It’s been nearly two years since myself and a friend, Patricia Kelly, began VocaLady Magazine. I tell everyone this story: one night my boyfriend and I decided to spend a quiet night in watching Miss Representation, a documentary on Netflix about female representation in the media. Rather than feel relaxed and rested that night, I left my boyfriend’s house feeling activated. Just off my freshman year of college, I found myself grasping for some kind of meaning, looking to fuse together my interests in writing and feminism into something lasting and meaningful. And, with that in mind and with the help of a successful writer friend, this site was born. Our initial goal was to invite marginalized voices to contribute their stories and guide those interested in continuing our work.
And, after nearly two years of publishing articles, I’m here to announce that VocaLady Magazine will be shutting down and will no longer be publishing articles. The website will remain up with all of the original articles, but nothing new will be published from here on out. There isn’t much else to say about this decision other than myself, and my incredible staff, have begun to grow in different directions. Many have graduated from college and are on their way to fulfilling careers within their fields. I grow closer to my own graduation and I’ve seen my path going in a different direction. It’s both thrilling and terrifying to move from one chapter of your life to the next and before I go I’d like to reflect.
To say this journey was difficult would be an understatement. It has been exhausting, electrifying and empowering all at once. The pursuit I and so many others undertook in creating this site was simply overwhelming. It was a towering goal that required many, many hours of sitting at a computer screen, scanning articles again and again for errors, and staying up late to manage social media platforms and anticipate the week ahead. The hours I and my staff have spent glued to the phone or computer, however, came with an incredible payoff and so many important moments.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw our viewer numbers leap instantly from double digits to triple digits upon realizing that an article of ours was being shared and re-shared on major websites and social media pages. I’ll never forget the dedication of our social media team that spent hours flawlessly covering major events, such as the Democratic National Convention or award shows. I’ll never forget seeing our articles used as required reading on college course syllabi. I’ll never forget the successful people who have reached out to us, offering support, feedback and partnerships. I’ll never forget the immeasurable strength of sexual assault survivors, those with mental illness, women of color, LGBTQ+ folks and more who used our platform to tell their impactful stories. I’ll never forget the first time someone told me one of our articles was important to them, that it has impacted them in some way. These are the moments that will stick with me forever.
I’ll be forever grateful for what these past two years have taught me. For my incredible staff of young writers who have blown my mind with their honesty, dedication and talent, I am thankful. For the readers I’ve connected with, who have taught me to be a better person and feminist, I am thankful. For those I’m close to who have lifted me when I’m feeling down and overwhelmed, I am thankful.
For me, this isn’t the end of a journey, but rather a new chapter.
When I and so many others began this site, we had a common goal in mind: create something that empowers, something that inspires and something that sticks. As I close out this site, leaving these stories behind to tell new ones, I think we’ve done it.
I’m not the first to say I’ve been deeply touched by the stories writers have shared on the website and I’m sure I won’t be the last. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited to see what comes next. This won’t be the last you’ll be hearing of myself or my staff, but, for now, that’s a wrap. To all of our readers, we thank you.
Now, go out there and empower someone else.