Shannon Svingen, 47, a graduate of the Sandermoen School of Business Executive MBA program with a specialty stream in Innovation Leadership, has not always been an entrepreneur. Most of her career was spent working in early childhood education, and later in post-secondary administration. When a layoff affected Shannon’s position at the Vancouver Art Institute in 2013, she decided to pursue her EMBA and start her own business, a magazine called FabUplus.
The concept for FabUplus, a body positive health & fitness publication launched this summer, was born out of Svingen’s own journey to finding body positivity. “Being a plus-size healthy and athletic person, I was tired of always reading magazines that focused on exercising and eating well for the sole purpose of losing weight.”
After completing market research via an online Facebook group, Svingen realized that she was not alone in this feeling. The lack of representation in mainstream media was an issue felt by many women, and one she thought was worth addressing. Svingen says that completing her Executive MBA online allowed her to grow her business while working towards completing her degree. In addition to the convenience of the program for working professionals, she found the course material extremely applicable to the work she was doing. “By studying online, I was able to apply what I was learning each week immediately into practice with my own business.”
Svingen’s ultimate goal is to change the way media represents women, and this means having major advertising brands visually represent diversity in their marketing. “I have been meeting with several major advertising agencies and encouraging them to change their visuals and join in the movement by advertising in my magazine.”
The social impact that FabUplus has had in the few short months since its inception is already helping Svingen work towards achieving her goal. FabUplus has been featured in several mainstream publications including People Magazine and ELLE. The magazine is also available at Barnes & Noble locations across the United States. “The response I have received is beyond my greatest expectations, and the support from my readers has been exceedingly positive.”
Currently, FabUplus is published quarterly and is available digitally or in print. For more information, or to subscribe to the magazine, visit www.fabuplusmagazine.com