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BGHD x Liganova
Ryan Willms /
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Jörg: When did you start using the Internet and what was your initial motivation or what was the main reason for it?
Ryan: I began using the Internet at a fairly young age in school, but I really became hooked when I found out about Mp3s and the ability to download music for free when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I would wait until my parents finished working in their studio and using their computers, then I would sit there for hours in search of songs I never knew existed.

When did you set up your own site and what was the motivation for this move?
I originally set up my first blog while going to college in 2006. I had wanted to get into writing, mainly my interests were in advertising and copy writing so I thought it would be a good way to build up some sort of a body of work. I knew from the beginning that I was just going to write about clothing and music – those are the two things I’ve always loved the most, but I never could think of how to turn them into a real career.

At what point did you notice that somebody out there was taking notice of your site?

After writing my original blog for about a year and a half, I decided I wanted to do something more with it. I was definitely inspired by what the Inquiring Mind guys were doing in Toronto, but I wanted to write about the people and brands I was really interested in. We launched h(y)r collective magazine and the first day we had 250 visitors, up from my usual 40 - 50 – that’s when I really got excited.

Did you have any formal training in publishing? If yes, do you think it is helpful or even necessary to know 'the rules'?
Unfortunately I don’t have any real training in publishing. I think like any real craft there is a lot of value in learning the fundamentals and being able to build on top of that. Whether it’s
  writing, journalism, graphic design or photography, there are rules, and you should at least know the rules to be able to break them properly. I have a lot to learn still but I am excited that I’ve had the opportunity to be published in Monocle as well as my own magazine now. I’ve also been lucky to work and learn from some talented people.

At a certain point you decided to open up your site commercially. How did that develop?
I suppose I always wanted to be able to use the site commercially, but it has been a struggle to keep the integrity of what I want to publish and be able to make any money from that. Well, the struggle has been the money part. The Internet is still being figured out by a lot of people and we are taking it slow as we want to do what feels right above everything. By opening a small online shop it’s been the best way possible as it has allowed us to further edit and showcase the products we love, but still be able to make enough revenue to keep moving forward.

How did you handle the fact that your publishing habits might change and adapt to this commercial aspect of your website?
I’ve never really changed my publishing habits. I still only write about the products that I personally care about and like. If anything, I think we make a point of staying positive and showing the items we do like, rather than being negative about the things we don’t like. Surprisingly, this is actually quite a challenge sometimes as it would be much easier to do the latter.

To continue this interview, please visit Liganova HERE.

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