Conde Nast, Time and Hearst aren't the only places for badass magazine editors to cut their teeth. When 28-year-old Alyse Archer-Coité saw a gap in the presentation of and accessibility to art, she decided to do something about it — and started MAKER magazine.
In a nutshell, Alyse sources artists she thinks are cool and asks them to collaborate with MAKER's fellow editors and other artists to reimagine their work using the issue's theme as their guide. It's a model and limited-edition magazine that continues to grow a dedicated, passionate following. It's no wonder why the lady at the helm is the most passionate of all.
Julie Bensman: What was your first real job?
Alyse Archer-Coité: I started out on the corporate path. I worked for Sotheby’s Dallas and New York in the European Ceramics Department and then another small auction house in the Contemporary Art Department. During my nights and weekends, I started to pull together MAKER to find some creative satisfaction. As it started to take off, corporate life seemed less and less like the path for me. So I welcomed the pay cut and loss of insurance benefits, and took the leap! Now I’m a business owner and spend my days/nights/weekends doing work that brings me real happiness intellectually and creatively.
JB: What was the inspiration to start MAKER?
AAC: My time in the secondary market had turned me against my sentimentality towards art. Rather than love a work of art because it was beautiful or spoke to me, I felt the emphasis was placed on its investment value. MAKER'S mission is to increase visibility of work by emerging artists not only through publishing it, but also by encouraging all of the artists in the issue to push the boundaries of their own practice.
JB: Which have been some of your favorite MAKER collaborations?
AAC: Each issue has something really special. Volume I had one of my favorite collaborations of all time, a short animated story by actor Rupert Friend with illustrations by artist Ed Atkins. It was equal parts funny and sad at the same time. It’s so obviously a uniquely personal tale between friends — it was great to share that with our readers.
JB: What's the best part of each day for you?
AAC: Definitely riding home on my bike over the Manhattan Bridge after a long day of work. I find it's the best way to reflect on the work behind me and the work ahead.
JB: How would you describe your own sense of style?
AAC: Minimal. I love to mix classic and boyish pieces like Nikes or high-tops, or a menswear piece to downplay the ‘girlyness.’ My go-to colors are white, black, gray, navy and army green. I love tailored pieces with an understated elegance… so understated, I can still ride my bike in them.
JB: Which celebs do you think get it right on the red carpet every time?
AAC: Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson, Rihanna and Rooney Mara.
JB: What's the best style advice you've ever received?
AAC: My grandfather once told me he thought it was ridiculous to wear shoes if I couldn’t run in them. I was 12 at the time and he was speaking about a pair of ill-fitting cleats I owned, but that remark stuck with me. It now applies to shoes I can run to catch the train or hustle to make a dinner reservation in.
JB: What's the best professional advance you've ever received?
AAC: “Sunday is Monday-lite." That's from my best friend Sheena back home in Texas. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, she helps me remember how good hard work feels. She taught me to treat Sundays as an opportunity to get a jumpstart on Mondays. So the hardest day of the week is a little bit less painful.