Cowzer backs new Magpie magazine on Dragons’ Den
SEPTEMBER 2016 will see the launch of Magpie Magazine, a recent success story from the hit RTÉ One business series ‘Dragons’ Den’ and the first business venture for 25-year-old budding entrepreneur Deirdre Fitzpatrick and her business partner, Bray woman Georgina Heffernan (45).
The duo successfully pitched their idea for a new women’s lifestyle magazine in last Sunday’s episode of the series and won a €75,000 investment from East Coast Bakehouse founder, and panellist Alison Cowzer.
Georgina, who lives in the Vevay Road area, explained that Magpie started off as a blog called ‘ The Glitter Magpie’ which was established in 2010.
It was obviously getting traction online with close to a million hits, and Georgina felt it would form the basis of a magazine for women.
She has a background in journalism, with her credits including New magazine, Tatler, RTE and more.
‘I put an ad on Gumtree and interviewed quite a few people but so many graphic designers are not sophisticated visually. With Deirdre, we were a match made in heaven. She is magazine obsessive and she makes all the words and images beautiful.’
It was the Wicklow County Enterprise Board that encouraged them to approach Dragons’ Den.
To start with, the entrepreneurs had a tough time convincing the Dragons to part with their cash. However, the idea of a women’s magazine that tackled social issues such as homelessness and the refugee crisis, along with a lively mix of fashion and culture, intrigued Cowzer, who came up with the investment that gained her a 30 per cent share of Magpie Publishing Ltd, the company that will publish Magpie Magazine.
The would-be magazine publishers also impressed fellow Dragon and media mogul, Gavin Duffy, who said that he was tempted to invest in the venture but believed that Cowzer shared the girls desire to publish an ‘intelligent’ magazine aimed at women with substance and style.
‘ The Dragons’ Den pitch for Magpie Magazine from Georgina and Deirdre really made an impact on me,’ said Alison Cowzer.
‘ Their first issue design looked fantastic, stylish, beautifully designed and clearly targeted at a reader who is seeking a new and different magazine. The features list is innovative and the plans for top class contributors gave the pitch real credibility. I was impressed with the skills, expertise, and ambition that Georgina and Deirdre clearly demonstrate.
‘Over the coming months, we’re going to work together to produce a magazine that offers something truly unique to Irish readers... can’t wait for the first issue!’ The magazine, which will initially be published bi-monthly, is a women’s interest publication aimed at aged between 25 and 45 years.
‘Magpie immediately stands out from its competitors as a fresh new voice in Irish publishing. With quality journalism, analysis, art and essays by progressive writers and thinkers, Magpie is a cutting-edge glossy with a distinctive look,’ she said.
‘We aim to create an important, modern brand that will quickly become synonymous with topnotch journalism, fierce creativity, inspiring fashion and bold opinion,’ said Georgina.
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, ALison Cowzer, and Georgina Heffernan celebrate their new partnership on Magpie Magazine following Dragons’ Den.