Jessica Jasperson, MSUM Mass Communications and English Major
Fargo, N.D. — Brooke and Noah Kupcho joked, dreamed and then made “Wolftree” magazine, a biannual publication capturing the personalities and processes of makers, dreamers and adventurers.
The Kupchos live and work downtown, pronouncing they and their magazine are humbly rooted in Fargo. Wolftree’s studio is tucked away among other studio spaces in the Dakota Business College building located at 11 Eighth St. S.and built in 1884.
Brooke led the way to Wolftree’s studio on a chilly Wednesday afternoon to talk more about their journey and the future of Wolftree magazine.
Q: How did Wolftree come into fruition?
A: Brooke – We were joking about starting a magazine, so we started with this inkling of a dream, but mostly a joke. And then I think the main reason it was able to come into fruition was because of the support and our friendship together and all the people around us.
Once we said, ‘Hey we’re going to create a magazine,’ people were already like ‘Oh, that’s awesome. I can’t wait.’ So at first it was a joke, then a dream, then the action. The action was so successful, because there was so much support from everyone. Our first launch party we had like 70 people before the doors open, so it’s definitely the support.
Q: What have been some memorable experiences during the overall creation of Wolftree?
A: Noah – While we were in Cody, Wyo. (Noah and Brooke were trying to travel and vacation as husband and wife) we were at a Wendy’s uploading the second volume, so that was pretty hilarious. It’s the funny things that you didn’t think you’d be in. We were trying to travel and we couldn’t get this magazine to upload. Then we had to preview it and we had to chase down a UPS truck to pick up the draft. Just kinds of things that are crazy at the moment, but then they’re just super funny afterwards.
Brooke – Other experiences that are so memorable are any time you interview someone. Like we’re doing something with F-M Ballet, and to see the girls dance and excited because someone’s appreciating what they’re doing. They love it so much. It’s so great.
Our studio space neighbor, Paul, is going to be in volume three and he’s so excited. And to be able to see Wolftree used as a tool to get people excited and happy and doing something with a purpose. We all want to create, but we want to create with a purpose. That’s probably most memorable.
Noah – Or the first time you get the printed magazine and you go to the launch party — that’s pretty memorable. And then you see people look at it and they get a smile and say, ‘Oh, it’s beautiful’ and I’m like ‘Good, all my hours paid off.’
Q: You switched up the mission statement for volume two. “Celebrates the makers, dreamers and adventurers,” is that going to carry on into the next volume?
A: Brooke – We took out ‘of the Midwest’ is the thing we switched. First, it was sharing the stories of artists, dreamers and adventurers of the Midwest, and then we changed it to sharing the stories of makers, dreamers and adventurers.
We switched it from artists to makers, because we had a few people say or email us, ‘I love what you’re doing I just wish I was an artist so I’d fit in.’ Well, Wolftree is not exclusive in that you don’t have to be an artist. I feel like people that I consider artists still don’t even call themselves artists because its an intimidating word.
We don’t want it to be something where it’s you can try to be like it, but you’ll never be it. We want to have people join: makers, dreamers and adventurers.
We’re taking out the Midwest because Wolftree is for everyone and anyone, but our roots are deeply rooted in Fargo, N.D. and that’s not going to change. And we’re also going to share the way of life for the Midwest. We have amazing people emailing us from Australia, California that we don’t want to say ‘no’ to.
Q: Why did you switch from a quarterly to biannual publication?
A: Brooke – It’s not necessarily the money, but I’d say the time. Volume one and volume two are good, but they’re not as thick as we wanted and you didn’t get to go deep with the people. And that’s what Wolftree is.
We’re like people and process. We’re not even the end product, we’re people and process. So it’s kind of unfair to say you’re a people–and process–magazine when you only have two or three or four people. We’re reaching to get those peoples’ story and it’s only a 30-minute meeting, you know?
Volume three is also going to dig deep about how they got there and show the actual process of their product or their actual adventure or actual dream come into fruition.
Q: What does the future hold for Wolftree magazine?
A: Brooke – Good things. For instance, we’ve sold to almost every single state and in five different countries. And originally we started doing the footwork to the stores and asking them to sell it. They would say ‘yes,’ but mostly say ‘no.’ Now we have people emailing us to have our stock-list information.
The future holds more of that. The future holds a thicker, more quality magazine, and the future holds a better website. So, on the website we’re going to have the daily features, a blog and then we’re going to have an actual online magazine that will be kept up with very frequently. The website is going to look very different.
We’re going to be putting out some really quality ebooks. So the future holds more workshops, and we’re going to start traveling to go to stories. Wolftree holds a lot more of sleepless nights and working.
Q: When will volume three be released?
A: Brooke – February 15th and we’re going to have a big ol’ launch party and it’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be actually one of the best launch parties, because there’s so much excitement in our hearts right now for volume three.
We really can see that transition from stepping in from Wolftree being like a dream and we’re like ‘OK, wow this is working’ to now ‘This is working’ and from now ‘We have even a bigger dream.’ Our goal is for it to be sustainable. Our goal is for it to be a full–time job for him and me and other people. To have it be official, and to still have that fun with it.
(Edited by Laura Arvidson, MSUM English and mass communications major)