Birdseye co-founder Jozefien Daelemans worked for several years as an illustrator, designer and art director for several well-known women’s magazines.
Frustrated that she kept seeing the same imagery and stories, she founded Charlie Magazine in 2015, the type of tabooless and inspiring online magazine that she had always wanted to read herself.
The online magazine immediately gained a large following of committed fans and readers and kept its finger on the pulse of a changing world. And although Charlie Mag was forced to shut down at the beginning of 2020, it remains a much-cited source in social discourse in Flanders.
Charlie Magazine has been a community-driven and grass roots movement from the start. We started in 2015 with a simple proof of concept but after the initial wave of positive reactions it quickly became clear to us that a platform like Charlie Magazine not only had the necessary support, but was a necessity. So we organized a successful crowdfunding campaignto further professionalize Charlie Magazine.
From Startup to Company
With the proceeds from our crowdfunding we refined our brand, published the first Charlie Mag bookzines and built a custom wordpress site aimed at ‘long-form’ articles and a optimization of audience participation and engagement.
Bookzines en swag
Our Bookzines were not only distributed in Flemish bookstores and newspaper dealers, but also through in the Netherlands and in our own webshop. Quite a logistics undertaking: in five years we distributed more than 35,000 bookzines!
Besides bookzines we also designed a lot of swag: pins, totebags, t-shirts and more.
Because we were attracting more and more engaged authors, editors and motivated speakers with Charlie Magazine, we decided to gather all that talent in our own speaker agency: Studio Charlie.
We built a new website listing of those speakers and their expertise and the possibility to book them for events and conferences.
For five years we worked extremely hard on Charlie Magazine: we quickly built up a large following and an engaged community and in doing so contributed to the public debate around themes such as diversity, representation and women’s rights. Our authors and speakers were frequently quoted and invited by other media channels in Flanders.
But it turned out to be untenable to continue Charlie Magazine solely on goodwill & the unbridled commitment of volunteers and given the limited attention from investors and advertisers, it was decided to shut Charlie down at the beginning of 2020.
The sitecontinues to exist as an online archive and reference and still attract s thousands of visitors per month in 2021.