Primer is 10 Years Old! A Personal Message from Andrew

Ten years ago I was 23, fresh out of college, and newly relocated to Los Angeles from the east coast, having attended school in DC but grown up in rural Pennsylvania.

Leaving anything always feels a bit like starting over, but driving four days across the country and starting the rest of my life in Los Angeles was more stressful than any transition I’d ever done before. After 8th grade is…9th grade. After high school is… college.

After college is…

As I stepped out of my ‘99 Chevy Cavalier beneath that bright Hollywood sign I felt like a petrified deer in the headlights of adulthood’s metaphorical Mac truck. Here’s a small selection of the things that were running through my head:

  • I’ve got to get a job
  • But not just any job – it needs to be at a great company where I can learn a lot and have growth opportunity so that I’m not wasting my time and getting behind
  • This job needs to pay well because I just moved to Los Angeles and the cost of living is insane
  • I need to start a 401(k) immediately or I’ll die poor
  • Wait, what is a 401(k)?
  • How am I supposed to get the Best Job Ever with zero work experience and crippling shyness?
  • If I get an interview, what do I wear?
  • How do I buy a suit?
  • How do I negotiate a salary?
  • How do I design an apartment on a budget that I won't be embarrassed by?
  • No, seriously, what is a 401(k)?

In that moment, there was nowhere for me to turn.

I had always loved GQ and Esquire but let’s face it – they don’t talk about any of that. Great for $900 t-shirts, window shopping, and scoffing at ridiculous fashion trends, but not much else.

Podcasts didn’t exist.

Youtube didn’t exist.

Hell, Twitter didn’t exist.

I knew what I was going through had to be common, so I decided to create the very resource I desperately needed.

I didn’t start Primer because I thought I was some wise expert who had all the right answers. Quite the opposite. I was just another directionless guy staring into the abyss we call adulthood.

I started Primer to learn the things I didn’t know. The things our culture and schools don’t teach us. The things every guy must discover in order to grow, define what success means to him, achieve it, and reach lasting happiness.

Unbelievably, that was ten years ago. Ten years ago. I’ve been working on Primer for a third of my life. An eternity separates the guy who started Primer from the man I am now, but it feels like Primer is just getting started.

What began as a resource for post-college guys has grown and evolved into something for everyone regardless of age or life stage. The average Primer reader is actually in his late 20s or early 30s with some in middle school and many over 60 – and fully 20% of our audience are women.

Primer is only possible because some unpredictable search engine voodoo or stray social media post or a friend’s recommendation brought each of you to this very site.

Without you, Primer is nothing.

Primer is its readers – its readers are Primer. Most of our contributors, designers, photographers, developers, and advertisers started as a reader.

I’m proud of our 10th anniversary, but I’m so much prouder of this rare community of thoughtful, helpful, passionate people that has grown up around Primer. In the early days I would see nastiness and negativity in the comment sections of other websites and wonder when it would infect our community.

It never happened.

For those of you who have been here from the beginning, I’m humbled by your support and beyond thankful for your contribution. If you’re new, welcome, it’s only getting better from here.

Throughout 2018 we’ll be celebrating Primer’s ten-year anniversary with giveaways, new features, and a few surprises along the way. I’ll also be doing my own take on “ask me anything”-style posts, One Question With Andrew – so send your questions to me on Twitter at @primermag or enter your question in the comment section below!

To make sure you get all the great stuff heading your way, sign up for our email newsletter by click here.

It’s been a privilege to lead Primer Magazine for the last ten years. Here’s to the next ten and beyond.


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Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.