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No Money? No Problem. How we Launched an International Print Magazine on Guts & Passion with Jan and Erin



In this episode of the Trailblazer podcast, get ready to delve into the journey of Trailblazher Magazine as told by your hosts —Jan and Erin, the dynamic mother-daughter duo and founders of Trailblazher Co. Having been business partners for over two decades, they dedicate their work to the empowerment of rural women while also telling the story of the rural lifestyles they live.

The Inception of Trailblazher

The roots of Trailblazer are deep-set in our personal experiences and aspirations dating back to 2010 when we first started putting our big dreams on paper. Then fast-forward to 2015, we revisited the idea and started developing the archetype of what Trailblazher would be. Then in 2020, the dream finally came to fruition. What began as a rejected social media post about selling farm-fresh eggs burgeoned into a recognition of a deep-seated need—a platform for rural women entrepreneurs to connect and promote their rural way of life. This realization drove us to bring to light the numbers and presence of rural businesses and give rise to a narrative that empowers rural women.

From the outset, Trailblazher Magazine was not simply a publication but a celebration of rural tenacity, grit, and creativity. Our approach was simple, to showcase rural women, human connection, and authentic storytelling. As you will hear in this episode, we didn’t start with much, and the process to get the magazine off the ground was both serendipitous and a little bit magical. The beginning of this episode should inspire you to revisit any of the big dreams you’ve been sitting on because you never when the opportunity will present itself to take action. 

The Journey of Entrepreneurship: Grit, Growth, and the Magic of Community

Embarking on our entrepreneurial voyage with nothing but a shared dream and a compelling ‘why,’ we navigated through challenges with remarkable boldness. Despite the rapid pace and significant financial risk associated with launching a print magazine, we remained steadfast, driven by an unwavering belief in our mission.

“We were so aligned with our ‘why’ and so passionate about what this could look like, sharing these stories…we know the workload that it is now, but we were very naive then as to what that workload would be.” – Erin

Within a few months, we transformed the idea of the magazine into a tangible reality, showcasing rural women’s stories in a high-quality print format. Beyond creating a product, we have been able to create a thriving community of women that reaches across North America. Looking back from where we are now, it’s amazing to reflect on the challenges we went through in the first several issues so if you’re interested to learn about launching a magazine business, make sure to tune in for the full conversation!

Future Horizons: Expanding Trailblazher’s Reach and Resonance

As we peer into the future, our goal for Trailblazher is to reach a wider audience. While the magazine’s rich content echoes the relentless spirit of rural women (and always will), it also possesses a universal appeal that resonates with women from many different backgrounds, and localities.  

“We’re now looking at how can we bring these stories, this mindset, these voices, these attributes of what it means to be a Trailblazher…to women everywhere, no matter where they live.” – Erin

You can expect more collaborations and global partnerships on the horizon for Trailblazher, further bolstering our aspirations of amplifying rural narratives on an international stage. The future looks bright for Trailblazhers around the globe and we can’t wait to tell and share their stories. 

Experience the grit, resilience, and joy of our magazine journey by listening to the full episode of the Trailblazher Podcast below. Be prepared to be enveloped in an authentic narrative that not only shares the journey of launching an international print magazine but also provides a reflection of the rural ethos resonating with the hearts of many. Stay tuned for many more stories that transform, unite, and celebrate the spirit of rural women everywhere.

January 18, 2024

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