AST Welcomes STACKEDD Magazine : An Interview with Founder Ma’chell Duma Lavassar

StackeDD Posterby Mindie Lind ::

Look out Seattle, there is a new publication in town and they’re looking for nothing more than a bloody good time! Much like Rosie the Riveter, Stackedd, which just launched a few days ago, is rolling up its sleeves, reclaiming those DD’s and hittin the town for the ladies but most importantly, by the ladies! Basically, it’s totally the tits. In between Hangin Tuff with local taste maker Bobbi Rich, following Wonder Woman on Her Day Off and heading over to Africa with drummer extraordinaire Faustine Hudson, Stackedd magazine’s Editrix-In-Chief Ma’chell Duma Lavassar sat down with us to talk about her role at the magazine and the magazine’s role in the community!

Tell me a little about your role in Stackedd? How did you get involved with the magazine? 

Well, it’s my media company and magazine. I’d been toying around with the idea of starting a feminist publication since I returned to Seattle almost four years ago. I was gifted a copy of New York Magazine that had a lead story on the creation of Ms.Magazine and aside from being a great read it was also a step by step guide how to build a publication like this. Having already worked for the two local Weekly papers and not being a Seattle Times type of girl I was feeling very limited as to my options here in Seattle and was considering returning to New York where there’s a lot more media work, but I have a young son and his dad and whole paternal family live here, so that would have been hard to execute.

I did the national freelance circuit for a bit and found it to be daunting . . . it was very competitive to get a piece accepted in a magazine, then to actually see it run was sometimes as problematic. I realized that I wasn’t the only female writer having this problem, so I started to think of some strategies that would not only employ myself, but all the other, smart, funny women who I knew who were talented and had great opinions and talents that other people might be interested in.

I’ve always felt I’d be a good editor-in-chief, but that I was only going to get that opportunity if made it for myself, so I developed our platform from the ground up, went out and found a kick ass web person and now I run things from my living room desk.

What would you like to see happen with Stackedd? Also, how has the community response been since the launch? 

Ultimately, I want to built an ad platform and structure that we can sell to women in other cities to create a STACKEDD in their town. Kind of like a new media Avon-then we can all trade content, but maintain a connection to local Sponsors. Because the national feminist sites we all read compete for the same batch of advertisers, no one gets paid much as the cash gets spread so thin. If you can localize your site and develop stories that support your own community to can generate enough income to also feature content that’s compelling on a national level.  It would be great to be able to not only create jobs in feminist media here, but in every city. I can assure you, as I grew up around there, Fargo, ND needs a STACKEDD-like publication of its own.

We’ll it’s only been 24 hours, but so far so good. Aside from a small tech glitch we’ve been up and running well on the tech side, which is part of the challenge, of course. I’m getting positive response to the work and I couldn’t be more pleased with the crop of writers who helped me pull this off. I respect brave women and every one of the people involved in this project kinda jumped off a cliff with me with the promise of a “home-made” parachute.

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Can you tell me a little more about the name? 

Sure. Everyone asks about the name . . . My pat response is “I like the idea of some dude Google hunting for boobies stumbling across feminist literature.” Obviously STACKEDD means a lot of things: You’re ahem . . . “well-stocked” in every aspect, right? I like to think it’s a reclaiming of the word in some ways.  It also goes back to the idea of creating national networks, one on top of the other. The DDs refers to our XX power. They are different sizes just like real boobs.

And, of course, it looks really good on a t-shirt.

Under your about section on the site it says, STACKEDD Magazine is a Seattle-based, online publication, that publishes annually. Can you explain that a little further? Does that mean you only put out content once a year?

No, we put up new content online on the first Monday of each month, with bonus content updating weekly.

We are going to publish an annual, print issue in September. It will contain all of our “best ofs,” new content and tons of SWAG. We want it to be a present you look forward to getting-full of goodies and great content. We’ll be starting the magazine pre-sale within the next few weeks.

I love the content up on the site, do you have any favorites? Anything coming up that we can look forward to?

I am very happy with Chelsea Robinson’s work (her links are Broad City Won’t Apologize, Fat & Cute & Poor). For a first timer, she really brought it. She’s someone who is naturally funny and I knew if we gave her the outlet this medium would suit her.

I have a few women who were so put off by their experiences writing for other publications, they stopped writing altogether and who I persuaded to come back, which was very satisfying. I’m very, very proud of Dategirl being back with a Seattle publication.  And I’m really happy to have my own local outlet, where I don’t have to convince anyone the topics I want to cover are worth covering.

Next Monday (the 12th) we’ll have and an extensive neighborhood profile of Georgetown going up, a column called “Show Me Your Wax,” where women talk to other women about their record collections and our February lead will be profiles of several Seattle front women and a pictorial styling them as characters from Twin Peaks, which I assure you will be nothing short of amazeballs.

Ok, You have this event coming up; can you tell me a little bit about it and do you plan on doing more community events like this? 

Sure. Our launch party “A Bloody Good Time” is a benefit for Mary’s Place, a local organization that provides emergency relief to women and children in crisis situations. Admission-as you might notice- is a box of name brand (no cheap shit please) feminine hygiene products or $10. Menstrual supplies are not covered by EBT cards and if you are poor or in a disadvantaged situation (women in jail, for instance) these necessary products are hard to come by. Our efforts were inspired by Faustine’s Operation Menstruation (which is our lead story) work in Africa in which girls are supplied with reusable menstruation kits enabling them to attend school.

I’m hoping we can organize this event quarterly and a female legislator might take up our cause and try and get these things covered for women and girls in need. We also write features on the work of the GreaterGood‘s female-centric causes (Instant Karma) regularly and will frequently highlight community-based, philanthropic initiatives.