Her Magazine Is an ‘Unfiltered Look into What It’s Like to Be a Woman’
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While there are more and more publications centering on female stories and empowerment — CircleAround included, of course — there is still a gap in the market for this kind of content. Girl Scout alum Ashley Rector is working to close that gap. After practicing in the legal field for almost four years, she decided to go in a different direction and founded both Laura Alexandria Marketing and Harness Magazine, the latter a publication focused on elevating women around the world in the media industry.
Harness Magazine was launched in 2016 and presents authentic, raw perspectives into what it's like to be a woman. “After discovering this gap, I knew I wanted to create a space to foster empowerment and connection," Rector tells CircleAround. "I believed that women everywhere would be inspired by the stories that shaped us to be who we are today.”
According to the website, “Harness is for women from all races, backgrounds, shapes, sizes, ages (18+), and countries, and [they] welcome the LGBTQ+ community with open arms.” The brand publishes a quarterly print magazine, and daily content on its website, containing stories from more than 4,000 writers. Rector encourages all kinds of submissions, be it poetry, personal essays, artwork, video, or other forms of creative expression.
“Harness has evolved over the years to become an all-encompassing community,” adds Rector. In response to connecting with so many creative types, Rector also launched Handpicked by Harness, a curated online marketplace showcasing small business owners. Through the Harness Talent Network, another community within the Harness brand, these business owners and writers can network with each other to fulfill potential marketing needs.
Working within so many fields and making them come together has been a welcome challenge for Rector. “I have roughly five clients — everything from new product launches to dating apps,” she tells CircleAround. "Every single client is unique in their own way! Sometimes, I am engrossed in what I do and have to remember to take a step back to enjoy life."
“The biggest reward is the freedom to work where I want and define what I want to do,” she adds. “If something doesn't feel right — go with your gut feeling. You have to challenge your mindset and believe you can and will succeed.”