Fueled with the drive and passion to make a real, lasting mark on her community, Florence decided to create a new print magazine, a rarity in the digital age. Why print? For Florence, it was the tangible, lasting impact of print that she believed would make a real difference to her community.
After doing some research, we saw that with the arrival of the internet, a lot of queer archives seemed to be disappearing. An archive of the community was really vibrant in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, even into the ‘90s. After the year 2000, it was all just gone.
Along with friends and partners, Florence devised a plan to publish Lez Spread the Word. The magazine would be devoted to queer art, writing and culture. As positive a message as that was, her goal wasn’t without its critics.
People told us print was dead.
Still, we had the idea of creating a first issue that would be a ‘best of’, compiled from things we’d written on our blog over the past year. People ended up being so excited about it that the product evolved from what was just supposed to be a normal magazine, into something special that’s published once a year.
Lez Spread the Word is now sold around the world including at the MOMA in New York and serves as a cultural touchstone for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Through contacts made, Florence and her business partners also started planning their next big project—a wine bar concept that would evolve into what is now Idéal. Everything seemed to be moving ahead, until the pandemic of 2020 turned everything on its head. Still, the team persisted, found a location and got to work.
COVID happened and it was like, there was no hope for a future opening of a nightclub.
You couldn't really reinvent yourself like it was a really tough time. Still, we transformed a nightclub into a wine bar, with a private room for hosting events and a podcast recording studio with a big window. Finally, we opened, and now people can hang out in the private room, have a bite and a drink and listen to the recordings.
Top 3 pieces of advice I would give to other female and 2SLGBTQ+ entrepreneurs:
Believe in what you do, and build on the power of your market
Surround yourself with people that inspire you & support one another the way cis hetero men have done forever
When it comes to looking for funding, be aggressive, (even though traditional gender roles might dictate that women do not act that way)
How TD helped Florence on her journey
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