Graham has a magnetic personality. I've only met about eight people in my life like this. He has a vision and it's precise and if you ask him to execute something, he will...full force, 100%. But it's that vision part that I admire. Anyone can see this when they scroll the pages of his popular Glossed + Found e-zine. It's fashion, it's editorial, it's video content - all on steroids. The best, most colorful steroids ever to illuminate your computer screen.
The best part? Graham isn't just a talented visionary...he's actually really nice, genuine and warm. Like he means it! And you can't fake that authenticity. Not in a million years. I have a sniffer for this stuff because, like many of us, I have met far too many people that were the opposite leaving a lackluster impression. Rest assured, you'll never have this with Graham. His spunk is infectious which has been confirmed by just about every one of his peers in Chicago. So, today, I'm excited to share the inspiration that moves Graham to create, what makes him tick and what's next for the brand he has so lovingly developed over the years. Meet Graham Kostic!
Tell us a little about Glossed + Found and the mission of your brand. How did you develop the idea further?
Glossed & Found is a digital playground. It’s a video-based web magazine focused on celebrating stylish living and fanciful adventure. While we honor trends, I’m more interested in sharing stories and providing an e-platform that provides viewers with a quick fix of something light hearted and happy.
1. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an entrepreneur let alone in the digital fashion industry?
I enjoy the collaborations. I love working with talented stylists and storytellers to take our framework and share inspiring editorials and films. I remember why I love working for myself when I think of an idea and then execute it without weeks of red tape and meetings. A G&F 80’s Halloween Special? DONE. A tribute to Super Market Sweep? DONE. A giant twister board for a Valentine’s Day fashion spread? FINISHED. And then there are those parts that really make it worthwhile: I love my freedom. I like being able to meet my mom at Oak Brook for lunch. I love a quick Art Institute walk-thru during the day.
2. What was the most difficult moment in launching your brand? How did you get through it?
When my husband and I moved back to Chicago from Boston, I re-launched G&F to be what it is today: a wider platform to include fashion and beauty editorials, travel features and more signature events. The re-launch wasn’t difficult. It’s maintaining a consistent voice and appeal through a wild west landscape of new social media apps and other digital platforms. We ain’t through it! But I do have very strong convictions of what we should be doing to continue to deliver solid stories and compelling editorial.
3. How would you describe a typical day? What's your morning to evening routine?
I don’t even know anymore. I’m a natural born worrier—so I try to avoid planning my days to the minute to allow for some time to balance myself and do what I need to do to stay balanced. My most favorite days go as follow: Wake up early. Go to a yoga class. Check email and do a little work. And then, choose an adventure. Return home. Check email and finish work. Turn on music super loud. If it’s nice outside, take a walk. Think about dinner plans. Wait for Fran to get home. Have dinner. Sing songs at the piano. Take a shower. Go to sleep. I live the most simple life in the fanciest and most fun ways I can.
4. What’s one thing you learned about yourself in becoming an entrepreneur?
No matter how long my to-do list is, I’ve learned to respect and honor my personal time. Learning to separate personal and professional life is key for the success of both. We live in a time where “the hustle” is a badge of pride. In the long run, I want to look back on this time of my life in terms of personal development, time spent with family and fantastic travel memories. It’s hard to step away from “the hustle” to focus on yourself. It feels selfish. But when you find that balance, boy-oh-boy does it feel good.
5. What individuals, tastemakers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, public figures inspire you?
I just saw a cabaret show by performance artist Grelley Duvall at the Hideout. The raw passion was contagious. Similarly, I randomly walked into a performance piece by an opera singer at Volumes bookstore the other day. Again, I was struck by the unbridled energy in such an intimate space. Live performances inspire me to no end.
I recently saw Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhal and Annaleigh Ashford. It was on Stephen Sondheim's birthday. The theatre was sold out. The energy in there was incredible. I'll remember it for a long time to come.
6. If you weren't in the fashion industry...and could be anything else...what would it be?
For sure: The Theatre. I love the energy and the creativity and the history. I love the storytelling and the artistry. I love the community and the escapism. I love it all.
7. What's on your Spotify?
I recently was in New Orleans for a wedding. One day there, I had some time to myself, so I took a cab to the far end of Magazine Street and took the morning to walk back to the French Quarter. I stopped into Peaches Records—a giant vinyl shop in an old Woolworths—and was hit by the happiest music I’ve heard in recent days. It was jazz organist Shirley Scott. Ever since, she’s been my go-to. She’s energizing and electric—both literally and figuratively—and positively joyful.
8. What’s your vice? Everyone has one...wine, chocolate, This is Us?
Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 72: On Broadway
9. Wine or classic cocktail?
Classic Cocktail for the Win!
10. What’s the best career advice you ever received?
It may be cliché, but it’s served me well. “Just Be Yourself.” You can thank my mom and dad for that one.
11. 5 must-have apps that you need in your life to function?
These five are needed perhaps not to function, but just to make the ride a little more enjoyable. Roadside America (an app that allows you to find roadside oddities in the States), Soothe (Massages on demand. Yes!), Shazam, Corepower Yoga and Radiooooo (an app that allows you to select a country and era to stream music—Perfect for dinner parties and last minute deadlines)
12. Bonus question - What's next for Glossed + Found OR do you have something new in the works?
Well, more travel features, for sure. But it’s a question that keeps me up at night. As soon as I know the answer, I’ll email you.
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Photo Credit: Andrew Rawnicki for Time Out Chicago