I created The Numinous because there was a lack of a glamorous, aspirational media platform for what I call “modern cosmic thinking” – Ruby Warrington
Ruby Warrington is a British lifestyle writer, currently located in NYC. Formerly Features Editor on the celebrated glossy Sunday Times Style supplement in the UK, she still writes extensively across all sections of the magazine.
In the below interview, Ruby shares her journey of styling a career and business she loves that has seen her switch to an independent freelance writing career and creating The Numinous – a website dedicated to fashion, culture and modern cosmic thinking, where Material Girl meets Mystical World.
Tell me more about your career before starting your business?
I studied Fashion Promotion (basically magazine journalism) at the London College of Fashion and started working as a writer as soon as I graduated in 1998. My first job was as Style Editor on a now defunct teen magazine called Sneak. From there I moved from title to title (including a stint editing Pacha magazine in Ibiza!) until I landed my dream job as Features Editor on the UK’s Sunday Times Style magazine. I stayed there for almost four years before my husband’s work meant a move to New York and the start of a new freelance career in early 2012. I’d had the idea for The Numinous before this but it was being forced out of my comfort zone and into working for myself that finally gave me the space in my life to make it happen.
The Numinous is very unique in terms of how you combine all the elements of modern lifestyle with a cosmic and spiritual twist. Can you briefly explain a bit more about it?
I created The Numinous because there was a lack of a glamorous, aspirational media platform for what I call “modern cosmic thinking”. People are more leaning towards a mystical or spiritual way of experiencing the world and yet the way many of these subjects are presented are often patchouli and purple crushed velvet – whereas I’m more of an Alexander Wang kind of girl! Hence the strap line: “Material Girl, Mystical World.” Sure, there are times when your spiritual pilgrimage means casting worldly desires aside – but there are also times when food for the soul comes in the form of a new pair of Isabel Marant shoes!
What inspired you to start The Numinous?
I’ve always been fascinated with astrology and a few years ago I decided I wanted to study it properly as a hobby. I approached Sunday Times astrologer Shelley Von Strunckel about this and she was the first person I heard use the word “numinous” to describe “that which is unknown or unknowable.” I thought it was such a magical word and it really stuck in my head. I immediately envisaged a magazine called The Numinous, which would cover everything mystical but through a fashion forward lens. Shelley and I had already had many conversations about how the area of “mind, body, spirit” was long overdue an aesthetic overhaul and so the project was born!
How did you manage building your business alongside your full time career?
It was only when the Universe conspired and forced me to quit my day job that I began work on the project – and even then it took another year for me to really commit to it as I needed to dedicate all my time to establishing myself as a freelancer writer. I launched the site properly in September last year and juggling it with my magazine writing schedule has meant pretty much working 24-7 to get The Numinous to the stage it’s at now. Whilst it’s been my side-project, I can now feel the balance tipping in the other direction as the project gains its own momentum. My big focus for the year ahead is to make it financially viable so that it can become my full time ‘thing’.
What’s been the biggest highlight?
So many! But realising my own creative vision and having people respond positively to it has been massive – and a revelation in terms of career satisfaction. I’ve always loved being a writer and got a huge sense of achievement from having my work published in titles I admire like Style, but getting emails from people almost daily telling me how much the love the site and what a positive impact it’s had on them takes it to another level.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Having to think like a businesswoman. I’m very right brain focused and always have masses of ideas but I have to really discipline myself when it comes to the nuts and bolts of making them happen. I’m actually looking for partners who balance my skill set to run various arms of The Numinous as it develops going forward.
You’ve worked and collaborated with some very high profile brands and people. What’s your secret?
“If you don’t ask you don’t get” is definitely one of my favourite mottos!
What advice would you give to other women who dream of starting their own business?
Just start. One of the reasons it took me so long to get going on The Numinous is because I was daunted by the scale of my vision (there’s lots more to come!), but what I’ve realised is that each tiny step is a vital part of the journey towards that end goal. There are lots of clichés for this “Rome wasn’t built in a day” etc… but it’s so true that your own procrastination is possibly the biggest barrier you’ll face.
What’s next for you?
I’m looking at ways to expand The Numinous into a full lifestyle brand – so products, events and apps to name just a few possibilities. I’m taking a vacation right now as I don’t anticipate having too much time off in the coming months!
What’s your favourite quote?
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
You can explore the mystical world of The Numinous by clicking here
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