Posts Tagged ‘ writer ’

Sofia Bak – Fashion Journalist and Blogger

NAME: Sofia Bak
INDUSTRY: Journalism
POSITION: Freelance writer/photographer/producer
COMPANY: ¬†VOGUE Italia/Harper’s BAZAAR Russia/Zoot/Personal
Blogs: www.frolic72.blogspot.com and www.greenmean.wordpress.com etc.
LOCATION: London, Kiev, Los Angeles

Image

photographer: http://www.absolutelyphoto.co.uk

CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
I’ve worked in LA for many years in fashion PR, which I hated for many reasons, but most importantly I really wanted to return to journalism full time. I came back to London and decided to only do what I wanted to do in my life from then on. I spend about 3 years unsuccessfully trying to get a job in a fashion/lifestyle magazine, during which I realised I would be limited no matter where I worked and I realised I’m meant to be my own boss, choose my own projects and schedule. My greatest failure became my greatest success because only then I stated working with top publications, attending fashion week, being in demand and being happy. But more importantly, I finally realised that I cannot have one job, I have too many interests, skills and valuable contacts, which are impossible to utilise in one company. Moreover, the road took me to a place where I realised my true passion – which is the health of our planet and ourselves…I feel like that’s the first step to happiness in life and I started writing more about things we should be putting in our bodies to be healthy as well as treating our planet well to keep us happy and beautiful.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
Many girls dream of working for Vogue. I used to be that girl that thought it was an impossible dream. It only took going for it, and with persistence and much networking I got to work at Vogue House in London, which was pretty exciting when I first started. Then I worked with Harper’s BAZAAR Russia helping produce celebrity cover photoshoots, and finally the most exciting moment for me was when VOGUE Italia e-mailed me during London Fashion Week and told me they “love love love” my photos. It made me scream and act like a child in front of all the self-important fashion week crowd. However, I think my biggest success is yet to come. The point of journalism is to influence and I hope soon I will have the power to influence in a positive way, encourage people to take care of themselves and their environment…contribute to a brighter future.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
Apart from the one I mentioned. I always dreamt of having a story on my beautiful home town of Kiev published in Conde Nast Traveller. I was given a chance but when I was writing the story I realised there was only one true angle and it wouldn’t fit the affluent Conde Nast reader. I took a risk of submitting the story as it was, but needless to say it was rejected.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
Not giving up when I hit rock bottom yet again. Not listening to people who pretend to believe in you, when they’re actually being pessimistic or as they call it “realistic”. Making it on my own. In the fashion industry, or any other coveted industry…it’s almost like you have to be from a rich family to be able to do what you love…otherwise you’ll have nothing to live on, because none of these jobs pay well…or pay at all. Finding ways to survive can be a challenge, but don’t give up.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
Figure out exactly what you want to do. If you don’t know, keep changing jobs or taking internships/classes to figure out. If/when you know what you want to do, don’t spend a second doing something you’re not considering doing. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, no matter the price. Reality is harsh, but only with persistence you will get what you want. Never give up. Also be good at networking, be good to people, helpful. This doesn’t mean – waste time speaking to everyone you meet…but this does mean being outgoing and meeting lots of people, speaking to them to find out who they are, investing in a relationship if it’s a person who could be beneficial. This has nothing to do with being fake, we can all be useful to each other. Don’t be afraid to speak to people who are well known in their field, as long as you’re polite, interesting and not bothering them…they may be open to helping you out. We were all starting out at some point. Internships will not pay, but they will open many doors. Nurture the relationships with people you meet during that time. Never stop educating yourself. Use your brain, get into those events where you can meet helpful people, don’t send long e-mails, make an effort to catch up, use social media wisely – don’t waste time, but also make sure to utilise it. Work smarter, not harder. No matter where you work, make lots of effort and keep a good relationship with your boss, you will need them as a reference, even if you’re not planning to stay at the company. Don’t waste time. Always be polite. Make an effort to always look good. Never think or speak negatively. Everything will work out for the better.