At HelloFlo HQ, we love hearing about new websites, blogs, platforms, and media that seek to empower women, so for obvious reasons, we were really excited when we heard about Tigress. Founded by Freya Bennett and Sophie Pellegrini in 2014, Tigress aims to give teen girls a space to talk on the Internet, and with a loyal following, they’re doing just that!
Even cooler: They’re taking their venture to new heights, including launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to start an annual print publication of their work.
Oh, and did I mention that Bennett and Pellegrini literally run this venture from opposite ends of the Earth (Bennett out of Australia and Pellegrini out of the United States)? Way to take it global, ladies!
For our readers who may not know, what is Tigress Magazine, and why did you decide to start it?
Freya Bennett: Tigress is a one of a kind, collaborative, and creative community in the form of an online magazine aimed mainly at teenage girls, but filled with content noteworthy for people of any age and gender identification. It is a place that allows girls to acknowledge each other for who we are: beautiful, strong, quirky, clever, unique, and everything in between. Tigress consists of creative work by girls (and some boys!) from all over the world, and we aim to give a magazine filled with great stories, art, advice, and information in the hopes of leaving [readers] feeling empowered, accepted, and worthy.
I decided to start Tigress because after years of seeing mainstream media’s portrayal of women, I wanted to do something to make a difference. Teenage girls deserve more than being told how they should look. Girls and women are multifaceted and there needs to be positive media out there for us.
Why do you think it’s important for teen girls to have an online space?
FB: I think it’s important for teen girls to have an online space because it’s amazing to feel a part of a community when you’re a teen. Especially if you haven’t found your group in the place you live, it’s nice to know there are people around the world who have similar views and values as you! It’s especially important to share experiences because a lot of teenagers (and adults) don’t realize what they are experiencing is normal.
What’s one challenge you’ve had while running Tigress, and how did you overcome it?
FB: One big challenge for Tigress is time. Tigress is mostly run by Sophie Pellegrini and myself. Sophie lives in the U.S. and I live in Australia, so trying to coordinate meetings can be difficult. We are slowly building our team and have just added a PR manager and an intern, which helps a lot. At times it can feel like a full-time job, which is great, but none of us get paid at this point in time!
What’s been one of the coolest things about running Tigress?
FB: The coolest thing about running Tigress is getting emails from teenage girls from all over the world. When I get an email from a girl saying they love what we do, or that we have made a difference, that’s all I need to hear.
You also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible! Can you talk about the venture you’re trying to fund?
FB: Our next goal is to expand from our online platform and allow our contributors a chance to be published in a print publication, and to give the viewers something they can hold in their two hands. The print publication will feature about 100 beautiful pages of content previously published on our site as well as new and unseen content. Our long-term goal is to produce an annual print edition of our magazine that we can sell for an affordable price to our dedicated viewers. We have some amazing rewards from our contributors up for grabs!
What advice do you have for other women hoping to start a blog?
FB: Just do it! It took me so long to get Tigress started for fear of failure, but once I put the word out to a group of girlfriend on Facebook, the reaction was so positive; I was amazed I hadn’t done it sooner. It is really rewarding to start something, so I just say go for it!
Where do you see Tigress in the future?
FB: I see Tigress growing and expanding to reach more teenage girls the world over. I would love for us to expand our team, have a little office here in Melbourne and be able to pay each contributor a small amount. We also had our very first Tigress party/meet up last week and we really want to continue getting together with the Tigress community in different cities! The next part of the dream is to go into schools and talk about sex education, body positivity, and feminism.
All images courtesy of Freya Bennett.