Staff in Spotlight shines a light on the creatives, designers, editors and executives who make Factory Media happen on a daily basis. Our company values – authenticity, inspiration, access and insight – are never more apparent than when you meet the real people behind our business.
“WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN REALLY LUCKY TO FIND GREAT TALENT AT FACTORY, AND WE’RE BRILLIANT AT ATTRACTING SOME OF THE BEST AND MOST INNOVATIVE PEOPLE IN MEDIA AND ACTION SPORTS.” SAYS CEO DARRYL NEWTON.
Read a little bit about the about the experiences and unique personalities of Factory’s staff, in their own words.
This month: Nina Zietman, Deputy Editor – Mpora
What was your start date and position at Factory?
My first encounter with Factory was way back in January 2013 when I was an intern with Whitelines for two weeks – back when Tristan and Sam O were hiding out over in St John’s Street. It was crammed with snowboard gear and smelt like a teenage boy’s bedroom – but I remember thinking they had the coolest job in the world and wanting to work at Factory. Later that summer, I applied for a job as Online Editor on Whitelines. I went to Bestival the weekend after the interview, still nervously waiting to hear about the job. I was sat in a field, drinking cider with my friend and watching a band play on stage. I said to my mate, “That guy on stage looks a lot like Tristan, the guy that interviewed me…” Turned out it was Tristan! Two days later, they offered me the job as Online Writer and I joined in October 2013.
Outer Hebrides Scotland 2014
What has been your favourite Factory project?
It’s hard to think of a project as such, but there’s been many great experiences including riding a mountain bike on a beer and bike tour around the famous craft breweries in Fort Collins, Colorado – all in the name of journalism. On that same trip, I prepped questions to interview the snowboarder Eric Jackson . I turned up to the interview and found myself shaking hands with a 50 year old man who definitely was not the snowboarder I was expecting. It turned out there had been a mix up between myself and the PR and I was interviewing ex-Olympic kayaker Eric Jackson. Too embarrassed to admit I didn’t have a clue who he was, I just winged it.
What has been the weirdest job you’ve ever had to do?
Probably ending up as a photographer for the Olympic Broadcast Services at the Sochi Olympics. They didn’t ask for a portfolio – they didn’t even know if I could use a camera! – but I had access to all the venues and spent 12 hours+ per day shooting at the different events. I made friends with a lot of 40 year-old photographers from Getty, ate the worst food known to man and got stuck in a cable car for an hour in a blizzard alone because no one knew I was in there. Bizarre but awesome job.
What’s the best place you’ve ever travelled to?
Vancouver Island in BC, definitely. There’s a small surf town there called Tofino where I learnt to surf in the icy Pacific waters. Back then, it was super quiet, only a few surf shops, miles of empty windswept beaches with dense forest, great food and sea planes landing on the water every so often.
Who has influenced your career the most and how?
Tristan and Ed Blomfield. Without them, I would never had got the job at Factory Media and wouldn’t be where I am today. Sam Haddad too, because I was an avid reader of Cooler growing up (I’ve still got the very first issue at home!) and it made me want to become an action sports journalist.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?(dead/alive/fictional/famous/not famous…)
Frida Kahlo, Nora Ephron, Lisa Andersen and Paul Theroux.
Greatest personal achievement?
Climbing to the top of a giant 20ft tent pole at a tiny festival in Devon. No one else managed it and somehow (aided by Tequila) I did – and I was so proud of myself.
Three things people would be surprised to know about you:
- I know a lot about the history of British hospital furniture from 1820 to 1920. I wrote 12,000 words on the topic for my history of art undergrad dissertation.
- I was escorted home by the Russian police after a night out at the Sochi Olympics
- I can burp the alphabet (yep, gross)
Second time snowboarding 2007
Best thing about your job?
Definitely the people. Everyone that works in the action sports industry loves what they do. It’s great to work in an industry where everyone is mates and loves surfing, snowboarding, travelling and beer in equal measures. What could be better than that?
Nina & Kelly Slater 2014
“You are as happy as you make up your mind to be”