Tiffany Evers, co-founder and editor of East Coast Current, never set out to launch a newspaper.
"It was a Facebook page that turned into a job that opened my eyes to an opportunity that I didn't even realize," she said. "I worked in corporate PR for seven years out of college before getting laid off. I'm the type of person who doesn’t do well when I don't have a project so I created a Facebook page that was the TMZ of town, but just centered on the facts of what was going in the community. It caught the eye of a local investor who started a paper and gave me the opportunity to try on the editor hat for a couple years. When he decided to close the paper, my team and I decided we weren't ready for that so we brainstormed for a month and came up with something unique that could grow with us. We created a new name and new style and launched in February 2015."
Now in mid-2017, the Current boasts a circulation of 10,000 copies per month and is available at over 350 locations throughout Volusia County. It is the only publication that redistributes copies so that no newsstand is empty.
"We call ourselves a paper-zine because we are not a magazine and not a paper," Evers explained. "We've created a hybrid. It's wrapped in gloss like a magazine and four inside calendar pages are also gloss so you can actually pop it out of the paper and hang on your wall to act as a community calendar each month."
Evers, along with co-founders Kelsey Walters and Carol Pompa, pride themselves on creating a publication that promotes events and news that have a positive impact on the area.
"Providing information to the community is one of our main goals on a day-to-day basis," Evers said. “All three owners have a passion for providing information our community needs, bridging the gap between the cities and the residents, while creating a publication that makes people want to stop and pick it up. We also have competitive advertising rates because our mission is to make your business successful. Without continuous business growth within the community, we can't grow. We support local businesses and understand what they need from us to succeed."
Evers' advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to move past two particular fears. "Never be afraid of criticism," she said. "The only way you can grow is to learn what you can do better. Also, if ever given the chance to introduce yourself publicly to a crowd, take it. If you don’t take the opportunity to promote yourself, you’re going to miss out on something.”