Growing up in a conservative home in St. Albert, Amanda Van Slyke has always fought to break out of the mold. While attending Grant MacEwan’s Professional Writing program, she began learning about postmodernism and feminism. She also began studying magazine writing. After dropping out of university, Amanda began a freelancing career writing for publications such as Edmonton Woman Magazine. She wrote on topics close to her heart such as mental illness, sex positivity, and human rights. Through talking about what’s often not talked about, she hopes to start a dialogue – and that dialogue is quickly coming from another place close to Amanda’s heart: Her business.
While dealing with her own mental health issues in her second year at Grant MacEwan, Amanda began a blog, Flurt!, in August 2010. After leaving an abusive relationship and being diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, she wrote about her struggles, seeking connections, and looking to help those struggling as she was. Soon her university peers joined her, and three years later, Flurt! is an international organization. The website and magazine aim at empowering young women by sharing the real stories of real people. Amanda’s goal is to replace mainstream media by creating a new one that is LGBTQ inclusive, promotes diversity, and doesn’t photoshop – a rare thing on magazine stands today.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Gianni http://www.demetrigianni.com/