Homegrown Business: Jeanne Bransbourg and Nawaal Bhuiyan of Scatterbrain Magazine

Scatterbrain Magazine is a Montréal/New York City-based and youth-led digital platform which serves the community by showcasing artists, businesses, and more in the underground arts scene. We spoke to Jeanne Bransbourg and Nawaal Bhuiyan to learn more about the ins and outs of this vibrant community hub.

Homegrown Business: Jeanne Bransbourg and Nawaal Bhuiyan of Scatterbrain Magazine

What is your business called and what does it do?

We are Scatterbrain Magazine! Our mission is to highlight various Montreal (or New York, depending on the issue) artists, musicians, small businesses, locations, and more. We also feature poetry, prose, digital and traditional art, photography, and fashion as additional contributions from our team.

What made you want to do this work?

Nia Blankson, the other Co-Founder, discovered and was inspired by a stash of her mother’s German magazines from the 80s and 90s. Unlike the current trend of more understated, minimalist magazines, Nia wanted to create something different, something colourful, maximalist, and scattered in both form and content.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

We want to give smaller musicians, designers, and artists more exposure; so many in Montreal are relatively unknown or overlooked, despite their immense talent! As artists and art lovers ourselves, this was our opportunity to rise together.

Who is your clientele/demographics?

Generally, we want to reach students and young people living in Montreal and New York City, but the magazine’s varied form and content also allows us to reach beyond. Whether you’re a visitor to both cities, looking for an inside scoop, or you’re a local searching for new bands or brands to follow, Scatterbrain has something for you! In our next issue (#4) we will have comparisons between the two; if you like a certain bookstore, musician, or artist in either city, you’ll get a similar version in the opposite island.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We make money by selling tickets to our events, such as our biannual launch party, and by selling magazines at various pop-ups and on our website.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are an online business. We sell magazines and merchandise in person at various events throughout the year, which we advertise through Instagram and our website.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

We love getting questions about design choices, such as the order in which we arrange the contributions or the colours and fonts we ultimately land on. As a team, we come up with a theme to build each issue around, so a lot of thought goes into each decision to result in a cohesive product. Our graphic designers do a lot of great work when it comes to those minute details.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is that we get to be creative and showcase the things we love about Montreal and New York City, with a team split between both. The worst part would be having to decide which artists and businesses to showcase, because there are so many good ones, and we only have a limited number of pages!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

People love to talk about how print media is dying and like to turn it into a joke… We think that print is meant to last much longer and has something more unique and personal to it, which is why we do not have electronic versions of our magazine!

Where can we follow you?

You can find us on Instagram, and our website.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Definitely toothwurld, a local Montreal jewellery seller. We have worked with them in the past and absolutely LOVE what they make.