After completing an degree in journalism with minors in psych and film, as well as a post-grad IT certification, we consider Hannah Yakobi a well-rounded individual. However, all of her education didn’t reflect her love for all things fashion, which is why she started her own fashion publication FAJO Magazine. Now supervising and staffing more than 20 people all over the world, read about how her trendy mag skyrocketed and how she manages in today’s YED…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I would describe it in three words: Fashion-Journalism-Worldwide. These three words also make up our slogan, because they perfectly describe what all of us at the magazine do. More specifically, as the editor-in-chief of FAJO Magazine, I work with a team of 23 very talented individuals. Many of our reporters and photographers are award-winning young professionals, and I am truly blessed to be working alongside them on a daily basis. I assign all stories and work closely with my editorial team to plan each issue very carefully. We now have staff in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York and London, so it is great to have stories coming in from every one of these fabulous cities.
Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this route?
I am the founder of the magazine and it all happened in a rather magical way. FAJO was originally a journalistic website, which purely centred on my own journalistic reporting. A few months after the site was born, several amazing photographers decided to join me. The word started to spread quite quickly, and I soon had dozens of resumes from reporters all over the world (as far as Greece!) in my mailbox. And the rest, as they say, is history.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of it all is the people. Fashion designers, my team, everyone we have ever interviewed. I work very closely with FAJO’s deputy editor Katherine Ellis (she is a superwoman, I kid you not), editorial assistant Justine Woolcott (she is, basically, a database of genius ideas) and social media co-ordinator Ada Yakobi (she can Tweet, BBM, Facebook and write – all at the same time). My favourite and most rewarding part of being the editor-in-chief of FAJO is seeing each issue come together. It’s a very creative process and it’s always very exciting to see who we are featuring next. The most challenging part of the job is the deadlines, the emergencies, the stress that follows. But it is all manageable and it’s part of the experience.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing the same thing I have been doing for the last decade: fashion journalism.
What does success look like to you?
Success is doing what you love, improving your skills as you go forward, and always remembering that you are who you are because of the people around you.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I think it was the moment when I got my first reporting assignment. I was very young, inexperienced, excited and quite scared! Thankfully, my Mom was there to encourage and support me. She really helped me get that first “push” with all her positive thinking. She is also a very creative person herself – in fact, she is an established artist who is renowned in Europe. So she sensed my creative flair before anyone else did. It may have also been because, as a teenager, I wanted to be a fashion designer really badly. And she greatly encouraged it, by buying about 15 fashion magazines for me every month!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t ever let anyone stop you from achieving your goal or your dream. Set your mind on what you want to do and work towards it. Plan everything very carefully and strategically, and surround yourself with the people who love you – their support will be your inspiration.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Charity work is very important to me. I donate clothing to women’s shelters on a regular basis and also strongly support the Canadian Cancer Society. I lost my grandmother to cancer three years ago; she and I were exceptionally close, so I was completely heartbroken for a very long time. Cancer is a horrible disease. Way too many Canadians are affected by it, and I believe it is very important to support charities that are doing research on how to put an end to this disease, or that support individuals who are living with cancer.
What to you is notable?
Being surrounded by people with passion for what they do.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry. I’m a big supporter of Canadian products. Having a Blackberry also helps with my addiction to Twitter. I tweet like crazy, daily. So if you ever need to find me, by the way, I’m at @hannahyakobi!