Stephanie Kaplan, Windsor Hanger Western and Annie Wang met as Harvard undergrads working on a campus lifestyle and fashion magazine together. Seizing an opportunity to publish more frequently and save money on printing costs, the trio decided to turn the magazine into an online publication and soon started hearing from college and high school girls across the country who loved the site. Some asked for advice on how to start something similar at their own schools, as many of them had school newspapers but no magazine.
Stephanie, Windsor and Annie realized there was a hole in the market for media directly targeted at college women and decided to take what they were doing at Harvard on a national scale. To that end, they entered, and won, the i3 Innovation Challenge, a startup competition for Harvard students. The site, Her Campus (HC), provides universal fashion and lifestyle content for all its readers, but also features campus chapters headed up by women from individual colleges, with local content written by and for students there.
Since its launch in fall 2009, the site has grown to 250 campus chapters and 3,000+ contributors, and their office in Boston has 12 full-time employees. Her Campus was also named to a Forbes list of this year’s 100 best websites for women. Just this past October, they had their highest traffic month ever: 1.7 million monthly unique visitors and over 5.5 million monthly pageviews.
We talked to Stephanie, the 24-year-old CEO and editor-in-chief of Her Campus, about her adventures in media.