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Mom and Pop Corrals National Market

Tijeras, New Mexico – With daily newspapers struggling and print media repeatedly being touted as a relic to be proven extinct with the advent of e-commerce, a gutsy couple in New Mexico aren’t buying it, and fortunately, their readers are. This fun tale of grit and gumption is a heartwarming reminder that sometimes, the underdog can finish victorious and old-fashioned hard work and passion isn’t completely obsolete.

Those in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Texas are familiar with Today’s Horse Trader as a free publication that’s been around for eight years. What they may not recognize is the glitzy magazine that is now sold nationwide. This year was a huge gamble for the couple who started a regional equine industry trade publication and are now facing the challenges of comparably huge production runs, staffing up, gaining a national audience and juggling lag times. Armed with the support of Curtis Circulation Company LLC, (distributors of such respected publications as Newsweek, National Geographic and Western Horseman), however, they are finding a national audience that delights in the small-town approach to reader concerns.

"I have fielded questions from readers experiencing challenges with their horses from New Hampshire to New Mexico and dozens of states in between," notes Nanette Levin, who is located in New York and a featured monthly columnist with the publication.

"These equine enthusiasts note the relevant and helpful content of Today’s Horse Trader and are excited to get immediate and useful feedback on their equines concerns. There’s been a need for a smart, instructional and easy on the eyes equine publication for those who are in the trenches and Today’s Horse Trader fills this former gap very effectively," Levin concludes.

David Lewiecki, the publisher of the magazine, and his wife, Yvonne, who is the editor and art director, work together to manage a herd of freelancers and paid staff to produce the monthly 80-page, four-color publication. Unlike most expansion efforts these days, the two managed the transformation from newsprint freebie to glossy subscription-based magazine boasting worldwide distribution without a bankroll of investors. Instead, they relied on marketing savvy and a devoted team of readers, vendors and freelancers who believed in the couple and the concept. The transition from regional to national, with all the associated costs of upgrading the magazine and increasing production was a frightening move in February, 2006, but both were willing to take the risk, planning on a necessary six-month ramp up period where funds would be tight and staying-power essential. Now, magazine sales and increased advertising revenue are repaying initial costs and have paid off the sales staff’s draw, making financial projections proven solid.

Success is not a given yet, but it’s looking brighter. The team recognizes a need to penetrate national markets that have proven lucrative in the past, including livestock feed stores, western wear establishments and tack shops where the horse owner frequents. Curtis has been effective in reaching the general public, but they don’t distribute to those locations that have proven the mainstay of the magazine in former years. The Lewiecki’s say it’s exciting to have made it this far, and they are looking forward to continued growth in 2007.

The couple welcomes anyone – horse lovers or curious entrepreneurs – to visit http://www.todayshorsetrader.com to see what they’re up to or to pop an E-mail off to any of their staff with questions and the expectation of a personal and quick response.


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