The story of LAIKA began with a simple "what if." What if there was a magazine that was equal parts creative and compassionate? What if it showcased the full range of vegan living — from activism, to arts and culture, to travel, food, even fashion? And what if this magazine told the stories of animals with equal attention and respect to those of its human subjects? What if it also had crossover appeal, enjoyed by people from all backgrounds? It started as a daydream. And it became LAIKA Magazine. We have now produced four beautiful print issues—with over 80 full-color pages brimming with inspiring photography and immersive text. As our fifth issue nears its release, we are ready to take the next daring leap. We want to make LAIKA a mainstream publication. One that happens to be entirely vegan.
The founder and contributors
My name is Julie Gueraseva and I launched LAIKA at the end of 2012. My background is in art direction and design. I spent several years working in the art departments of magazines like Redbook and Harper's Bazaar, as well as record labels like Def Jam. Being vegan has been a source of constant creative inspiration. I am endlessly fascinated by the intriguing people who make up this vibrant community, the innovations that take place here, and the pioneering spirit of this movement. LAIKA is a result of wanting to document vegan lifestyle and culture with authenticity, depth, and originality. There is so much love and joy that goes into this publication. Today, I design and edit LAIKA, and I don't let any obstacles get in my way.
While we don't have a full-time staff yet, we have a team of amazing, talented contributors. I absolutely relish bringing people together for this creative, compassionate cause. Every story we work on, every photo shoot we do is an adventure. We get people from the community involved, even our readers. And everyone walks away with something they feel really proud to have been a part of, something that helps them grow—not just as an artist, but as a human being. Magic happens when people come together and create for good, for justice.
Your support means the world
Our readers (that's you!) have been incredible. LAIKA has gotten to this point through word-of-mouth. Despite being self-funded and produced with very limited resources, we have achieved something unprecedented: on newsstands LAIKA is often displayed among major titles like Elle and Vogue. We now get emails from people from all walks of life who love our magazine because it's a high-quality, interesting publication. And in the process of enjoying its dynamic content, they are introduced to a compassionate way of living.
We have come this far on our own, but just imagine how much farther we could go with a little more help. We want LAIKA to be a major presence, seen by many more people. Additional funding would allow us to:
Diversify our media. We want LAIKA to always be on the cutting edge. Additional funding would allow us to create a truly smartphone-compatible version of our magazine, available at outlets like the iTunes Newsstand—replacing our current PDF version. We are also dreaming up a beautiful groundbreaking app that will be the perfect on-the-go vegan lifestyle companion.
Strengthen our magazine. Our print editions are the heart and soul of LAIKA. We want to build a foundation for the future, ensuring we can keep creating the same amazing content, and even more of it! We want to increase the frequency of our issues, and make LAIKA more widely available. We want Issue 5 to be our biggest, most exciting yet.
Expand distribution. Imagine LAIKA at high-traffic locations like Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, even an airport newsstand! We are currently with a niche distributor. In order to make the next leap forward, additional funding is required to retain the services of a consultant who will align us with a major distributor.
- Cover more of the operational costs. LAIKA is currently operating out of a tiny office, barely big enough for two people. Additional funding would allow us to start building a more permanent team and make some much-needed upgrades.
We've put together a variety of fun and unique rewards for your guys—from workshops, to attending our photo shoots, to awesome goodies like:
Fine Art Archival Prints
Photography has been an integral part of LAIKA from day one. Each shoot is carefully and thoughtfully planned. Our mission is to portray animals with equal dignity and complexity as our human subjects. That's why we're so excited to offer beautiful 16"x 20" archival prints of 3 photographs from our past stories, signed and numbered by our talented photographers Mike Hrinewski, Sasha Bezzubov, and Sylvia Elzafon. You can get one of each, or all three.
Our very first t-shirt is a special collaboration between LAIKA and Herbivore Clothing. Featuring beautiful artwork hand-made by Josh Hooten, this is a limited-edition shirt created exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign. The illustration is of the magazine's namesake—Laika the Soviet space dog, surrounded by stars and the universe, with a constellation spelling out hers and our magazine's name. The quote around the artwork reads, "We are all life trying to live, among other life trying to live." (Albert Einstein). The back has a small imprint of the LAIKA logo and our credo at the base on the neck. (Correction: Alternative Apparel is made in Peru, not USA as stated in the reward description).
Issue 4 signed by Emily Deschanel
The amazing and outspoken cover star of Issue 4, Emily Deschanel—star of the hit show Bones, and a vegan of 21 years—will sign your very own issue. Very limited quantities available.
Our very first tote is made for all of your essentials, inscribed with LAIKA's credo: "A full, vibrant life can be had without harming another." And who could argue with that?
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
It's an honor to make LAIKA for you guys. There is no greater reward than knowing this magazine has inspired someone, given them hope, made them feel proud, and made them want to be the best they can be. Thank you for believing in this magazine. With your support by our side, we know that sky's the limit. Together, we can make LAIKA a publication with a truly mainstream presence.
Now let's make it happen!
We know that not everyone might be able to contribute financially to this campaign. But there is still loads you can do to help! You can spread the word about this campaign far and wide. Sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or just emailing your friends about it are all awesome ways to get people excited about our compassionate mission.
Special thanks to Alex Gaylon for making our video, and to Robert Poswall for filming our party footage.
Risks and challenges
We understand that in publishing there are always risks involved.
Yet, the four issues that we have put out are a testament that we make the absolute most out of very limited resources. People who hold the magazine can't believe that it's produced on this small of a budget. And that is because LAIKA has a very strong vision and determination behind it. We know how to produce creative, resonating content no matter the challenges. There is simply nothing like this magazine out there. With veganism growing by leaps and bounds, LAIKA fills a much-needed demand. This additional funding would go a very long way for us, and would allow us to smartly grow the magazine.
Our magazine already has a mainstream look and feel. And the audience for it is out there. Now our duty is to fully connect the two.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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