Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs are Here & There Magazine co-founders Julia Eskins and Aleyah Solomon, who’ve combined their passion for storytelling, photography and travel to build a fulfilling career that sees them explore the globe from Italy, to Cuba, to Uruguay…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
We explore cities and offer our readers a conceptual inside peek at the artists, moments and creative spaces that make a destination unique.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
Julia: I’ve always had a natural curiosity about people and their stories. Growing up, I loved striking up conversations with strangers and always kept a journal filled with creative writing, photographs and magazine tear-outs.
Aleyah: I was encouraged at a young age to express myself artistically through painting and photography. I started taking photos at a young age, documenting my travels and time with others, as well as keeping a journal.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Julia: Starting Here & There Magazine! After working for other magazines for years, it was the right time to take the helm of my own editorial project.
Aleyah: Creating Here & There Magazine has been my dream. The creative flexibility to share your vision and your take on other artists’ work is amazing.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Aleyah: In five years, I see myself working more internationally, continuing to work on travel and documentary pieces, and building Here & There Magazine. In 10 years, I can see myself publishing some books, showing my work, pushing the magazine to an even higher level, and still travelling. In 20 years, I see myself continuing on with travel and the magazine!
Julia: In five years, I see myself doing exactly what I’m doing now, but on a larger scale. In 10 years, I hope to put down roots somewhere and focus on making Here & There an internationally renowned media outlet. In 20 years, my goal is to have published a few books and still have the energy to travel for special projects.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Aleyah: Take advice with a grain of salt. It’s good to hear other opinions but don’t let them deter you from pursuing your dream.
Julia: Make your own path and don’t be afraid to have the gumption to take risks. Unusual skills and extraordinary experiences will help you stand out from the crowd.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Julia: I love supporting animal welfare charities including The Toronto Humane Society, Soi Dog Foundation and the Elephant Nature Foundation. Here & There Magazine also frequently partners with businesses that support ethical and environmentally friendly practices, such as The Body Shop.
Aleyah: I also love supporting animal welfare charities. I would also add farm animal sanctuaries to Julia’s list.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Aleyah: In this industry, one challenge is being able to say no to unpaid work. Too often people want free work for promotion, but at some point you get to a place where you don’t need the promotion and need to pay the bills! Of course, there will always be certain clients you don’t mind helping out now and again.
Julia: I’ve also faced that challenge as a writer. While some opportunities are a great way for emerging journalists to hone their skills, the key is knowing your worth and drawing the line somewhere so that you don’t get used.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Julia: To me, the word ‘notable’ describes someone or something that sparks discussion, inspiration and innovation.
Aleyah: Notable, to me, means something or someone worth paying attention to – for motivation, inspiration or just for interest.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Aleyah: Maybe it’s my maritime upbringing, but I love finding a great pub, and in Toronto, Stout Pub would have to be my favourite. Other than that, I love a great salad bar and I will admit, I find myself at Whole Foods’ food bar quite often.
Julia: Toronto is overflowing with amazing restaurants and I love trying them all! My favourites that I always go back to are Woodlot, Porterhouse, Gusto 101 and Bar Raval.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Julia: Gmail. And anything by Alt-J.
Aleyah: Spotify. Lately, I have been listening to Iron & Wine’s album ‘The Shepherd’s Dog’ on repeat.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Aleyah: Bon Appetit Mag. Who doesn’t love to look at beautiful food photos?!
Julia: The Fat Jewish. Between all the OOTD posts and carefully curated cafe scenes, sometimes a bit of comedy is much needed.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Julia: Italy never gets old! I could always go back because the combination of beautiful scenery, elegant people, history and art make for a perfect holiday anytime of year. Lately I’ve been obsessed with the idea of going to Brazil – it looks so colourful and lively – so I hope to add that to my travel itinerary for 2016.
Aleyah: Uruguay was amazing. I spent only one night there and it won me over. I need to go back there and spend at least a couple weeks exploring the country. I hope to travel anywhere in South America. From my last time there, I fell in love with everything from the people to the culture. I want to explore all of South America!
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Julia: Not having access to the Internet for a few days! How sad is that? We recently stayed at a remote resort in Cuba with no Wi-Fi. It ended up being a blessing in disguise as it forced us to live in the moment and really relax. The week felt like a month! And by the end of it, we were all really, really good at playing cards.
Aleyah: Yeah, I hate to admit going without the Internet bothered me so much that after three days, I was getting a bit stir-crazy. On the plus, we became more involved in conversation and got creative with inventing new rules for our card games!
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Aleyah: Chicago mix popcorn, Netflix and the Spice Girls.
Julia: Netflix, chocolate and sleeping in on Sundays.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Aleyah: Eating out! I would love to start collecting one-of-a-kind home décor items and art for my space.
Julia: Impulse clothing purchases that I don’t need! My dream is to eventually start collecting art. And I second Aleyah’s love for home décor items – I spend a lot of time admiring beautiful furniture in design shops.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Aleyah: Doing what you love to do and being able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
Julia: Being excited to go to work because you’re doing what you love, yet still finding time for the passions that make you feel alive.