We’ve made it through the end of 2020. What a bittersweet sigh of relief.
It goes without saying that 2020 was one of the most challenging years on every one, person, and business in the United States of America. Some have stayed afloat, others sadly being swept in the tides—we’ve come to a crossroad in modern American history. With that, Bob Cut also needs to make waves to change with the current tide. So with this letter I want to offer you, the reader, insight into our business plan for 2021.
Starting with this—issues 12 and 13 are still on track to be released in July and December of 2021. No need to worry about them, they are a pride and joy of Bob Cut. With your support and love for the issues on bobcutmag.com and in-stores, we don’t see a decline. Though with digital content, we are going to take a back seat slightly with our publishing schedule. In the past six months, we were posting three stories a week (all evergreen, non-news related San Francisco Bay Area articles). Sadly, with the decline of paid advertisers on Bob Cut (much with the overall decline in advertising due to the pandemic)—it gets harder to produce content on a regular basis, employ freelancers, take time to fact check and copy edit, and source or commission artwork for said stories. Bob Cut remains a completely grassroots local media brand, we haven’t taken outside long-term investment and continue to work with advertisers on a brand-to-brand basis. In 2020, we only ran three advertiser stories and content because we believe that advertising needs to fit seamlessly into our content and our audience. We have to believe in the advertiser, what they’re selling, and how you will interact with them.
But you may have seen that we have re-engaged our shop section as we saw this to be how we marry our ability to create stories on a different scale. Over the fall and into winter, we saw a 80% spike in our shop traffic and as a business, it made a lot of sense to reinvest into a platform that was (on a real note) keeping our lights on. Listen, we love doing Bob Cut and my goal for Bob Cut is to extend beyond journalism. Bob Cut is that friend in the SF Bay Area who knows exactly where to take you for a perfect cup of coffee, or a cool ceramic artist that you’ve been seeking out, or who can talk about local bread makers for hours. We want Bob Cut to become a brand that lives beyond the (home) page—we want it to live with you.
Of course this is not to say that we won’t be doing anymore digital stories, they may be far and fewer between depending on our spend for digital content. Again, this relies on our current strategy of working with advertisers we feel fit the brand and won’t disrupt the flow of content we’re creating. Re: very-forward thinking brands like Kelly Moore Paints and Goodwill of San Francisco—brands that see our voice, see you all, and who want to get collaborative and fiscally support our mission.
With this all being said, I (owner and founder of Bob Cut) want to be real with you because six years ago, I made this magazine with no idea what it was going to become. All I knew is that I loved living in San Francisco and I wanted to highlight cool places, people, and ideas that I had the pleasure of experiencing. For myself, there was no handbook about how to do a media / magazine brand. I value your trust and voice when it comes to shaping this brand.
When you purchase from our shop or subscribe to the magazine on a yearly basis, you’re supporting the seamstress who made your garment, you’re supporting the editor who wrote the copy about the story of the item or story they’re developing, and you’re continuing to support a local brand working to bring you the best of the Bay Area.
So in 2021, prepare to see more shop specific launches as they relate to the Bay Area. Whether we design a private label edit that is inspired by a piece of the Bay Area, whether we start selling a makers work direct from our shop, or we collaborate with a key Bay Area person, peoples, or brand that makes sense as a whole. We have some thoughtful collections that are soon to come out that I can’t wait to see what you like and what you pass on.
Thank you again for your support and running with us down this new path of business—without you, the Bay Area would be a pretty dull place.
// Feature photography by Ian Simmonds. We want to hear from you! Take our 10 minute survey and let us know what you love and dislike on bobcutmag.com.