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Jack Stanley, Slop
At work with

Jack Stanley, Slop

A regular highlight of our small selection of free magazines at the shop is Slop, a smartly designed orange and green explosion about food and its producers.

Jack Stanley co-founded Slop with fellow editor Nicolas Payne-Baader. He also contributes to magazines such as GQ and Esquire, and consults for several fashion brands on their editorial strategies. He fits all this around studying for my MA in Material and Visual Culture at UCL. He introduces Slop as its fourth issue goes out.

What are you doing this morning?
This Monday is mainly going to be spent at our storage unit in North London, arranging for delivery of the new issue to stockists around the country. This is the first time we’ve had a storage unit, so it’s also the first time that crates of new magazines haven’t arrived at my flat, which is a blessed relief.

In between sending out deliveries and packing up boxes of magazines, I’m also working on my day job as a freelance writer and editorial consultant, and we’re beginning to put together a vague plan for the next issue of Slop, which comes out at the end of summer.


Describe your work environment
This morning, we’re in the windowless corridors of Big Yellow Storage, although normally I’m able to work in the more serene settings of my kitchen, looking out the window. 



The Slop team is just the two of us, myself and Nicolas (above), and we try to work in the same place as often as possible. We’re responsible for all of the content in the magazine, as well as ad sales, commissioning and logistics. The design and creative direction of the magazine is all handled by the great All Purpose, who we’ve worked with since the very beginning and have really shaped what Slop is. We also work with Easy Days Studio, who help with all of our ecommerce and logistics.



Which magazine do you first remember?
The first magazine I ever remember reading was a new, official Liverpool Football Club magazine that my mum signed me up to as a child. I’m fairly sure I had the first ever issue and kept on collecting them for years.

Over time, my interest in magazines followed other magazines. I remember buying NME every Wednesday, and sticking pictures of the Strokes and the Libertines on my bedroom walls. From there, I discovered the likes of i-D and Dazed, and I was hooked. 



Which magazine matters to you the most this morning?
I’ve just written something for the new issue of Neptune Papers, which I think is a beautiful magazine. I’ve also been working my way through the new Fantastic Man over the last few days, which is a banger as always.



Describe Slop in three words.
Seasonal, informative, lighthearted.


How do you research and discover the producers you feature?
As we’ve grown we’ve been introduced to new producers, whether by contributors or by the producers themselves, and that has really helped. Other than that there’s a lot of Googling, picking up tips from friends who are also interested in food, and just researching nuggets that we find interesting. We always try to take a wide approach to the stories we feature, and that means we’ve been able to talk about things we love, and discover new things we’re equally passionate about.


What does the magazine do that your weekly Substack newsletter doesn’t?The magazine allows us to go into more depth than the newsletter, as well as allowing us to put visuals and design front and centre. They’re both really important parts of what Slop is, so it’s great to be able to showcase them.

Our newsletter also features a lot of stories that aren’t in the magazines, which can be profiles of people we really like or more seasonal stories. The two channels are similar, but they’re not identical.


How do you afford to distribute the magazine free?
Advertising is obviously our main revenue driver, and the way that each magazine pays for itself. We also have our merch and ecommerce, and we’ve collaborated with some fashion brands on fun projects over the last few months. On top of that, we’ve been working with brands in a more white label way, helping to bring a bit of what we do to them.

We’re stocked all over the country, at bakers and delis, cafes and winebars. We’re also starting to build up a stockist base internationally. Slop has always been pretty international in its focus, so its nice for people to be able to read it wherever they are. People can also order the magazine direct to their door for a small fee from our website. 



Highlight one story from the current issue that sums up the magazine and its mission
There’s loads in the new issue that I’m really proud of, but the essay about the meanings of the phrase ‘new world wine’ is a really good one. We work with an amazing wine writer called Katy Severson, and I think this is a really good example of us going into detail, shining a light on something we think is important and doing it in a way that is accessible and interesting. The illustrations are great as well.


What advice do you have for anyone planning to launch a magazine?
Go for it! There’s not much that’s more rewarding than the feeling of holding a magazine you’ve come up with, planned and then printed. There are a lot of challenges on the way, but working your way through them is interesting in itself.

On a more practical level, the advice I would give is to speak to different people and ask advice, look at magazines you love and work out why you like them. There’s great stuff being made, and that should be inspiring rather than daunting.


What are you most looking forward to this coming week?
Getting these deliveries out will be a big thing for us, and I’m always excited when we begin the process of starting a new issue, which will be later this week. I’m also going for dinner at Rambutan in a couple of days, which should be a nice reward for finishing this issue.



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