim to represent what women are and creative a positive and open space where you aren’t made to feel inadequate. We want to be inclusive and honest, which I felt more and more that women\s magazines were failing to be.
- Tell us more about Into the Fold, what’s it about?
We are a website for women, by women; we cover everything from race, mental health, style, lifestyle, travel and opinion pieces. I like to think of it as a universal online diary, somewhere open and personal for young women to hang out. We’re hoping this year to expand into videos, with interviews and mini-documentary series.
- What ambitions did you have for the website when you first created it?
My aim was, and still is, to create something I can turn into my career. I love the idea of being my own boss, especially of something that is so close to my heart. I have a great team, and hopefully they’ll stick with me after we all graduate to continue to build up the magazine. I didn’t know what to expect when it went live, but people have been so positive and the contributions keep rolling in which shows that it resonates with people. A highlight was definitely my interview with The Guardian about the website.
- How did you know when into the Fold was starting to become a big thing, and how did you feel about it?
I don’t know if I feel like it’s a ‘big thing’, but I feel the growth in our community and readers are reaching out more and more. I love that, it means the world that women are finding the website and enjoying it – that is, after all, what it is for. It does mean there’s more pressure to release consistent content, so I’ve brought on some sub-editors to help me manage the workload. I like having a team though, so that’s great.
- What’s it like trying to balance being Editor-in-Chief with university work and student life?
To be honest it’s really hard – my head tells me my degree has to come first for now, but if I could I’d be spending all my time building up the site and helping it grow. That being said, having had a blog since 13, I’m pretty used to time managing and fitting in emails and editing around studies. It takes practise, and I was lucky to be eased into it.
- What is a typical day like for you?
During term, I’ll be at the library from 9-5, switching between editing and replying to emails, and doing my university work. I like to spend my evenings off; it’s important not to burn yourself out, but if I am doing any work, it’ll be emails or sorting out the smaller shopping features we do. It’s not that exciting, I wish I was flying around the world and having big important meetings – one day! Most of the ITF meetings currently happen at the pub, because we are chill like that.
- What are the best and hardest bits about running a magazine?
The best bit is the fact that people read it and enjoy the message that you’re sending out – that makes everything worth it. It’s a harder area to monetise though, and that’s what we’re looking to start doing after graduation. It requires a lot of time and hard work, time I haven’t had too much of while being at university.
- At Subcultured, we use the term #GIRLBOSS from the book by Sophia Amoruso, what do you think the most important qualities of being other peoples ‘boss’ are?
Remember that everyone is human – I understand that my contributors and editors have lives and I’m not harsh if a deadline is missed. It’s been a lot easier to understand since my editors are mostly some of my close friends – Giselle (one of the editors) said I make it very clear when it’s time to get down to business, which is important. Being efficient is also pretty important – especially when you’re juggling multiple things. Also, learning to delegate – I used to think I was the only one who could do anything for the site, but learning to hand pieces over to others in my team has helped me focus on other aspects of the magazine. Sometimes my editors are more suited to edit something than I am too, and that is important to realise. You can’t let control get in the way of quality.
- What do you look for in potential contributors toward the magazine?
Anyone and everything – we take a really wide range of contributors and we have writers all around the world. I don’t want to give a criteria, other than well written English and enthusiasm.
- Do you have any plans for your future and/or the future of Into the Fold?
We are hoping to launch a Youtube this summer, with interviews and mini-documentaries. We’re midway through a re-design of the site now too, working with my main man Phil (he does all my web design) to bring more content to the homepage. More content, more readers – that’s my goal for the next few months.
You can find Into the Fold at:
Text by Katherine Skippon
Picture research by Jon Espiritu; featured image taken from http://www.intothefoldmag.com/