Nine Lives

Meet Co-Editors in Chief of City Style and Living Magazine; Kailash and Shivana Maharaj

November 26, 2015

“We want to establish long term, fruitful relationships

with Media Kitty members”

What do you hope to get out of the new relaunched Media Kitty?

We want to continue to develop and create long standing relationships with Media Kitty members. Travel and lifestyle is integral to City Style and Living Magazine and CSL’s media venues, and we hope to receive pitches, continue to have ongoing communication with members, get up-to-date information and ideas and use and contribute to the resources available on the Media Kitty website.

How can Media Kitty members work with you?

City Style and Living Magazine (CSL) covers food, fashion, travel, and lifestyle. There are a number of media venues that Media Kitty members can collaborate with City Style and Living Magazine, including: the award winning print and digital magazine, our website, lifestyle blog and social media.

Take a look at City Style and Living Magazine, the Editor’s Notebook Travel and Style blog and City Style and Living blog, which will give an idea of the topics we cover and our tone and style. From there, City Style and Living Magazine’s team is open to receiving pitches, partnerships and collaboration requests with relevant, tailored material.

Ultimately, we want to establish a long term, fruitful relationships with Media Kitty members.

What are the achievements in your job that you are most proud of?

City Style and Living Magazine’s travel article on Grenada won two CTO awards for best in show and best feature article.  After the award ceremony a judge came up to us and said some really wonderful things about our work. As writers as well as editors, to hear that kind of encouragement is especially humbling.  We get that same sense of satisfaction when we receive letters and comments from our readers. As freelance writers, we have also contributed to magazines, newspapers, websites and publications around the world.

What makes you good at what you do?

Enthusiasm – we look forward to going to work on Monday morning and if we won the lottery, we would still be doing the same thing we are now. The opportunity to create stories, meet people, and engage with our audience is inspiring and fulfilling. We are tenacious and committed to creating beautiful, insightful content and imbue our work with a strong vision that the City Style and Living Magazine team all believe in. It’s not like it is a walk in the park; every day brings new challenges, but we know that nothing can shake us from City Style and Living Magazine.

What’s ahead for you?

We are very excited about the success of CSL’s The Editors Notebook travel and style blog and want to continue to develop it further. The Editor’s Notebook is a way for CSL’s editors to share our experiences and give a behind-the-scenes peek at how we travel, offer tips and showcase our personal style in a more intimate way with our readers – it’s almost like chatting with your group of friends over coffee and showing them your favourite pictures.

We’ve found that CSL’s The Editors Notebook is also a completely different form of content creation, where the editors present City Style and Living as a lifestyle brand and feature travel destinations in a more visual and engaging way.

What is your number one tip for working more efficiently?

Prioritize – we do that by asking, how does this story affect our readers, why do they care about this? It then makes it easy to sort through all of the various things vying for our attention.  As the editorial team is always working ahead, efficiency is a juggling act.  Timelines are especially important, in order to reach goals and stay focused.

What do you think is going to be biggest change in the way we work within the next 18 months?

Editors are the new influencers – we have the assembly of skills, experience, trusted viewpoint and overall vision of the industry that I think people want to learn more about.  As audiences become more informed, I think today’s reader wants this kind of authoritative and authentic voice that is relatable.

In what ways does your job differ now from when you started out in your profession?

The digital world was nascent when we began. At that time, people had no concept of digital advertising, apps, digital marketing and social media and how they could be used for business ends. That has changed tremendously. Social media has also expanded exponentially and become an important part of branding, to stand out amongst the crowd, and as a way to reach a different audience.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your profession?

Not only is everyone’s path different, but the manner and speed with which the industry is evolving means that everyone has to continually adapt and stay up-to-date.  The skills you need today to be relevant are completely different and some could not even have been anticipated 5 years ago.

What inspired you to work in this area?

We started out as freelance writers, fashion stylists and university researchers. The thread was storytelling – how do we use words, images and style to convey a message.

Eventually we realized we wanted to explore food, fashion and travel – our consistent and constant source of inspiration on a daily basis. City Style and Living Magazine’s platforms – print, digital, website, blogs and social media each allow us to delve into these areas and reach our readers in completely different ways.

What is your top travel tip?

Music is quite visceral and can become a vehicle for remembering your destination in detail. Create a unique playlist for the place you are visiting. Listen to that music while in your destination. Then, once you’ve returned home you can replay the music anytime you want to bring back memories of that place. It’s not the most practical tip, but it makes for a lasting memory when you return home.

What is the last movie you saw?

Inside Out.  Surprisingly profound for an animated feature.

Connect with Kailash and Shivana on Media Kitty!

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