It’s been transported from the quaint to mainstream, echoing the way many of us are longing for a gentler, less frenzied time. With the wild success of farmhouse decorating and lifestyle, magazines in that niche are certainly having a moment.
“[W]e have done Country Sampler for years, we started that in the eighties and that has always been our niche publication, country decorating, it’s our strongest suit and where our expertise lies,” editor Susan Wagner tells Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni in a one-on-one interview.
Through the years, Wagner explains, they had success with some SIPs around DIY decorating and thought the time was right to launch a quarterly around the idea of the farmhouse lifestyle. Their farmhouse SIP earlier this year “pretty much blew all of the other SIPs away, that one did really well when we compared it to our newsstand figures and our advertising revenue for the other SIPs,” Wager said. “It was comparable to when we put out the first Christmas issue, which did really well.”
For many, it may be surprising that print does so well in this category. After all, Pinterest was practically invented to engage interested home decorators and has done much to build the current farmhouse craze. Yet there’s something about print that brings it to the next level, Wagner believes.
“You can’t really curl up with your computer the same way that you can with a print magazine,” she tells Husni. “You can’t sit on the porch drinking lemonade and page through there and envision yourself in that home and dog-ear the pages and just enjoy the feel of reading a beautiful magazine when you’re scrolling through webpages.”
And it’s this something extra that makes the $10.99 cover price for the quarterly magazine feasible, adding that the curation of a print magazine is a large part of the value for readers.
“If you’re browsing on the web and trying to find items for decorating your home and you’re all over the place, but if you know and you trust the Country Sampler editor to give you what you’re looking for because you follow them along and you know they’re really hitting the target, you’ll get that all in that one magazine,” Wagner explains. “And it saves you time, you’re not browsing and browsing online for hours or you’re not getting a magazine somewhere else for $5.99 or $6.99 and maybe one or two articles apply to you.”
She believes that the millennial audience that farmhouse style most resonates with is the perfect audience for print.
“It’s people who want to grow their own fruits and vegetables and they want to have fresh eggs in their backyard. If you look at the blogger world and home decorating, it’s a lot of the younger people who are decorating and are out in the blogosphere and showing things,” Wagner notes.
For the team at Farmhouse Style, it’s a perfect combination of a willing audience and an engaging medium. We wish them all the best!