Fortunately, the board of BDFM, which then published the Financial Mail and Business Day, contained several FT directors. They owned half of BDFM. They could hardly have thought producing a luxury magazine here was a bad idea when it was working so well for themselves over there.
So it was that we produced our first edition of Wanted, after much fussing about a name (we thought of Glutton, but, even as we chuckled at the thought, rejected it), paper weight, and size, in December 2004. It was a long battle.
The first issue set the tone. It was a fashion shoot at a luxury bush lodge, Singita. The market was easy to identify, but the ads were slow. At one stage I remember the MD calling Gary and me to a meeting in his office. He was under pressure from the board to cut Wanted. It wasn’t making money. We begged and pleaded for time. Our knees still have thread ingrained from Mzi’s carpet. Gary started hosting networking events at the nearby Hyatt hotel in Rosebank. Gradually, it found the traction it needed.
By that time, its covers had become quite alarming and even mildly erotic. No one seemed to mind. The advertising was gorgeous, and the editorial was top-class. Business Day readers loved it. At one stage someone thought it should sell as a standalone, but that idea thankfully died after a few months.
This edition, under a new editor to end its 14th year, will, I’ve no doubt, be bigger and better than ever. But publications all start somewhere, and it’s important to honour your roots. Check out the big feature on luxe lodges, and if you kept a copy of the first shoot from Singita, you’ll see Wanted hasn’t forgotten its genesis.