Interview: Ceylan Kumbarji Of Taylor Magazine

by Bailey Hopp

You’ll probably find her with a cup of tea or glass of wine in her hand, listening to country music or traveling the world searching for sun and relaxation. She’s the epitome of hard work, positivity, and knowledge, and we were lucky enough to grab some time in one of her favourite local coffee shops. We got to sit down with Taylor Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and Founder, Ceylan Kumbarji, and discuss the meaning of Taylor Magazine and the goals for the future.

An advocate for simple living, kindness, love, and living a successful and fruitful life, Ceylan chats with us about how she came to create Taylor Magazine, her favourite ways of de-stressing after a long day, and her biggest inspirations when it comes to career and success.

Bailey Hopp: Thanks for joining me here today!  To start, how did you come up with the idea for Taylor Magazine? And how did you bring your idea to life?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I had the idea for a while – I always wanted to create a space that was focused on self-care, self-love and simplicity. I wanted to create something that was purely online and purely a space for people to share their stories and read others’ stories based on all things positive. Taylor Magazine doesn’t focus on fashion or beauty that much, it focuses more on things you can do to make yourself feel better if you’re having a rough day, or recipes you can make, trying new things, etc.

“I always knew I wanted to have a community of writers from all over the world who could just go online, go to this platform and talk about things that were truly important to them.” – Ceylan Kumbarji

I was studying journalism at City University and I had always known that I wanted to create my own publication, that was always my end goal, and it just so happened that Taylor Magazine was where it all started – it just seemed to combine all of my favourite things. It talked about people I love, self-care, all things positivity, interviewing people who were always so inspiring and reading stories from people from all over the world.

Bailey Hopp: That is incredible. Now, how did you come up with “Taylor” magazine? Where did the name come from?

Ceylan Kumbarji: Actually, there is a story behind this! I asked my little sister to help me brainstorm. She is a massive Taylor Swift fan, so she suggested Taylor Magazine. But then, when we thought about it a little more, we realised the whole purpose for what I wanted to create, was to be tailored for the reader, so if you come to Taylor Magazine and you’re looking for content relating to self-care and minimalism, the content is ‘taylored’ for you. And that eventually became our slogan! It ended up fitting with what I wanted to create and the end goal.

Bailey Hopp: How did you decide on having simple living and minimalism as the main focuses of your publication?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I’ve always loved magazines and going into the newsagents or grocery store and seeing who is on the cover and what they’re talking about. For me though, I always connected more with interviews where people would talk about things that make them happy, a little less focused on the material side, but more on the deeper things such as their dreams and passions, and what makes them feel fulfilled.

With the idea of making it all about minimalism, I feel that in general, there are a lot of places where things are quite busy, there’s a lot going on, and there’s a lot of times where people read something and they want to change or adapt themselves, and Taylor Magazine isn’t that. It’s more to guide you if you want to have a more simple life.

“I wanted to inspire other people to focus on finding their true happiness, more than temporary happiness. I wanted to help focus on happiness in the long run.” – Ceylan Kumbarji

Bailey Hopp: Who are some of your biggest inspirations in life? Who do you look up to?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I would say my mum and my grandma. They are all about family, helping and supporting people, and for me, that’s always really made me want to achieve more and make them proud. Someone else that inspires me is Lauren Conrad. I think she’s incredible and she’s done some wonderful things; she’s created this empire and organisation of books and clothing lines, and she’s done so much to create a successful career for herself.

Also, I’ve always looked up to Julie Andrews. She’s my favourite actress – she’s just so classy and elegant, and carries herself in such a timeless way. My last person is Meghan Markle. I’ve watched every episode of Suits, so I’ve known her as a great actress from years ago – she’s so elegant and does such amazing work with charities, and I guess she is the everyday girl’s fairytale of getting to marry a prince. I think she’s just always been really inspiring and she’s done great things in her career.

Bailey Hopp: All such incredible women! What are some brands or bloggers you hope to work with in the future?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I’d really like to do something in the future with charities, so something with Mind, and I think it’d be a great way to tie in campaigns that can really give people the information that they need in terms of finding support or resources if they’re having a tough time mentally. In terms of a lifestyle or clothing brand, I’d have to say Vans! I wear them all the time and they’re always on my feet, so it would be fun to do something with them.

