At work with: Kerry Thomas, Fused

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Quarterly magazine Fused was launched in 2000 by husband-and-wife team David O’Coy and Kerry Thomas, covering their combined interests of music, style and art. Originally distributed free in the midlands area of the UK, Fused is now available internationally as a paid-for title.. We catch up with Kerry while she’s visiting Thailand for a story.

Tell us about your typical Monday journey to work
There isn’t really a typical journey as such. We work from our home office so usually we walk to the gym in the morning for a workout to get ourselves going then head back to the office to start work. We’ve had office premises in the past but we were never very productive in that environment so when circumstance (an office break in) meant we had to work from home for a while we realised we got so much more done. We pop out for coffee breaks when we need an hour away from the computer and it works fine.

Describe the state of your desk and what you can see in your office
I try to keep my desk tidy but there are usually pieces of paper, letters, books, notes, cards, note pads and things cluttering it up. We use the sticky white board paper to write on the wall above our desks to keep our never-ending to-do lists in check. As well as a list of the current issue features and where we are at with work flow. We have a view of trees and our balcony – which makes for an excellent escape when the weather is good. We have a couple of Macs that we work on – it’s a really simple set up and luckily, we can work from anywhere.

Which magazine do you first remember?
I’m a child of the 80’s so my first magazines were things like Jackie and I used to love the NME when it was a newspaper, but the magazine that got me really interested in magazines was probably SleazeNation. I always loved the mix of content; it was quite lo-fi which appealed to me too.

Which magazine matters to you the most right now?
The magazines I read most are Stylist, for the varied content, and Dave and I are fans of the Monocle publications. I find the business models just as interesting as the magazines.

You founded Fused as a husband and wife duo, how does that work for making a magazine?
We’ve been doing this for 18 years now so we just fell in to our roles. Most things are decided between us – there is never a big decision made by just one of us.

It was difficult for the first few years to define our roles and there was a lot of tension. David is naturally more artistic and really into music while I am a little more analytical and business minded so I worry about the money and he worries about the content.

We have a rule not to discuss work once we’ve closed the office door so come 6.30pm (or later on deadline days) we’re done. Usually when we plan an issue we go through a hit list of interviewees and features and go from there. It happens quite organically.

Fused remains free in the midlands, but is for sale elsewhere. Tell us about the decision to split the distribution model.
Originally we wanted to make a really great regional publication that wasn’t like the traditional listing magazines you get in every city. We went for nice quality papers, good finishes and original content. But that takes money and time, plus a lot of advertising.

We got approached by a distributor who offered to sell the magazine across the country, then throughout Europe – so we just thought we’d give it a go, nothing to lose. It worked well so it was a really simple process in the end.

You’re currently on location in South East Asia, can you tell us anything about this shoot?
I just booked a pair of flights to Bangkok with the idea to check out some new places, scenes and environments. I’ve recently become a fan of the architecture and design of Bill Bensley, after visiting one of his resorts in Vietnam, so we visited a few of his in Cambodia and Bangkok to produce a feature on his style.

We think it is really important to get out of our work environment so we can think about things while we’re away. We find we get the best ideas when we’re out of the office so my notepad goes everywhere and we jot down ideas, find things that inspire us, chat, and meet people that might make a nice feature or interview.

What are you worrying about at work this week?
Doing a quick trip turnaround – we get back from SE Asia then head to Rotterdam with less than 24 hours to unpack and repack. Answering all the emails I need to when I am back in the office and doing research for interviews. Then it is on to planning my next trip which is to India.

What’s going to be the highlight of the week for you?
When we are on a trip everything feels like a highlight so anything that involves going to galleries, visiting new places and having new experiences is brilliant.

What will you be doing after this chat?
Packing my suitcase and switching on the out of office.

fusedmagazine.co.uk

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