Joti Dhesi and Manjot Bains are filling a gap for fashion, beauty and culture content that's geared towards South Asian women with their online lifestyle magazine Jugni Style. Here's how the idea came about and how these two driven young professionals operate this niche media company...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Jugni Style is an online lifestyle magazine for the Canadian woman, with a focus on all things South Asian. We love clothes, make-up and eating, just as much as we love reading, traveling and checking out the latest play or art exhibit.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Joti: I’ve been in the digital industry for over 7 years and I love fashion, beauty and culture. I felt there was a gap in the market; so we decided to bridge that gap and showcase content outside of dating and weddings for South Asian women. We wanted to have fun with Jugni Style.
Manjot: I’ve always been interested in Indian fashion, as well as whatever’s coming out of Europe and New York, but I couldn’t find a publication or site where I could get everything I was looking for, which is how the idea of Jugni Style was born. It’s a place where you can find a story on M.I.A.’s latest release, the hottest designer out of Delhi, and what we thought of Naeem Khan’s show at New York Fashion Week.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Joti: For me I would have to say it’s the creative inspiration, I love editing pictures and showing quality creative. The challenging part is actually having time outside of my full time job to tell people we’re out there.
Manjot: When a writer sends me a story and I fall in love with what they’ve written, or getting an opportunity to profile an up-and-coming artist or musician. My nerdy answer: I get really excited when I craft a perfect sentence, start to finish. Like Joti, my challenge has been juggling work as a Communications Consultant while managing editorial on Jugni Style.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
We would like to run Jugni Style full time and be a leader in lifestyle content for South Asian women. Our dream is to have an office and full-time staff one day.
What does success look like to you?
Joti: Success is when our readers tell us they enjoy our content and love our site. It’s totally worth it.
Manjot: When someone says, “Jugni Style? I love that site!” Whenever this happens, I’m happy and I feel successful.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Covering IIFA (International India Film Awards) in Toronto. We were a two-woman show: doing interviews, taking pictures, and attending events for 4 days in a row. We were exhausted but excited, and we wanted to give our readers what they wanted. We felt like journalists, and that’s the day it became real!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Always have passion in what you do, because you will try harder and it will show in your work. Don’t ever think something is a bad idea. Sometimes you just have to jump in and try it! You might surprise yourself.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Prostate Cancer/Movember and Breast Cancer Awareness are two causes that we feel passionate about. We both know people who have been affected by these illnesses, which is why we are building awareness in the South Asian community on the importance of screening and proactive healthcare for your family.
What is Notable to you?
Creativity, new ideas, and people working with a conscience. People who reach great success in their careers and still give back and work in their community – that’s notable.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Joti: Blackberry, easier to send emails, but I think I might make a switch. I love Google!
Manjot: iPhone. It’s pretty, matches my MacBook and it’s easy to organize email, calendars and events. Plus the Apps!
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Joti: Hanging out with other active, energetic and fun individuals. It’s important to have positive people in my life who encourage me to do more, it keeps me going. I love hearing about other people’s passion, which motivates me and pushes me to do more with my life. I always want to know what’s next…
Manjot: Sleep, yoga, copious amount of chocolate…and most importantly, surrounding myself with supportive and positive friends. And having a business partner who I love to work with and who makes our work fun and exciting is critical.