Home > finals > ‘If anyone tells you that you can’t do something because you didn’t go to college for it, that’s just a bunch of crap’

‘If anyone tells you that you can’t do something because you didn’t go to college for it, that’s just a bunch of crap’

Kati and Levi Hime, owners and editors of Wyoming Lifestyle magazine.

Kati and Levi Hime, owners and editors of Wyoming Lifestyle magazine.

By Avery Sass
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Kati and Levi Hime of Laramie, Wyoming, have owned and edited their own magazine,  “Wyoming Lifestyle,” since 2010.

Originally from Kearney, Nebraska, Kati Hime always loved writing but thought she could not make a living from it. So she pursued a career in medicine, thinking she’d become a physician.

After realizing she wasn’t cut out for medical school, she became a registered sonographer.  But at 25, she knew she wanted something more.

In high school, the couple had been active in many things including Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Later, the Himes led the Wyoming State Junior Miss program for a few years. Kati also coached cheerleading at a local high school and was part of Job’s Daughters, a Masonic-sponsored youth organization for girls and young women.

They still have many interests. Levi Hime volunteers with the Boy Scouts. The couple also own a local dance studio that was supposed to close a few years back. Both of their children dance there, and the Himes did not want to see it close.

“Levi and I can never really decide what we want to be when we grow up,” joked Kati, looking back on all of their unrelated-to-the-job community service and involvement.

“If you would’ve told me back then we would have a magazine and publishing company, I would’ve laughed and thought there’s no way, I’m not qualified for that,” she said. “You create your own path and sometimes things happen that you never anticipated and life is a continual learning process. And if anyone tells you that you can’t do something because you didn’t go to college for it, that’s just a bunch of crap. You can figure it out and learn it and understand it. Don’t be discouraged at all about that.”

Levi graduated with a degree in geology but had a knack for computer technology and design. He worked 50 hours a week as a groundwater geologist, but Kati worked fewer days and had a more flexible schedule. So the two decided to put their hobbies together to create a wedding magazine called “Wyoming Weddings,” in 2009.

One year later, they realized that once people who read their magazine got married, they wouldn’t pick up the wedding magazines anymore. So the couple decided to create a magazine with broader appeal. That’s how Wyoming Lifestyle began.

They split duties at the magazine. Levi does the backend work: Web design, Web updating, and information technology.   Kati does most everything else: the writing, editing, ad sales, financial work and getting issues ready for print. They have contributing writers and photographers, ad sales representatives and a graphic designer.

Kati and Levi then personally deliver the papers all around the state within two weeks, four times a year, which is one of Kati’s favorite parts.

“People get really excited when the magazine comes in, and I see these people four times a year and so it’s nice to connect and ask them how their kids are and what they’re doing. Connecting with people and getting to see the entire state, it never gets old. The magazine has been an incredible experience.  It’s taken us to Wyoming and experiences around Wyoming we never would have had.”

But there are challenges too.  “The hardest thing about starting and building something is when you start off anything new you get really excited about it, you throw yourself into it, you’re passionate about it and when the hard work starts happening and it’s 2 a.m. and I’ve just come home from being on the road all day and have to get up at 6 to do it all again,” she said.  “Or I’ve been working to sell ads and have made 30 phone calls and gotten 28 nos, and you’re looking at your budget realizing you have got to sell a certain number of ads and you feel a panic moment. It’s moments like that where it’s not easy and you have to go back to that thing that got you excited and you have to go back to your passion.

“And it’s stuff like that that goes on for a year or so and that is when people want to throw in the towel. It takes time to start a business. They feel discouraged and the biggest thing is you just got to see it through and remember what got you excited and have faith in it,” she said. “We’re five years in and are just seeing a profit. Some days were very discouraging those first couple years. You have to see it through, and it’s tough. But it’s the biggest test of your will power in those moments and no one can make that decision to keep working but you.

“And there’s the biggest pride in that when you get to the other side and start seeing the benefits and know that you saw that through; that’s a big powerful moment. That takes courage.”

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