#FWLGirlBoss : Serena Guen, Founding CEO , SUITCASE Magazine

If you read our post on 4 inspiring magazines for those quiet moments then you would have come across SUITCASE Magazine, a multimedia travel and fashion magazine printed globally.

Serena Guen, the Founding CEO of SUITCASE, formally the Editor in chief is an adventurous woman who wears the many hats of a  publisher , business woman and philanthropist.

In 2014 she received a Women of the Future Award for media, and was nominated for the London Evening Standard 25 Under 25 Most Influential people in the British capital.

Serena tells us all about how she got started, the future for SUITCASE and shares some golden nuggets on being an entrepreneur!

Name:  Serena Guen           
Age: 
26
Location: 
London/ a plane somewhere else
Current title | Company: SUITCASE
Education: 
NYU BA in Liberal Studies with Founders Day Award
Website / social media pages: @SerenaGuen @SUITCASEmag (on Twitter and Instagram)

FWL: What was your first job and how did you land it?

I’m still doing it now! I started SUITCASE at university which means I’ve never worked anywhere else.

FWL: Can you tell us about SUITCASE Magazine, how did you get the idea and how did you start? 

Coming from an international family, I’d always felt the need for a way to share and truly experiences all the amazing cultures, people and places around the world. Studying at NYU was my first experience of really living abroad and it made me realize that if you don’t know anyone then you’re just a bit screwed really because there are so many sources of information out there, how do you know which one to trust. I ended up spending hours and hours searching for literally one restaurant for dinner. I decided that millennial (and mature millennial) females needed a voice for travel, so that’s how SUITCASE began! I had no experience in publishing but just the drive to create something new.

serena guen suitcase magazine

FWL: What challenges have you faced since starting the magazine? 

Not having any previous work experience meant that I didn’t know some practical things like how to structure a team, how to do accounts etc. but there’s nothing you can’t do with a little bit of common sense, time and determination. 

FWL: How did you get the funding?

Private investment

FWL: How do you stay organized and on top of your game?

Not letting email rule my life by focusing on key goals, making sure my team are all on the same page and using email only as a tool to achieve those goals. Also, doing sport 4-5 a week and not eating junk food – luckily I don’t like it.

FWL: What’s a typical day for you on the job like?

Doesn’t exist!

FWL: What do you love most about your job and what do you dislike the most?

I love the spontaneity and the fact that I’m not learning new things every day but every hour. It’s such an exciting time to be in travel, technology and media – everything’s changing and we have the ability to define it.

serena guen suitcase magazine
Image via blog.urbanoutfitters.com

 FWL: What inspires you, what drives you?

Building bridges between cultures and allowing people to share their experiences.

FWL: Who would you love to work with?

An airlines like Cathay Pacific or British Airways – airlines in many ways are the ultimate connectors.

FWL: What is the future for you and SUITCASE Magazine?

Creating a community with all the amazing people that use SUITCASE as a platform to share their experiences and also be inspired to explore the world. 

FWL: What do you think the future is for the Travel Industry?

I think the future is in personalisation.

serena guen suitcase magazine

FWL: What advice would you give to people wanting to start a magazine specifically in the travel industry?

Decide what you really want to achieve and if a magazine is the best format for that because there are so many mediums of communication and formats for information now but sometimes nothing beats a magazine.

FWL: What’s the most important advice you have received that you would like to share with other female entrepreneurs?

Strength and leadership comes in many different forms – you don’t have to be wearing a suit working twenty hour days and ruling with an iron fist to be successful. Also make sure that you have people in your life that you can fall back on or distract you – sometimes you might just not want to talk about your business for a day and doing something different.

FWL: If you could go back and make any changes, what would they be? 

Not put so much pressure on myself. It’s often the case with entrepreneurs that the pressure is coming from inside rather from any external sources. Relax!

serena guen suitcase magazine
Image via blog.urbanoutfitters.co.uk

FWL: What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

I’m glad you’re trying lots of different work experiences and enjoying yourself. Exploring your interests is what you should be doing at that age without the construct of school!

 FWL: One thing that makes you | your business ” Younique”  

The mentality no mountain is too big to climb.

You can see more about SUITCASE Magazine at their website.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a Brands and Communications specialist with a passion to support females in reaching their full potential.

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