Julia Eskins and Aleyah Solomon are founders of the super dreamy Here & There Magazine, a quarterly publication covering art, design and fashion in cities all around the world. The Toronto-based pair met in 2012 and have been collaborating on projects ever since. With Aleyah’s experience as a photographer and Julia’s background in journalism, it only made perfect sense for these two to partner up and launch their own magazine in September of 2015.
Outlet: Here & There Magazine
Instagram: @hereandtheremag, @juliaeskins, @aleyahs
Twitter: @hereandtheremag, @juliaeskins, @aleyahs
What does your job entail? What types of stories do you write?
Julia: As Here & There Magazine’s co-founder and editor, my role entails overseeing the coordination of our editorial content, writing feature stories and editing each issue before publishing. Being part of a small team, I have to wear many hats, which I love because I never get bored! From tweeting at events to planning the travel logistics for our upcoming trips, my role is quite diverse and my days are action-packed. As our co-founder, I’m always looking at the big picture to ensure our content cohesively aligns with Here & There Magazine’s unique voice. That being said, the core aspect of my role is coordinating our coverage of each city, and writing and editing stories for our Art, Fashion and Travel sections. From reviewing hotels around the world to interviewing fashion designers and artists in the cities we cover, I always aim to craft stories that are creative and memorable.
Aleyah: Working as the creative director and photographer of Here & There Magazine, as well as being a co-founder, entails many different roles. From taking charge of the Instagram account to deciding on the next city we feature with Julia, my day-to-day schedule varies. Before shooting, I spend time researching locations in each city, especially if I haven’t been there before, creating mood boards for each editorial shoot and putting together teams in each city. My role as a photographer/creative director really kicks in once we are in the city. When we finish, I begin editing and designing the layout. With each issue, the challenge is to keep everything aesthetically cohesive while bringing new ideas to light.
Aleyah and Julia in Little Havana, Miami
How far in advance do you work?
Aleyah: We always need to stay ahead and plan everything before we arrive in the city we are featuring. I am normally not a planner, which allows me to be flexible when needed, but being organized is essential to accomplishing so much in the time we have in each city.
Julia: I am the opposite, which I guess is why we work so well together. I really enjoy planning and mapping out our editorial coverage months in advance. This can be challenging because our content is travel-dependent. If last-minute opportunities arise, we need to be prepared to pack up and hit the road at any moment.
Julia talking business over coffee
What is the best time of the day/week/month to receive pitches?
Julia: I like receiving pitches in the morning (Monday – Friday) as that’s usually when I go through all my emails and do our editorial planning.
Aleyah: I agree, in the morning is the best time to receive pitches, before I dive into anything specific!
Share a bit about your target reader. Who do you write for?
Julia: So far, we’ve found that our readers are very similar to us: they are creatively inclined people who enjoy traveling the world and discovering hidden gems. Our target reader loves to indulge in the sensory experience of visiting a new place, be it in-person or by flipping through the pages of a magazine that transports them to an unexpected destination.
Aleyah: We’ve noticed that while most of our readers are young professionals in North America, the U.K. and Europe, Here & There Magazine has a multi-generational, timeless quality that appeals to a wide audience around the world!
What types stories are you always looking for?
Julia: It’s really important that publicists understand the types of stories we cover. While I’m open to pitches that fit into our art, fashion, travel and lifestyle scope, our issues are highly curated and focused on one destination. I am always looking for travel pitches that enable us to cover new locations in a completely fresh way. Whether it’s an invitation to a press trip or an opportunity to cover a new boutique hotel or a fair trade clothing line, I am interested in stories and partnerships that allow us to take an innovative approach.
Our target reader loves to indulge in the sensory experience of visiting a new place, be it in-person or by flipping through the pages of a magazine that transports them to an unexpected destination.
What email subject lines capture your attention?
Aleyah: I open emails with the subject that relates to Here & There Magazine, such as a destination idea or something that fits with our style and tone. Anything that doesn’t relate to the publication will be ignored!
Julia: I agree with Aleyah. I’m also more inclined to open emails that are short and to the point. If it looks like spam or an irrelevant press release, I’ll pass.
What makes a great pitch?
Julia: I appreciate when pitches are personalized and show that the publicist has researched the magazine before reaching out. I’m more likely to read a pitch when it has a friendly intro and a reference to how the opportunity could work for one of our existing sections.
It’s really important that publicists understand the types of stories we cover. While I’m open to pitches that fit into our art, fashion, travel and lifestyle scope, our issues are highly curated and focused on one destination.
Aleyah: Exactly. I also enjoy when they aren’t too wordy.
Aleyah shooting for the Here & There Miami issue
What is the best way for publicists and brands to build a relationship with you?
Aleyah: I enjoy meeting people in person. Also, when I see they are following us on social media, I know they are actually interested in the publication and what we are presenting!
Julia: I really like to meet publicists in-person as well because I still believe face-to-face contact is essential for building strong relationships. My go-to PR professionals are people that I’ve known for years and frequently reconnect with at events. A brief intro and a handshake can go a long way.
What is a guarantee that a publicist or brand will never hear back from you?
Julia: I have no tolerance for rudeness. If someone is impolite or unprofessional, I will not work with them. I think, in general, it’s really important for publicists to understand that writers and editors have a duty to follow journalistic guidelines and uphold their publication’s ethical and quality standards. With this in mind, I avoid brands and publicists that make demands or push to set up partnerships that would compromise my journalistic integrity.
I think, in general, it’s really important for publicists to understand that writers and editors have a duty to follow journalistic guidelines and uphold their publication’s ethical and quality standards.
What do you wish more publicists and brands understood about your job?
Aleyah: We are first and foremost introducing our audience to a city and the talent that stems from it. Our priority is to produce content that we are excited about and proud of, and also to showcase our passion for travel and creativity.
Julia: Yes, our number one goal is to always deliver compelling stories to our readers. Editorially speaking, this objective comes before promoting products and services. The best publicists understand that by pitching stories with an interesting angle, journalists can do their job and as a result, generate more authentic engagement around a brand. When we’re given the freedom to take an innovative approach, everyone wins.
Any final tips?
Julia: Respond quickly and efficiently. It can be really frustrating when plans are hanging in the balance. A courtesy email, even to just say, ‘I will get back to you by the end of this week’ is much appreciated.