15 years of SE22!

Angela Burgess – SE Magazines Limited

My name is Angela Burgess and I am originally from Stockport, but moved to South-East London in my early twenties.  After brief stints in Denmark Hill, Peckham and Nunhead, I finally settled in East Dulwich in 2000. It was whilst working from home that I realised there was a gap in the market for a magazine dedicated entirely to promoting the local community.  So I did my research and launched SE22 magazine back in March 2005. Following its success, I soon introduced SE21 and SE23 magazines; covering Dulwich Village, West Dulwich, Forest Hill and Honor Oak.  It was a steep learning curve given that I had no background in print, writing or marketing!  But I did know how to run a business from my earlier career in financial services, so at least there was something I knew I could do!

I have loved getting to know lots of local businesses and feel passionate about promoting the local area.  We are lucky to have so many wonderful places on our doorstep.  The local event scene is where I feel my magazines have the most impact.  I am able to promote everything from NCT baby fairs to concerts and comedy, the local WIs to pop-up supper clubs and everything in between!  It is fantastic to know this really helps the event organisers.  To compliment the magazines, I set up a website called Around Dulwich where I can do further local promotion and have even more events listed. Local charities also benefit from free publicity.  Link Age Southwark are my chosen local charity and I run a very popular Christmas lunch each year for local businesses, ensuring even those who work alone are able to have a work Christmas ‘do’ with friends, and raising lots of money for a very worthy charity.

In the early days I did everything apart from physically print the magazines.  When the first copies of SE22 were printed, I roped in members of my family to help deliver around East Dulwich.  The magazine was well received, although one person did walk out on the street and threw their copy on the pavement!  I thought that was a bit harsh, but I am glad to say that I haven’t had that happen again.

Through the magazines I was approached to create an event in East Dulwich for the Dulwich Festival. The Festival Fair was born and I ran it for 11 years.  I am pleased to say it is still going and is still a very popular part of the Festival.

Since setting up the magazines I have co-created a networking group called Cooking with Scissors.  We meet downstairs at Franklins on the last Wednesday of every month.  It is a great group which has been going for 11 years.  It is open for anyone who runs a business or is thinking of setting one up.

This month I am celebrating 15 years of SE22 and I can’t quite believe I am still going.  The business landscape has changed so much.  Whilst we did have the internet when I started, websites were not common.   Now there are so many other ways to promote your business via social media, I have a lot of competition.  But I am pleased to say that print is not dead and having a physical magazine is still appreciated by so many residents.

To be able to run my business from home has been a long-held dream and one that I still love doing.  I never feel like I am working apart from during my deadline week!  When I am not busy with the magazines, I am an avid reader, huge Manchester United fan and love my music.  But perhaps my greatest passion is for food!  I love to eat out or cook at home.  I can never understand anyone who isn’t in to food!

We are proud to have been helping Angela with her love of food by writing a seasonal food column for the magazine ever since it began back in 2005!  Thanks for having us Angela, and we wish you many more happy years as Editor!