Real Simple Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Here's to another 15.

Real Simple hit newsstands in April 2000 (pictured, on the right) with a cover featuring roses. Fifteen years later, the cover once again features the popular flower. Other than that, almost everything about Real Simple has changed.

Real Simple was first imagined as every woman’s go-to guide for streamlining life. Readers still flock to the title for that, but in a different way.

“At the beginning, I think this magazine attracted women who felt overwhelmed by the physical stuff in their lives,” Real Simple’s editor Kristin van Ogtrop told FishbowlNY. “So closet organizing and clutter control were huge for our early audience. Over time our consumer hasn’t become any less overwhelmed, but now she comes to us to help her manage that in many ways: easy meals, time-saving strategies, reliable work outfits, foolproof beauty routines, etc.”

As Real Simple’s readers sought more from the magazine, it did its best to match the demand. When the title launched, its rate base was 400,000. Van Ogtrop said that circulation is about to cross the 2 million mark. The Real Simple brand can now be seen on products sold in Bed, Bath & Beyond. The magazine’s site currently attracts 15.6 million monthly unique visitors.

The future of Real Simple, according to van Ogtrop, will be much like its past. In keeping with the magazine’s theme, we’ll simplify what she means by that: More.

“More licensed products, more digital products, more investment in new business,” explained van Ogtrop. “And a continued fantastic print product with an extremely loyal audience.”