Simpson magazine creators at Middlesex University
By Neli Dimitrova, BA Creative Writing and Journalism
Passionate entrepreneurs Terry Hawes and Martin Thomas visited MDX as part of the I Am a Magazine event to share what inspires them to start the cycling magazine Simpson.
Co-founder and owner, Terry Hawes, said “Since college I’ve always wanted to produce my own magazine”. Terry’s dream became a reality in March 2013, when the first independent issue of Simpson magazine was published, named after the rider Tom Simpson, Britain's first world road race champion since winning the 1962 Tour de France.
The heart of their vision was to inform the cycling industry and inspire their readers to just get outside and ride. Now, Simpson Magazine has gained global popularity. The numbers of their readers keep growing from London and Manchester, to Melbourne, Australia, and New York, USA.
But, their passion for cycling goes beyond just a magazine. They have started their own cycling club, Simpson CC, and crafted their own brand of accessories such as cycling kits, t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and handmade “musette” bags.
Co-owner Martin Thomas said, “The magazine evolved to a community rather than just a product. I think that has always been our attention, to do something bigger than a magazine, which I think we’ve done.”
Along with the joy of creating something that didn’t exist before, it takes courage to fight the giants on the way. The challenges you need to be prepared for include understanding the process of producing and having a plan of what do you do after the magazine exists such as: building relationships with advertising companies and dealing with distribution.
To establish a business is a tiresome process. But according to Hawes, the efforts involved in building up a company are worth it, as give you a chance to reach heights you haven’t dreamt of.
Simpson’s motto is “we choose to go to the Moon”. Hawes concluded, “As far this journey goes maybe we are going further than the Moon. When I look back and see what we’ve produced, today I can say I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved.”