I got chatting with Keely Majewski, aka POI, the creator of O BOY PRESS and Early Magazine. I was able to get an insight into her life. From the launch of her creative platform, and the recent start of her minimalist, lifestyle magazine, she is an inspiration and teaches us that perseverance is the key to life.
Q: Where were you born and where do you currently live?
A: I was born in SW Florida, I live here currently, but because of how flexible my work is, I spend a lot of my time in Pasadena, California as well!
Q: You studied English language and literature at Florida SouthWestern State College, did this background help you launch O BOY PRESS?
A: When I was going to college I was studying to be an English major to help pursue writing in the future. I eventually dropped out before getting my degree due to health issues I was facing. I plan on resuming in the future when I feel the time is right, but this whole situation resulted in being a blessing in all honesty.
Because of what happened I had so much motivation pushing me to find a way to write full time when I left school, that’s what allowed me to start freelancing and dedicate more time to O BOY PRESS.
But when I first started OBP, I was just out of high school, it was all very new to me, I had published work before but mainly fiction and I was more focused on visual arts at the time. Creating OBP after high school almost 5 years ago made it possible for me to combine the things I love most in hopes that other individuals would have a platform to share what they love as well. I learned so much in that first year of OBP and still do every single day.
Even though the creation of OBP had nothing to do with school, I believe everything shapes the future, so I’m thankful for how things have progressed in all of those areas of my life.
Q: Where did the name O BOY PRESS come from?
A: 5 Years ago I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom with a composition notebook trying to brainstorm a name for a website. I wanted to create a platform that focused on interviews about fashion, music, and art, but I needed a name. I wore a golden watch around this time, a vintage, small golden watch that my mother gave me when I was a kid, and it just clicked. I started with the word golden and everything else fell in place.
Recently, during the celebration of our 5 year anniversary we completely rebranded and renamed our company to O BOY PRESS, for a fresh start moving forward!
Q: How do you source out people you want to interview?
A: I actually have always contacted people through their management or personal emails (if they’re an independent artist), it started out like that and I still reach out to people in the same way. This has led to me getting in contact with a few press companies who update me on their newest artists which helps, but reaching out with just an email is how it’s always been.
Q: What has been one of your favourite interviews?
A: Oh man, it’s so hard to choose! I feel like I’ve learned something from every single person I’ve interviewed. I always feel so proud of the individuals that are featured on the site, they create such amazing things I feel like a pageant mom cheering everyone on.
I’ve made some amazing friends through interviews on OBP, friends that are lifelong for sure. I’d have to say DVDV who is a very close friend of mine and Manchado! If you love great music, you have to check them out!
Q: How many people are involved in running the O BOY PRESS?
A: Myself and Zab, who is the love of my life and partner, he’s the editor for every aspect of OBP and always keeps me sane. Two peas in a pod!
Q: Since you have a background in graphic design did you personally design the layout of the website?
A: Yes I did! I’m thankful that for a while when I was 13 I wanted to be a graphic designer, because although that has completely changed, those skills are something that have come in handy in literally everything I do. I always tell people to learn the basics in graphic design, it saves you a ton of money.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: Typically I try to wake up semi early, I always have to have a coffee, ALWAYS.
I wash my face and set up my laptop at my desk, I check a few things and organize my schedule for the day, then I’ll usually get some breakfast. I’ll watch a few YouTube videos while I have breakfast and finish my cup of coffee before I start working.
I spend most days working on freelance assignments, OBP, and Early Magazine. I’ll go over emails in the evening and any other small misc work that needs to be done.
I love what I do every single day, but I do try to give myself some free time for some self care, whether that’s me going to the gym, playing video games, or cooking something yummy. I also like to go out quite a bit, to local coffee shops or interesting restaurants. Taking pictures of good food is a guilty pleasure.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My family. My mom and grandma are both strong and independent women, they’ve given me the backbone I have today and I will always be grateful for that. My boyfriend Zab keeps me grounded and is always there when I’m going through anything. I also inspire myself as well, I’ve had a rough time with health for a long time, it’s always tried to bring me down, and it’s won sometimes, but I’ve pushed through so much BS that’s been thrown at me because of that. The fact that I’ve been able to just keep going and be here, inspires me to continue to do so.
Q: You go by the alias Poi - where does this come from?
A: Poi actually started back in art school when I was a Sophomore. I created a personal blog and that was the name of it on Tumblr, from there it just caught on, I really liked how simple and cute it sounds too!
Q: Most recently you started EARLY MAGAZINE - where did this idea come from and can you talk about this for a bit?
A: I’ve been working on OBP for 5 years now, the main purpose of OBP was to give a platform to others to express their ideas and how they create. I had been toying with the idea of creating a blog dedicated to more lifestyle and minimalist themed work for a while, but I wasn’t really sure about the direction or if it would take away from OBP. Some time passed and around August I decided to just go for it like I did with OBP, so I started planning Early Magazine.
I want Early Magazine to be independent from OBP, a place for more lifestyle oriented things that are a bit more based on personal opinion. I don’t want to brand the site as a personal blog, because I want to branch out later on with collaborations, but it is a space where I feel comfortable to talk about my ideas and how much I love being cozy with a cup of coffee. I’m very excited to see where it will go in the future!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In five years I hope to still be growing my businesses even more and I’d like to see myself having some involvement in a publishing company. I’d love to also go back to school and possibly get a teaching degree, but I don’t see that happening for a while, just because of how my career is right now with freelancing full time and managing OBP and EM.
Q: Are these side hustles or are you able to support yourself financially throughout the website and magazine?
A: I mentioned a few times above that I freelance, I freelance for a range of clients and spend my days writing, which is a dream! It can be stressful sometimes, but I love being able to move my schedule around how I want to, it also makes working on my magazines much easier!
Q: Do you have anything else you want people to know about you?
A: First of all, I want to say thank you, it means so much to me that you wanted to have a little peek into my life. I love the work you do and how hard you push yourself, it’s obvious when looking at your company.
Other than that, to anyone taking the time to read through what I have to say, don’t let things get in the way of what you want to do. There are so many situations that will try to interrupt your progress, it’s okay to be upset or even cry sometimes, but being able to continue forward is bravery.