Bailey Hopp: When you aren’t working, what do you do to relax?

Ceylan Kumbarji: When I want to relax, I normally put on a film or see what’s on Netflix, and revisit some of my old favourite movies. I love The Breakup, or The Notebook, anything that’s funny, or I’ll binge watch a series. If I’ve had a bad day, I love just curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and just put on a new series or new episode, that always cheers me up. Shows like Jane the Virgin, SuitsHomeland, Friends, or This Is Us – they’re my obsessions at the moment. Any sort of way that I can switch off and focus on something else is always a good way of clearing my mind. Otherwise, I love doing yoga, having a bubble bath, things that de-stress.

Bailey Hopp: Those are great ideas, I need new Netflix shows to watch! What is your all-time favourite book?

Ceylan Kumbarji: My favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I remember reading this when I was a lot younger, then I read it four years later, and I could actually properly understand the message.

“I remember I was so in awe of Harper Lee and what she’s written about at such a crucial time, and also that until recently, that was the only book she’d written and published. I always found it really moving and inspiring that she felt that all she had to say, she could fit into one book.”

It was a massive success because Harper Lee accomplished so many great things with that one book, and it is one of the most moving stories. It’s something I can read again and again. I also love Jonathan Safran Foer, and his book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, is another one of my favourites. I love the way he writes and the stories he tells, I never get bored of reading them.

Bailey Hopp: So you travel to Los Angeles quite frequently, what are some of your favourite places to visit when you’re there?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I love going to Griffith Observatory, I think it’s really nice in the evenings and at night to see the stars around LA. I also really love going to the beach to read or just relax in the sun, Venice Beach is amazing. I also love going on a cycle and feeling like I’m in some sort of movie! I really love going to Sweetgreen for food, because they make the best salads ever and I feel so healthy after I go there.  There is also a wine bar called Ollie’s, and they have a cute little outdoor section with heaters, and it’s just a nice place to sit and relax. I feel like anywhere you can just wind down is what I like to do in LA.

Bailey Hopp: What are some of your other favourite places around the world to travel to?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I love going to Italy, because Italian food is my favourite food – it’s always authentic and delicious! I can literally eat the same pasta in different restaurants and feel fulfilled. Milan and Rome in particular are special to me.

I also just love the United States – I went to Arizona recently and just fell in love with it. It was so beautiful, sunny and warm. I’d love to visit again. I’d love to explore the States and more of the places I haven’t been –  Tennessee and Graceland are next on my list.

Bailey Hopp: What do you hope will be the future of Taylor Magazine?

Ceylan Kumbarji: I think future Taylor Magazine is just to carry on how it is now. Basically continuing to share personal and important stories, a place we can continue to talk about things that matter to us and being the best version of yourself. I’d love to have more advice posts where people can ask questions and get help from a friend, what we’re doing with Nomi Leasure (our advice columnist). We’ve seen people really benefit from her advice and to me that is so special.

We’ve recently launched our  Careers Corner and Jobs Board, which was really exciting! The Careers Corner combines all of our favourite things – inspiring & kind ladies, connectivity and creativity – into one community. Now, all of the ladies who inspire us are all connected in one place, so other people can find them too. You can find all types of talented creatives in one easily accessible setting, as well as advertise and share your talents with potential clients and collaborators.

Similarly, our Jobs Board is a space where we advertise creative job roles that would be of interest to our readers, focusing on all things wellness, travel, lifestyle and more.

Other things to look forward to that the team are working on is Taylor Content – a photography platform, free to join, where people can find photographers or videographers for their trips and photoshoots, wherever they are in the world. This community of photographers will all be in line with our minimalist theme, each having their own exciting shooting style, so look out for that really soon!

We’ve also been looking at launching an online shop, which will be a one stop shop for all things self-care – think candles, bath bombs, hot water bottles, bathrobes, fuzzy socks. It will be things that make you feel good and cheer you up. Watch this space for that too!

My main focus, however, is just to expand our community, get more writers and readers, more collaborations with brands that share similar messages to ours, connect with new people and travel to new places. Taylor Magazine is a community of writers, readers and creatives – the most important thing is to continue with that in mind and continue growing. We hope to connect with more people all over the world!

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