Interview with Christy Buena

Formerly an editor and writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because missed writing what she wanted. Her day job consists of programming a popular How-to website but on her off time, she manages every aspect of Disarray Magazine. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for ensuring the success of the magazine’s editorial strategy.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

It’s been my dream to start my own magazine since I was in high school. I finally decided to give it a try. I bought a domain name, found a reliable content management system, affordable hosting service and found a simple layout. I then decided that I wanted to cover the things I love the most: Music, Fashion, Food and Events.

So far, Disarray Magazine has covered a number of mainstream events alongside notable publications including LA Weekly, ArtistDirect, LA Times, to name a few. We covered the Van’s Warped Tour two years in a row, the OC Fair and all the concerts at the venue, interviewed musicians like Andrew WK, Chelsea Girls and comedian Kevin Hart. We’re constantly being invited to cover events in Los Angeles.
I have another idea in the works to leverage the magazine. We’ll have to wait and see.

What motivates you and/or keeps you motivated?

My motivation comes from wanting to be successful and maintaining the skills I learned in college. I tend to be competitive at times and when other people are doing something successful, I find that it fuels me. Additionally, I missed writing and felt that I was getting “rusty” so I decided to start the magazine to keep my skills sharp. I challenge myself all the time and feel that striving to overcome my own goals keeps me motivated. Like many say, “You are your harshest critic.”

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Having people compliment the magazine or ask me who helped with it is definitely satisfying. It makes me proud when people are surprised that I built everything myself. In retrospect, Disarray Magazine’s 1 year anniversary is coming up and since its inception, we covered all of L.A. Fashion week, on boarded 15 writers and have been gaining more readership and relationships with publicists in the music industry as well as fashion/beauty niche.

What was the most difficult part in getting started?

Honestly, the most difficult aspect was selecting the name for the magazine. I already knew a bit of HTML so building the site was not an issue.

How did you go about recruiting the right people into your business?

I made sure to look at writing clips asked my writers what interests them. When you’re interested and passionate about something, you tend to do better at it.

What’s the best piece of advice someone ever told you?

“Success is where opportunity and preparation meet. Always stay focused, always stay positive and remember, a vision without action is a daydream...and action without vision is a nightmare!”

What are your goals and what lessons have you learned so far?

My goal is to get Disarray Magazine to a point where people know it, have heard of it or have written for it. Another goal would be to live a comfortable life, free of stress so that I can travel and focus on family.

Lessons I’ve learned from working in corporate America: If you don’t keep people happy or give them something to strive for, they will leave. Compliments go a long way and if you are not willing to do the grunt work with your employees, they will resent you.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I think my biggest pet peeve is when individuals hate to learn or think they are too busy to learn new skills. My time is just as important as yours. If you don’t learn new things, your mind will go stagnant. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Amen.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice for the future, what would you say?

I’d say, ” What hurts you only makes you stronger and don’t let anyone derail you from your goals. Stay away from people who are still doing the same thing they were doing last year. Surround yourself with positive, go getters.”

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt

I agree with this quote wholeheartedly. A lot of people out there are afraid to try new things or don’t have the confidence to start something. Other people don’t want to try something fearing they won’t make money but the biggest risk is not taking one.

Mark Twain once said “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Sometimes, people who belittle your ambitions could potentially fuel your passion. In my case, I find that I just want to prove to haters that they are wrong. Success is the best revenge.

"Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong." - Peter T. Mcintyre

There are times when having too much confidence masks the fact that you are, in fact, wrong. This over-confidence can make someone hard to deal with and others will hate doing business with you. It’s OK to be wrong and it’s OK to admit it. Would you rather come off as being stubborn and not a team player or someone who is always willing to learn?

What advice would you give to college students who want to be entrepreneurs?

When I interviewed Andrew WK, he gave me some great advice, which could apply to everyone. He said, “Don’t sell yourself short or think that you don’t have any opportunities or less opportunity. It’s natural to have ups and downs. You have to put your mind onto what you want to happen and assume that everything happens for a reason. Take full responsibility. Don’t blame the economy, don’t blame your boss, don’t blame anyone... The ordeals are what give value and meaning to our life. Embrace the ordeals and be thankful for the ordeals. We don’t mean to make our lives hard, but if it has become hard, it only is going to make us perform at our best.” –Andrew W.K.

Company Description:

Founded in June 2009 and based out of Hollywood, CA, Disarray Magazine was created with the sole purpose of reviewing the best in: Music, Fashion, Food and Events. Disarray’s comprehensive guide is written by individuals with a strong passion for discovering underground trends, artists, events and offbeat eateries. A reader once described Disarray Magazine as being “written by cool kids who know how to have fun. “

Follow Disarray Magazine on Twitter @DisarrayMag.



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