Image courtesy of Lyndsay Green.
Location: Chicago, IL
Job: Founder and Editor, Beauty Atlas magazine
Education: B.A. in Journalism, B.S. in International Studies, minor in Spanish, Pennsylvania State University
My first job in the industry was as an assistant at Ebony after my senior year of college. The beauty and style editor at the time was looking for an intern to help cover shows during New York Fashion Week. I was already slated to start a different internship when I was offered the position, but my gut told me that the hands-on experience I'd get at Ebony would be invaluable.
My instincts proved right! The temporary position was extended and eventually transitioned into a full-time gig. I worked side-by-side with Elaine Welteroth (now editor of Teen Vogue and the youngest editor-in-chief in Condé Nast history) building beauty and fashion content for the magazine's print and digital platforms. I stayed for nearly two years before moving on to pursue freelance digital assignments, work as a reporter at PEOPLE StyleWatch, and eventually land at Glamour’s quarterly beauty magazine dedicated to Latin women, Glam Belleza Latina. First lesson in business (and in life): Always trust your gut.
I started Beauty Atlas to introduce readers to a particular region through its beauty culture. As the brand grows, the goal is for women everywhere – from Arizona to Zanzibar – to turn to Beauty Atlas as their trusted source for global beauty content.
For our inaugural issue, I interviewed Fa' Empel, an Indonesian supermodel and designer (and the issue’s cover star). It was the first and most meaningful cover interview of my career. For nearly three hours, we discussed everything from her upbringing in Indonesia to her perception of beauty to her religion. It's these types of raw, cultural conversations that I’ve always craved in my career. I find myself learning from women like Fa’ and carrying them with me in my day-to-day as I work toward becoming a stronger leader and person. I'm thrilled to now be conducting them for a publication that I believe in from cover to cover.
In true startup founder spirit, I wear many hats. When wearing my research hat, I comb through the web to discover new products with cultural relevance, spa and salon openings, and women from various parts of the world who are making an impact and willing to share beauty secrets that have been passed down for generations. It's important for me to build a global audience.
In the production phase, my job is part writer, part editor (that includes beauty editor, bookings editor, copy editor, credits editor, and research editor). Post-production, I transition into social media manager, publicist, web designer, and more. I can be anywhere in the world working on each of these elements.
I continue to write for other fashion and beauty sites like Allure.com, InStyle.com, and Refinery29.com. Whenever I'm on deadline for those stories, I generally spend the majority of my day writing and reporting and reserve nights for Beauty Atlas duties.
When I was a child, reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl deeply impacted me, although The Netherlands may have very well been fictitious from where I sat in small Mount Vernon, New York. The genocides she described were equally unfathomable.
Fast-forward a decade, and, while studying abroad in Madrid, I took a weekend trip to Amsterdam and toured the confined quarters where Anne Frank had hidden. That moment made her story very real for me and sparked my interest in travel writing. When I got back to the U.S., I tacked on an international studies major and made it my mission to blend my passions for journalism and global affairs. Travel offers context for what we might otherwise only read in books or see on television. It shifts our perspective.
As the first member of my family to have a passport, I want to encourage others, especially minority millennials, to travel and realize that the world has no limits. You really can see it all.
It’s impressive when someone in a more junior position can teach you something. Whether by mentioning an article or study that would resonate with your audience or by introducing you to an up-and-coming social media platform. Companies seek fresh talent that can help them evolve.
Don't overthink it. I often spent so much time mulling over the right approach – the perfect subject line, the witty pitch. And in the hours that I spent debating or procrastinating, someone else was getting the interview, the assignment, and ultimately, the job.
I read The New York Times app (formerly the NYTimes Now) for the daily briefings and would recommend them to anyone interested in staying up-to-date on current events. I've also become enthralled by the city of Detroit and just started reading Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Home by Amy Haimerl. It's a great read about building a home in America's comeback city (a future Beauty Atlas destination spotlight, perhaps!).
"Faith without work is dead." – James 2:14-26. My mother-in-law recently shared this with me, and it really resonates. Despite the many disappointments and struggles I’ve encountered in my career, I've always been confident that a better opportunity is on the horizon. In my tired or lazy moments, this message is a reminder that faith in myself and future opportunities must always be paired with diligence.
Images courtesy of Lyndsay Green