Katarina’s Ethical, Glamorous Lifestyle Content Delivers Both Quality and Luxury
This week we’re meeting Katarina Van Derham, founder of VIVA GLAM Magazine! Tell us a little about yourself and VIVA GLAM.
I was born and raised in Slovakia and came to the US in 1998. At that time, I was a young girl with only $500 in my pocket looking for adventure and freedom. As an immigrant, I have gone through the usual jobs: passing out fliers, selling ice cream, working as a waitress and hostess, all the way to working in the entertainment industry in front of and behind the camera.
As a die-hard vegan and beauty junkie, I founded VIVA GLAM Magazine as a lifestyle guide for compassionate glam and progressive luxury. My goal was to discover and highlight forward-thinking companies and help elevate veganism to a luxury level. I also wanted to give opportunities to beautiful models who were often rejected by the fashion industry.
How did the site get started?
In 2012, I recruited 12 girls who I’d worked with in the past. Each of them was an expert in one area of lifestyle and would run that particular category of the website. Together we created a ton of amazing, unique and original content. Besides the site, we also had a digital magazine, but many advertisers were asking for its print edition. We gave it a shot, and our first issue was simply something magical.
What are your favorite beauty trends of the moment?
I absolutely love the Fox Eye trend. I feel it’s a beautiful and powerful look for a woman. I love when women feel empowered and aren’t afraid to stand out. I also like the brushed-up brow look.
How do you think COVID and quarantining has impacted beauty and fashion trends?
Because the world almost came to a full stop, everything slowed down. I feel that beauty and fashion trends became more basic during the COVID pandemic. They are now more about rejuvenating, nourishing and letting things rest. But many ladies are using this time to also learn new makeup skills so they can level their image up once the world goes back to normal- or to the “new normal”. Some are re-organizing their closets and working on a new fresh wardrobe. They are reevaluating what’s important and needed and what’s not.
What are some of your favorite at-home beauty trends?
I love nurturing and rejuvenating my skin with high-collagen face masks. I also like wearing press-on manicures and tanning outside by the pool.
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What value do you see in continuing print publications for your users?
I see a tremendous value in our print publication. There are two main pros to continuing print in our case:
1) While the USA has been strongly shifting towards digital for many years now, the rest of the world still puts a high value on print publications; for example, VIVA GLAM was the only US publication invited by the German Board of Tourism to cover the 250th anniversary of Beethoven so far this year. This wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have a print version of the magazine. In general, much of our travel content and many sponsorships are possible thanks to our print magazine.
2) A good-quality print magazine is still in demand as many women prefer something tangible over something digital. Gen X grew up on print, and those women are still fairly young. In fact, recently, I have been approached by two countries with distribution deal offers.
Share with us a favorite quote!
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Gandhi
What tools or resources do you use that help with your brand?
It’s important to have a good right hand who is even more resourceful than you. So, our managing editor, Malorie Mackey, is a valuable resource. We also utilize different sites for analytics; they are important tools in curating content to what our audience would like to read while staying true to our vision. Our share counter, Social Snap, is also a very valuable tool.
What social media tools can you not live without?
Pinterest is a huge traffic driver for our brand. It’s on the top of the list. Pinterest is a picture-driven platform and our website is very strong on beautiful imagery.
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
When creating content, we make sure that the information we are about to publish is useful for our audience. For the most part, our content is evergreen. We try to share only positive and uplifting information and aim to inspire our readers. It is also important that all content matches our guidelines- for example, we won’t publish anything about meat, as we only promote plant-based foods.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I love to travel to many places across the globe, especially hidden European gems. I definitely want to re-visit one of the oldest medieval towns in the South of France, Saint Paul de Vence. And the south of France, in general, is one of my favorite places to travel to.
Oceans or Mountains?
Mountains by the ocean!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is that I can take my business anywhere in the world with me. I can work from anywhere, even from a bed- all I need is my computer and Wi-Fi. New environments are good for creativity as they inspire new content ideas.
If you had taken a different career path, what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to be a performer. I’m glad I got to do some performing in Hollywood. In general, I like story-telling. Both performing and publishing tell stories.
Have you had any exciting sponsored campaigns recently?
We absolutely loved working with the vegan, luxury haircare brand Davroe which sponsored our latest official nationwide model search. This is where we looked for the next VIVA GLAM cover girl.
What are the most popular posts on your site?
Posts about hair trends always perform the best on VIVA GLAM’s website. Specifically, fall and winter hair trends perform very well, as well as hairstyles for curly hair.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
“If it ain’t fun, don’t do it.” So, I make sure what I do is fun. I get inspired by those fun entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson. He is full of adventure; he’s got crazy ideas, and his first business was even a magazine. Perhaps, I’m on the right track 😉
What are your favorite websites?
Aside from my own, I love BlogHer.com 😉 because it’s about true women’s empowerment. Some sites and brands claim that they support other women but in reality, they only support women that are like them. All women need to support each other.
What do you love most about being a SHE Media Partner?
I love the incredible team of experts who are always there to guide, inform, and advise me on how to elevate my brand and earn more. I truly feel they genuinely want to see me succeed. I also love that SHE Media provides premium programmatic advertising and offers me endless opportunities to participate in sponsored campaigns. So, for that, thank you!
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