On a windows-down drive back from the Goodwill, Emma Leuders and Jennie Bull, sophomores at Syracuse University talked about their shared dream of starting their own magazine. Leuders wanting to discuss the importance of self-love and Bull wanting to create a more open space to talk about the sexual experiences young people have without shame or fear of judgement. These ideas were birthed out of frustration from having to keep their raw and most honest conversations behind closed doors. They saw the need for a space where students are able to create and consume content about topics that can’t be discussed at the dinner table.
The two started this journey by creating graphics they would later post on their social media accounts to raise awareness and find out if other students would be interested. After receiving an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, they sent out application forms to begin creating their team. Almost immediately, they had over 100 responses and started narrowing down the applicants and deciding who would comprise the initial team. Although Leuders and Bull originally picked only 60 of the 100 applicants, many passionate students continued to reach out to them even after the application process had closed. Now, there are almost 90 Moody members that include creators based in Los Angeles, Chicago and Australia. What started out as a shared dream between two friends has become an entire community, a Moody family.
With Moody Magazine being a passion project for Leuders and Bull, they have put in countless hours to ensure everything runs smoothly, from content creation and design to fundraising. By not having university funding, the two had to get creative with how they would acquire capital to support their plans. Similar to getting the word out about the start of the magazine, they utilized social media to promote a pop-up shop they hosted on December 12, 2021. Using the Moody Mag Instagram account, @moodymagzine, they were able to get the word out about the pop-up shop where they sold clothing, which enabled them to meet their fundraising goals.
Through the first edition’s creative process, each team member has been able to have open discussions and contribute their personal experiences, making a unique and open space for everyone involved. Encouraging their team members to write and create content about uncomfortable topics that push boundaries, Leuders and Bull hope to normalize these conversations in an everyday context.
The first edition of Moody has just been finalized and put into print production, and the founders are planning to sell around 250 copies at their launch party, scheduled for April 20. Updates will be on their Instagram.