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Featured Folk: Kailash and Shivana Maharaj

Summer Cover of City Style and Living

I recently heard from some new found blogger friends, Kailash and Shivana Maharaj, who are based in Calgary, Canada and publish a fantastic online magazine:
City Style and Living. You don't need to be from Calgary to appreciate the magazine though. First, I'm crazy about the idea of an online magazine. If you are at a computer often, it's great for break-time. One of my favorite features is the sound that is made when you flip the pages of the magazine, it's a nice touch. It's green too! On top of all that, City Style and Living is packed with content covering food, fashion, city life and travel. There's a little something for everyone. We sat down for chat (OK, we gmailed, but didn't that sound so professional?) and Kailash and Shivana were fantastic to answer my Featured Folk questions:

How did you become interested in magazine publishing?
A magazine is an incredible marriage of word and image. It reminds us of those beautiful old children’s books with illustrated plates. The idea for K&S Media, our production and publishing company, has been percolating for years. In our premier issue we wrote about writing the magazine for our entire lives, we have always been writing, playing and creating. City Style and Living is the beginning of K&S Media, more productions are to follow. The best is yet to come.

How would you describe your style and what do you look to for inspiration?
We see inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it is in an object, sometimes an emotion, sometimes in something intangible. There is no one source for inspiration, the process of translating the inspiration into action is creativity and fulfillment. Our 'personal style philosophy' is simple - there is no need to follow exactly what appears on runways, or on celebrities. There is nothing more pretentious than telling people about 'must haves'- everyone is unique. As the great Yves Saint Laurent said, "Fashions fade, style is eternal".

What's the strangest/most shocking thing you've ever seen while covering a story?
We were recently on assignment in Mexico. One day we went to a beach, it was not the most remote place. In fact, it was on the grounds of a large hotel. All of a sudden Kailash noticed something crawling on the sand by her foot. At first it seemed to be a crab, but upon closer inspection, we realized they were two recently hatched baby turtles. It was shocking to see these two creatures in a commercial area. Before arriving, we had researched the area and found out that turtle nesting season was over but we desperately wanted to see a turtle and then in the middle of all this activity two baby turtles just emerged from the sand, it was an amazing symbol. We then soldiered the babies to the sea, keeping the crowd at bay as many people realized that we were looking at baby turtles and wanted to touch them. We guarded the two turtles on their arduous crawl toward the ocean.

I heart this magazine even more because they feature books on cupcakes!

What stories are you working on now?
We are currently working on our Fall issue. Ideas are formulated months in advance, and require a great deal of planning and preparation. As each issue comes out, we get more excited about the content- Fall 2008 is extremely exciting for us- but you'll have to wait to see the results.

Besides City Style and Living, what other things interest you and keep you busy?

When you have something as close to your heart as City Style and Living, there is little time for anything else. Everything you see is a potential story idea, or feature for the magazine. We started the magazine because it involved all of our interests- food, fashion and travel. We love cooking, travelling and fashion styling. We also love putting together stories whether written or visual.

If you weren't an editor, what would you be?
We cannot imagine doing anything else- the diversity of our magazine allows our creativity to be used in the best ways. Apart from the magazine, we work on the production side of K&S Media.

One of my favorite writers, Ernest Hemingway was asked to write a story in six words (For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.) If you had to write a six-word story about yourself, what would it be?
K&S Media’s philosophy revolves around our company’s tagline: “Earth is a beautiful heaven.”

Thank you to Kailash and Shivana for the blog love! Be sure to check out the
current issue and get yourself to Calgary ASAP!

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