Avril Franco is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Avril Magazine, a lifestyle digital magazine that focuses on Montreal personalities and latest trends. In just two years, Avril has managed to create her very own magazine that continues to grow at an exponential rate.
Not many people know the story of Avril and how she systematically pursued her passion until she turned it into her very own brand. Here's the story of an ultimate #goss who decided to just go for it.
Born in Quebec to a Mexican mother and Canadian father, she moved to Montreal at the age of 19 years old to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer.
I've always love photography growing up, but I didn't know it was my passion until I was about 17 years old. I was living in London at the time, what started off as a short term working contract turned into a year in a half life experience. One day I was strolling down the street with a friend of mine, this guys came running after us saying: girls girls! You won a free photoshoot session!
We were weary at first, I mean first because we had never applied for any contest (giggles) but he looked credible so we decided to follow him to his studio. It was the best move! It was a huge loft with make up artists, hair stylists, photographer, stylist waiting to pamper us, while giving us a glass of champagne. The experience was magical.
While the photographer was choosing which picture to edit and started playing with photoshop that's when I realized I loved it. Then and there, I knew I wanted to be a photographer. I applied for photography school shortly after, and that's when I started bringing my hobby to life.
I think every artist goes through a point where they realize: okay, what do I do next? Do I pursue my passion and starve? I wanted to have kids, buy a house, I needed to find a stable revenue stream.
I remember feeling completely discouraged that I couldn't make my passion of being a photographer come to life. I was crying and crying one day until my boyfriend came to me and said: what would be your goal as a photographer? When I really thought about it, I answered: I want to be featured in Vogue. Okay, he asked: let's say you get published in Vogue, what's next? Think about that.
That's when I realized, I didn't want to be IN Vogue, I wanted to BE Vogue. Why do photographers want to be published in Vogue? It's the reference. My perception changed from "I want to be" to "I will become".
I started brainstorming all night, and it all came together: Avril Magazine. I did everything by myself, the graphic design, the photoshoots, the editing etc. When I finally launched the first edition of Avril Magazine, people were loving it!
First edition of Avril Magazine. Photo by Avril Franco.
If it's your passion, go for it! Yes, you need to hustle, you need to work non stop but if it's your passion you won't be counting the hours or days working on your project. When you love what you do, you forget everything else around you.
Never forget to have fun. Take breaks, make sure your work environment is fun. Also learn to disconnect and to live in the present moment. You need balance between fun and business.
When life gives you lemons be grateful for them and give lemonade back!
Believe in yourself, always be grounded and authentic, raising the standards high, dreaming big, hustling to reach them and always be grateful.