Freelance Journalist Interview with Mitra Wicks
About your journalism
In December last year you decided to go freelance after three years as beauty editor at Yoga Magazine – what prompted the change?
As much as I loved writing for Yoga Magazine, as it is a fantastic and truly unique publication, I decided to go freelance as I was at a stage in my life where I required more flexibility. I was travelling a lot and also wanted to write for a broader audience, as opposed to just the yoga and wellness community. I also feel that the future of beauty journalism is online, so I wanted to focus on my beauty blog. When consumers are interested in a beauty product, one of the first things they do now is Google it!
What are the main advantages of working on a freelance basis for you?
The main advantages of freelancing for me would be the flexibility and continuous opportunities to express myself in various media outlets, reaching a much more varied audience. However, if I found my ideal beauty writing role, I would be thrilled to take up a permanent position.
What do you write about and where are we likely to see your work?
I focus on organic and natural beauty, holistic living, yoga and spa hotels/retreats. You can see my work in Natural Health Magazine, Murooj Magazine and on my blog; Musings of a London Beauty Addict. I have also written online content for The Body Shop.
What's the most memorable work you've done?
As I am ridiculously obsessed with eyebrows, I would say my article on achieving the perfect brows in the October issue of Murooj Magazine was one of my favourites.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
After the most amazing Ayurvedic massage at the Maradiva pop-up spa in Harrods, I would truly love to write a feature on their spa and yoga resort in Mauritius (for any magazine who would be interested!). I would also like to write a feature on the LaLuna spa resort in Grenada, which is ethically funded and actively involved in community projects that enrich the lives of local people in need.
About you and PRs
Where do you source ideas for articles? What has been the strangest/most unusual source of inspiration for you?
I source ideas in many different ways. I may be at a yoga retreat, having a conversation with someone who recommends a particular spa or beauty product, or I may get the odd email from a PR about a product/spa that really inspires me and gives me the desire to spread the word!
How can PRs be useful to you and how and when do you like them to get in touch?
PRs are extremely useful to my work and I want them to be in touch all the time (via email, that is!)
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I find press events/trips very important as they enable me to keep abreast of the latest beauty happenings and products, which is vital for beauty journalists.
How did you originally get into journalism – did you always want to be in the industry you're working in now?
Ever since I was a beauty-obsessed little girl at school, being scolded for wearing make-up and ignoring demands to wash off my Collection 2000 blusher, I knew I wanted to be a beauty journalist. After graduating with an English Literature degree and temping as a beauty sales assistant at various London department stores, I decided to follow my dream and pitch article ideas to various magazines. Finally, after numerous rejections, someone gave me a chance, and I will always be grateful to that amazing person.
If you had to do any other job, what would it be?
I would develop my own range of natural skincare products with all the beauty knowledge I have learned over the years as a beauty journalist.
Are you a passionate tweeter? Does social media play an important part in your professional life?
I am indeed an avid tweeter! Twitter is the holy grail for all journalists. It enables me to connect with the lovely people who read my work and also to promote my beauty blog.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Your blog explores all manner of holistic and spa treatments – do you look after yourself more since starting the blog, or did the blog come out of your hobby for treating yourself?!
My blog has definitely come about as a result of me being a massive spa addict. I have been addicted for many years now and don't ever want to go to rehab!