Creating Beauty Atlas has been a dream of mine since my first trip overseas. After traveling throughout Europe and beyond nearly 10 years ago, I knew that I wanted to find a way to blend my passions for fashion and beauty and international studies. Initially, my hope was to land a job in the style department of a travel magazine, but at the time, the role didn’t exist! Instead, I worked at traditional women’s interest publications and pitched stories with global angles any chance I could. Meanwhile, I stockpiled beauty, fashion, health, and fitness stories with international appeal into a folder for my own records as inspiration for what is now Beauty Atlas. (I still have links and clips to stories that date as far back as 2008.)
As I continued to progress in my career, I chipped away at this dream publication of mine, every so often adding to my long list of names for the magazine and teetering between whether it would cover all lifestyle subjects or strictly fashion—then later, fashion or beauty. Would it cover multiple regions in each issue, or dive deeply into one destination? Monthly or quarterly? As the editorial landscape quickly evolved, so did my vision. Would it be print or digital? A newsletter or hosted on Snapchat? These internal brainstorming meetings carried on for years and if I didn’t make a move soon, it was never going to happen. Eventually, I found myself without a job and with no interest in the roles that were available and decided the only way to be fulfilled in my career would be to bring my brainchild to life once and for all. And with my husband’s encouragement and support, I finally went for it. It’s been a long road of fleshing the concept of Beauty Atlas out, but timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
I spent most of my career working at niche publications with very specific demos—at Ebony, we offered beauty and style advice for Black women, at Glam Belleza Latina, we spoke to the Latina beauty enthusiast, and at Teen Vogue, we gave teens their dose of high-end style advice. With Beauty Atlas, I wanted to create a platform where every woman could see herself represented on the pages of a magazine regardless of age or ethnicity. I see beauty as a huge part of our culture and wanted to create a space where women could exchange beauty advice that has been passed down for generations in their families. To unveil products and ingredients that are staples in their homes, and celebrate rituals that shape the ideals of beauty in their heritage without labeling them as “bizarre” or “strange” but rather inspiring. Beauty Atlas is for the female traveler, the beauty enthusiast, and the culturally curious woman simply looking to broaden her understanding of women across the globe.
My goal is to reach a global audience. With each destination featured in Beauty Atlas, we’re extending a proverbial hand to a group of women, and pulling them through various beauty scenes around the world. We want to be a resource for women looking for spas and salons to visit as they travel, and to offer beauty advice through fresh, new perspectives each issue.
Thankfully, I’ve received really positive feedback so far! Since its inception, it has been my mission for Beauty Atlas to read like a traditional magazine, with added interactive elements that just aren’t possible to offer in print. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a multitalented designer who has created all of the design elements and illustrations for the magazine to bring this vision to life.
A day in the life at BAM actually depends on the day. In the production stage, you can find me on location in another country taking photos for the magazine and social media (@beautyatlas on Instagram and @beautyatlasmag on Facebook and Twitter). I may also be directing a shoot for the issue. Once I’m back stateside, I work from my home office in Chicago. I could be on production calls with my designer (she’s an international traveler and can be anywhere in the world at any given moment), my intern (a student at my alma-mater The Pennsylvania State University; she’s also remote), or subjects featured within the issue for interviews and follow-ups. Once my calls are wrapped up, I’ll turn to writing and editing stories for the magazine or our blog on beautyatlasmag.com. And of course before the day is over I’ll try whatever new product from another country is on my desk.
Post production, I turn into a publicist, social media manager, and web writer and try to attend any beauty events that I can.
Luckily, my husband is a talented video producer and has signed on to work with me on developing a video presence for the brand. You can find his debut videos in our Havana issue and on our social media accounts. You can also keep an eye out for the next issue in the winter—can’t wait to share where we’re heading next!
As for me, I would love to serve as a resource for outlets looking to report on global beauty subjects. Whether that is through written articles, speaking engagements, video opportunities, etc.