Stephanie and Kelly Kinnunen didn't quit their jobs, sell off their worldly possessions, and move into a motel in order to launch a new magazine about patio furniture

Today, Kelly plays editorial director as 24-year-old Liz Werner, a writer and editor, scrolls through colored pictures of Cambodian landmine removers on her Flatron computer screen. Last year, Werner was working as a server at the Minneapolis Golf Club when she heard about the magazine through two co-workers, who were also volunteering in sales and editing.

Werner clicks on a picture of a woman in a protective helmet. She's smiling for the camera with giant piano-key teeth. The photographer, like nearly everyone the group has worked with so far, agreed to donate the photos to the magazine.

"Cool," Kelly says. "It's so cool, man. It's so cool to see all these photos."

Candice Towell

The de-miners work in 104-degree heat and are up at 4:30 a.m. to clear the fields. Werner explains this as she sorts through her notes, most of which she acquired through an organization called the Mines Advisory Group.

"We need to express to readers [that] this isn't one place," Kelly says, crossing his legs. "What can we say in words that these images can't say? What does it mean to be a de-miner?"

As Werner scrolls through more photos, Kelly becomes more visibly enthusiastic. "Wow," he says, starting to dance a little in his rolling chair. "These are just so cool."

It's nearly 6:00 p.m., and the Need team still has a few hours to work before Stephanie heads off to Seattle to solicit potential advertisers. While it's been a struggle to round up enough funds to put together the second issue, Stephanie says she has no doubts that she's in the right place.

"It's already working," she says. "We know that someone called up the orphanage in Kenya we featured in the [first] issue and that it's getting built. It's working. And that's the goal—to help those people in need." She slides a media card across the conference table. On it is the Microsoft logo with the words, "Microsoft, you're invited...because your actions speak louder than words." She taps on it with her finger and smiles as if she knows a secret, and concludes, "People think we're nuts? Well, we're all nuts here. So we're in this together."

« Previous Page