INTERVIEW | Running The World: Anna Nooshin
Anna Nooshin could safely be described as an ‘overachiever’. As co-founder and executive editor of NSMBL.nl & NSMBL.com – an inspiring collaborative online publication made by women, for women – she’s successfully channelled her love of fashion and editorial into a powerhouse business. We caught up with Anna to discuss her style, inspiration and big ambitions for the future.
What drove you to start NSMBL?
I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and have always loved creating beautiful stories, so with little capital to start with, an online company seemed like the best option. I started NSMBL with a very strategic plan, knowing that one day I wanted to be able to commercially take it to another level. I started in May 2011 and now the website generates over 3 million visits in the Netherlands and Belgium alone.
What sets NSMBL apart from other female-centred publications?
I can safely say we were the first European title to take the whole ‘Buzzfeed’ style article writing to a broader audience. When I started NSMBL, there wasn’t a website like it out there, since most online fashion publications were either blogs or strictly fashion titles. We offered our readers a much broader spectrum of articles and I also decided to add a personal touch by attaching my face to the title.
What challenges have you faced in getting NSMBL established and building your readership?
Luckily, in three years’ time we have never had the need to advertise and all of our growth has been very organic. However, the media landscape is still very hesitant when it comes to advertising online, and many brands still claim to have no budgets for advertising online even though my site is so big. Also, a struggle we always deal with is making sure that our commercial content is interesting enough for our readers and will keep them loving the website as much as they did before.
NSMBL is for women interested in “more than just pink glitter”, an empowering message – do you identify with the feminist movement?
I identify with any form of equality between men and women. Being a feminist doesn’t only mean that women should be treated the same as men, it means that gender should never be an issue or something fixed. I have always felt that strong women with huge willpower who run companies should be heard more and I strongly believe that we should put more spotlight on them. I have never been a glittery type of girl, so I didn’t want the website to be glittery either.
Who or what first inspired you to start writing?
Probably my father, who was a writer and always told the most bizarre, and often not true, stories.
What is your vision for NSMBL in the future?
I definitely see it evolving more into an all-round brand. We just launched our first print edition for NSMBL that’s now being sold in the major department stores all over Holland. I will be launching my own collection of leather jackets in September, and we will also be launching a men’s calendar and a stationery line later on this year. I also see us moving towards television and consultancy, so yeah, some quite big plans for the future.
Do you have any inspirational female role models that have helped to guide your career?
Martha Stewart is someone I always look up to. She is just the best example of a beautiful, strong, confident woman who has built her company from scratch and really runs the world.
It’s interesting to see an online publication like NSMBL transition into print – what do you think is the future of publishing?
I think that the cross-boundaries between print and online are a beautiful example of dealing with the changing media landscape. Now that we have established ourselves online, I am trying more and more to bring my readers together offline by offering them different products, events and masterclasses. I think the future of publishing lies in this: build your audience, make sure to keep the volume steady and the content consistent, and cross over boundaries with brand extensions that make sense and are very organic.
How would you describe your personal style / fashion philosophy?
Quality over quantity, a little boy with long dark locks. Kind of a cross between a junkie musician and homeless person meeting my love for Phoebe Philo.
How does the Muubaa aesthetic fit with your personal style?
I love how Muubaa always has a focus on quality and only works with the best materials and timeless designs. I have loved it for years now and wear my Muubaa pieces all the time.
What is your favourite Muubaa garment that you own?
Probably my petrol leather pants and black cropped leather pants. <3
What song do you have on repeat at the moment?
Blood Orange – ‘You’re Not Good Enough’ (literally on repeat ALL DAY).
What book are you reading?
‘Man Repeller’ (by Leandra Medine) and ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ by Mindy Kaling.
Read more from Anna at NSMBL.com and find her on Instagram at /annanooshin. See Anna in Muubaa on our Inspired Individuality wall.