Media, Darling: Sarah Casselman

Sarah is a Queens University graduate, as well as an International Academy of Design and Technology diploma recipient. This self-proclaimed magazine junkie is the Senior Editor of FASHION News. She has also appeared as a style expert on  ET Canada, The Marilyn Denis Show, Steven and Chris and MTV among many others.

During her studies, Sarah worked at Augustina Boutique where she “spent the majority of [her] paycheques on Me & Ro jewellery, bags and scarves.” Upon graduation, Sarah moved to teach ESL in Tokyo, Japan for two years. She loves being part of the FASHION team.

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?

I am a magazine junkie (always have been) and a serious fashionphile, so it seemed like a natural fit. Either that or a vet; when I was little I had a very successful stuffed animal practice in our basement. My alter ego at age seven? Dr. Christine Longington.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
A smart woman never tells all.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Internships are worth their weight in gold. Treat everyone with respect, it’s a small industry and you never know who you’ll be working for some day.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Anything and everything fashion-related and the tabloids at the grocery store check-out. I love a good Us Weekly fix, it’s my guilty pleasure.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
All of them! Whether I’m interviewing a local designer or Lady Gaga I’m always fascinated by the interview process. The challenge is finding (and asking) that key question; the one that unlocks the subject’s true personality. From that point on, it’s smooth sailing.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Make a plan (courtesy of Dad and Mom Casselman). I’m a big believer in making a plan before forging ahead.

What rule do you live your life by?
Fear is not an option.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Don’t send 12 attachments in an email unless I actually ask for them. Somehow, the rest of the circus doesn’t matter as long as I can still send and receive. 

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro?
Having a handsome senior associate pitch me on Tiffany & Co.’s holiday collection. I covered the jewels and then got a sparkly one of my own a few years down the line. This past June I became a Mrs. #PRWIN.

I hate?
Spiders and spicy food.

I love?
My family, friends, baubles (fine or faux) and any fashion ad/editorial that includes animals (preferably anything fluffy and small).

The Windsor Style by Suzy Menkes.

Best place on earth?
Any place with my husband. (Ok, Nantucket.)

Dinner guest?
Anyone who brings a great bottle of chilled chardonnay.

Make that superhero. I always loved Wonder Woman and her fabulous statement cuffs!

Pool or ocean?
The ocean for walks on the beach, the fresh sea air and my sail cloth bag. The pool for lounging, the occasional dip and a really glam cover-up.

Voicemail or email?
Email, it guarantees a same-day response from me.

Media, Darling; James Chatto

James Chatto is the author of six books, editor of Harry Magazine, senior editor of Food and Drink magazine, food and culture columnist for ROM magazine, food critic for the Toronto Standard and National Culinary Advisor to Gold Medal Plates. He has been declared a Freeman of Corfu Town and is a Chevalier of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France

Image credit: George Whiteside.
Twitter: @jameschatto

What was your favourite class in high school? Why?

English with Mr. Lever who was 23, crashed people’s parties, smoked and drank and inspired profound enthusiasm for his favourite writers.

How did you get your start as an editor?
I was a writer first, started line editing other people’s work, liked it and then got lucky first with Food and Drink, then with Harry Magazine.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
I’d be a puppetmaker.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Always email. I’ve stopped answering the phone.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
They should do a little more homework. Find out lead times for magazines so they don’t pitch Christmas stories in November. Keep their databases up-to-date.

Sunrise or sunset? Both. I’m less interested in the time in between.
Scent? Gin.
Cookie? Bath Olivers.
Flower? Gardenias.
Ticklish? I can’t remember.
Shower or bath? Bath (very deep and hot).
Crush? Just the one. 😉
First job? Toiling in the basement of a bookshop.
Inspiration? See Crush.