Made in NYC Stock quotes by finanzen. Arsenic Magazine In the hills above Hollywood, Arsenic's team of 12 — 10 women and two men — is building a media powerhouse based on being real, raw, and edgy.
Arsenic Magazine In the last two years, Arsenic has transformed from being one woman's hobby to a social-media movement where women of any shape, size, skin color, or location are submitting their own photos and videos for free just because they want to be a part of it. The startup, which officially launched in June , currently has over , followers on Instagram, more than Maxim and Esquire combined. Arsenic's Snapchat channel has around , people clicking on every photo and video its models post.
Arsenic's meteoric rise comes at a time when social media can make anyone a star and women are being empowered to take control of their bodies. The tone was set from the second Arsenic shoot ever, when cofounder Amanda Micallef threw the photographer off the set. He had come in with the typical attitude of "This is my set, you do what I say" and dictated how the girls looked, she explains to Business Insider.
That was not going to fly. They liked the idea of owning their sexuality," Micallef says. Advertisement The girls traded places and took photos of themselves, posing however they wanted. If you don't like what you're doing, don't do it," Micallef says. Arsenic doesn't pay for any of its Snapchat content. The entire platform is crowd-sourced, with people volunteering to take over the account and showcase their lives.
The up-and-coming models want attention and to be discovered. Brands are clamoring to have their products, like cars, show up as photo-shoot props. All of the art on display in the Arsenic House is on loan from artists wanting it to be showcased in the background. Now a generation of men and women who love "the new sexy" have started following Arsenic in droves. Evening the playing field on Instagram An Arsenic model. In , Micallef wanted to start a print magazine.
Advertisement Micallef had started Arsenic as a side project, a hobby to escape the "Hollywood bulls" that had become increasingly pervasive in her day job as an independent filmmaker.
For the first shoot, she didn't have any money to provide props or secure a location. The models, the photographer, and the makeup artists showed up for free. Hawkins lent Micallef his house. The resulting images were a byproduct of not having the money to do something more elaborate. Then came the next shoot, where the photographer was kicked out. The photos were different, and Micallef could tell she had hit on something. Advertisement "But more than that, there's a nuance when you look at a picture of a girl when she's feeling empowered and beautiful — her hair is the way she wants, she's wearing what she wants, she's standing the way she wants — that's very different than when a guy is like 'stand there, turn your cheek that way,' and projecting what he thinks is sexy.
She told him she was going to do it with or without his help. One week later, he came back with an email outlining the pillars of what Arsenic would become. The most interesting woman in the world and an opportunity An Arsenic model.
His boss told him about Micallef, a woman who raced Formula 1 Cars and drove the Gumball race across the country. She didn't just participate — she got thrown in jail for driving too fast. And this was in between her sitting on the boards of several companies. Advertisement "This is before the Dos Equis dude, the most interesting man in the world, but that's kind of how I pictured this woman," Hawkins says about first meeting Micallef.
He knew her side project had struck a nerve, and it seemed like there was a giant opportunity ahead. Looking at Playboy and Maxim in , they hadn't stayed on top of the digital age, Hawkins thought. MTV had slipped as the tastemaker. Instead, it's Snapchat and YouTube stars dictating pop culture.
There's something to this. Arsenic Magazine The free photo shoots were still just a "hobby accelerated" to Micallef, but more women started approaching her wanting to work for Arsenic. They didn't want to be paid; they just wanted to be a part of it.
Micallef tried to make a WordPress site, but says it was an "utter and total disaster. It was always this slowly accelerating snowball. When it did take off, it had a hockey-stick growth curve.
Arsenic Magazine Although Snapchat was a cool new social platform, Micallef and Hawkins weren't sure how to use it at first. The disappearing photo network initially had a reputation for sexting, with users sending racy anatomy photos back and forth. Arsenic's community of models and photographers hadn't found a safe spot on the social network yet. But the launch of Snapchat Stories changed that. Originally, Snapchat only let users send a single image or video to a list of friends, one by one.
With Stories, users could publicly share a collection of photos taken during the course of a day. All of their followers could watch the stories over and over, and the experience felt more like broadcasting to the masses than text messaging. A year-old film student who was volunteering for Arsenic offered to start the company's Snapchat channel. She began broadcasting her day, but having the account run by one model wasn't interesting enough.