Damez Pins Hopes on Magalog Format

In the current economy, launching a magazine or a catalog seems foolhardy. Established, well-financed magazines such as Mademoiselle and catalogs such as Freeport Studio have fallen victim to the recession. Nonetheless, San Hermosa, CA-based Damez Media is launching a combination magazine/catalog.

Entitled Damez, the free 58-page magalog mailed in November to 250,000 girls and women ages 15-35 who had subscribed via damezmag.com. Registration for a free subscription to Damez has been available on the site since March 2001; in November the site was officially launched with e-commerce capabilities and content. Copies of the magalog can also be found at coffeehouses, mom-and-pop stores, and college campuses.

Names also came from 10,000 postcards handed out by the company’s Street Team, a group of 16,000 (and counting) young women who signed up to promote the magazine by passing out information and talking about Damez. For their efforts, Street Team members receive 10% off any products they buy from Damez, says founder/CEO Kristi Kaylor.

The publication’s editorial content includes celebrity profiles and fashion spreads; readers can then order from Damez the apparel featured in the editorial. Other sections of the magazine, such as the “Stop, Drop and Shop” department, also sell merchandise.

Products include clothes, shoes, jewelry, and cosmetics from brands such as Asylum, Chinese Laundry, and Smashbox Cosmetics. “We chose brands not as readily available to some parts of the country,” Kaylor says.

During its first month, Damez generated a 1% response rate, which Kaylor says was on target with the company’s business plan. The average order for the magalog and the Website was $77. The next issue of Damez, which will mail in March to 500,000 subscribers, will have 80 pages. The magalog will be published five times for the first business year. The company expects it to be a monthly publication in two years.

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