Woman in dark jumper against a pink background
Aimee Jakes: 'I love fashion and beauty. It’s crazy that I can call this my job when I love it so much'

Aimee Jakes on what inspired her to become a journalist, the piece of work she is most proud of, and the time she interviewed Selling Sunset’s Mary Fitzgerald.

What made you so eager to work in the magazine industry?

I’ve always loved magazines. When I was younger, I read S Club 7 magazine, Girl Talk, and Top of the Pops – but I never would have considered working in magazines as a career. I initially wanted to be a primary school teacher. When I started at the University of Gloucestershire, I was doing a degree in primary education. After a few weeks though, I spoke to some friends about their degree, and they were doing journalism. I was so jealous of them and thought to myself ‘If you’re jealous about something it means you really want it’. The following week, I spoke to the head of the journalism department and asked to change my course. I secured a place, and my passion started from there.

What route did you take?

University and experience. I went on placement a lot at university, starting with Girl Talk magazine. That was amazing because I used to read it. In third year, I was on placement from January until June. I went to Heat, Closer, Grazia, The Debrief, and The Sun. On placement, I met my boss at Bauer who offered me a job as Audience Development Executive. Through experience I got the job as shopping editor.

“IF YOU’RE JEALOUS ABOUT SOMETHING IT MEANS YOU REALLY WANT IT.”

What does a shopping editor do?

We look after shopping sections on both sites. It combines normal journalism with sales. I make sure we hit targets on page views and purchases through affiliate links on the websites. I’m usually looking for stories, fashion, and influencer style. I edit other people’s work and articles, and I pitch ideas and observe trends for the magazine. I interview celebrities too.

Who has been your favourite celebrity to interview?

I’ve interviewed a lot so that’s a hard question. I loved interviewing Jacqueline Jossa – she was so weird but funny. I could really see myself being friends with her if she wasn’t famous. I also enjoyed interviewing Selling Sunset’s Mary Fitzgerald, she was so iconic and lavish. I asked her about her self care routine and it was above and beyond. She made me think – ‘Is this how the other half live’?

What’s the best thing about your job?

Living and breathing my passions. I am obsessed with shopping and refresh that ASOS new in page hourly. I love fashion and beauty. It’s crazy that I can call this my job when I am so interested in it. I get to test a lot of skincare products too. As someone who would normally spend so much money on those products, it’s fun to be able to test them for free.

“it’S UNREALISTIC TO GET YOUR DREAM JOB FROM THE START.”

Have you faced any struggles throughout your career?

I sometimes struggled persevering when I didn’t have the most glamorous job on the planet. When I worked for Mother and Baby it was a struggle to be engaged with the content that wasn’t appealing to me – I don’t have kids. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have the perfect job from the get-go, but when I look back, I think that it’s unrealistic to get your dream job from the start.

What is a piece of work that you are most proud of?

I have a franchise called self-care Sunday. Each week I interview celebrities on their self-care regimes, beauty favourites and relaxation routines. It was a way to see how they take care of themselves. I ask questions like ‘How do you like your cuppa?’ or ‘What is your go to takeaway order?’. I’ve realised that we are all the same – we all like long baths.

Where do you see yourself going in five years?

I’d love to manage a big team. Or maybe be a proper editor for a bigger brand. I’ve been with Bauer for about five and a half years, but I would love to be a big glossy magazine editor one day.

“Say yes to everything.”

Where do you see the industry going?

The industry changes every few months. Everything has been so serious lately and the news is such a dark place. I can really see that silly, frivolous side to journalism coming back, the type of journalism with a sense of humour. Affiliate journalism is becoming popular too, linking products through articles and websites.

What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?

Be keen and over enthusiastic, say yes to everything. You would be surprised how many people aren’t super keen, so if you are putting yourself out there you will set yourself apart. Own your hunger and be pushy – if someone hasn’t replied email again. Writing blogs will set you aside too. You don’t necessarily need to write about yourself, you can write your own version of articles that you would have wanted to write.