Krista is the director of Foodism Toronto, the first international outpost of London England’s highly successful magazine Foodism. Leaving a job in experiential marketing in Toronto, she crossed the pond four years ago and worked with Foodism’s publisher Square Up Media for the majority of that time. She returned in late 2015 with the Foodism brand in tow. The website and weekly newsletter launched in November 2015 with the first print issue landing this September.

Photo Credit: Joee Wong

Photo Credit: Joee Wong

Twitter: @kayfaist
Instagram: @kayfaist

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Yes to always wanting to be in media, but not necessarily in this medium. I was dead focused on being in broadcasting – when I was 12 I did a report on how I was going to become a news reporter – I’d picked out my college, the whole lot. I did go to said school (Ryerson) to study Broadcast Journalism but after a short stint in TV, there just weren’t any jobs and survival forced me down other paths. When I was in London, my ‘dream job’ at Square Up Media came about – one that allowed me to mesh all my skills in PR, marketing and journalism together. It’s crazy that I’m now in the magazine business considering that my second year magazine professor tried to convince me to specialize in magazine over broadcast and I flat-out declined it. Maybe I should have listened to her and saved myself a few years.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Ultimately, I’d like to see Foodism Toronto be a household name here in the city, and for it really to have lived up to the potential we all see for it. I would be lying if I didn’t say that by that point I will be thinking about a third city for the brand as well, but I’m very much focused on firmly establishing it here first.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
As much as I thought I knew what I wanted to do at a very early age, my advice is to welcome change and embrace opportunities when they present themselves to you. My path completely flipped, I went with it, and it’s landed me in some pretty awesome places. Also, embrace travel and/or live abroad somewhere. Yes, it was terrifying to pack up and leave everything I knew, but seeing that I, for lack of a better term, had the balls to do that makes everything else I do now seem less daunting.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I miss the weekly reads in London like Time Out, Stylist and ES Magazine. I read the digital versions, which is great and all, but I’m in the business of magazines – I like tangible products. Aside from those, Mashable, VICE and a lot of podcasts.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
I don’t do interviews, I leave that to the pros. Although in my short TV career I did two interviews: one with my all-time favourite Leafs alumni Darryl Sittler and the other with (musician) Mat Kearney.

The two interviews above. I completely froze up for both. That was the start and end of my interviewing career.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
I’m sure much of the senior team at Square Up Media will find this amusing, but anything that has come out of my CEO Tim’s mouth. Honestly. He has a no-BS way of explaining things and he will light the fire under you like no one else I’ve ever come across. He’ll also put you in your place when you need it too, He is 100 per cent the reason I had the confidence to bring Foodism to Canada. I’m very lucky to have him.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Work hard, play hard. Yeah it sounds cheesy, but it pretty much sums up how I live my life. Both companies I have worked for in the past (Mosaic and Square Up Media) have fully embraced this type of culture and I hope to carry that on with the company here. Do both 100 per cent and life is good.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
I worked in PR at an agency for two years and I’m lucky to have had the experience of that side of things. I think PR is about being smart and personable. You’re smart when you know whom to pitch something to and how (every publication is different); you’re personable when you really develop a genuine relationship with your media contacts. I think that with one, the other will naturally follow as well.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about wins.
I love when something is pitched in a completely unique way and you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into it. In my PR time, there were definitely some less-than-stellar accounts I worked on, and we had to work hard to present them in an interesting way. If it’s not particularly newsworthy, make it newsworthy. That and feed us lots of drinks. We love drinks.

I hate?
Lack of ambition. People who don’t like animals (although hate is a strong word, I just don’t understand those people) and cilantro.

I love?
Travelling. Making Spotify playlists, A good negroni (I’m always on the hunt for the perfect one) and eating of course.

Any Chuck Klosterman book. Biographies. Non-fiction all the way.

Best place on earth?
A tie between Santorini and NYC. For completely different reasons.

Dinner guest?
My mom and dad when they were in their 20s. We never imagine our parents as anything but our parents, but I have a feeling that mine got up to some pretty cool things pre-children.

Any female professionals/business owners out there. It’s already terrifying to start your own business and then – regardless of the huge progress we’ve made in equality – I feel we still have this extra barrier to overcome. The obvious ones like Arianna Huffington and Oprah of course but local women here like Natasha Koifman, Hassel Aviles and your own Deb Goldblatt-Sadowski are all doing amazing things. #girlpower!

Favourite app?
I download about five podcasts a day and live for the plane rides where I get to listen to them all. Uber Pool because I love meeting new people. And BUNZ – perhaps the greatest thing I have ever discovered.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean all the way. Although I have learned that growing up in freshwater lakes will really render you useless in ocean water.

Voicemail or email?
I know I should say voicemail but it’s 2016, email is just so much more efficient.