in conversation: Zeenat Wilkinson

This month we embrace the boundless and aspiring Sagittarius.

A true dreamer and risk-taker, always casting their eyes to the stars and realms of possibility. It couldn't be more fitting that they are led by the sign of the archer - she will be forever in pursuit of the next adventure.

Join us as we meet this month's Sagittarius woman.

Meet Zeenat Wilkinson, Founder and Creative Director of Sauce Mag and our most recent zodiac woman.

With origins in Psychology and a glittering styling portfolio, in 2017 Zeenat lept into creating her dream online lifestyle platform - Sauce, after noticing a gap in the New Zealand media landscape. In the last three years the platform has absolutely blossomed and in more recent times Zeenat also took on the additional title of mother, with beautiful daughter, Aailiyah born in July this year.

Sauce is a truly unique new-gen publication and associated production studio focused on celebrating diverse voices, sharing interviews, inspiration and stories of noteworthy 'Saucettes'. Hours can be easily lost delving into their articles - an array of honest conversations with unique individuals perfectly balancing an exploration of style and beauty with thought provoking and insightful discussion. With everything underpinned by the idea of self expression, we so enjoy how Zeenat has created such a relevant yet playful space for ... well, basically anything and everything that we would want to read about.

We recently had Zeenat share with us what it means to her to be a Sagittarius woman, how it fuels her creative drive and her ideal Sunday rituals. We hope you enjoy this read. 

 

 

Sauce is both raw and unapologetically honest, a platform that truly inspires thoughtful conversation, story-telling and genuine connection. We would love to dive into the history behind Sauce, where it began and some of the defining moments that have contributed to its success? What, or who does Sauce represent?  

Thank you, Sauce was my response to the fact that women of colour and differently-abled people just weren’t reflected in this broader media spectrum at the time in New Zealand. This was the key driving force behind Sauce. But it has been an evolutionary process in some sense.  

After studying both fashion design and psychology, then spending some time working as a fashion stylist and editor in both London and Mumbai, I moved to New Zealand in 2012 and I worked with a handful of local titles for the first few years. During that time I had this realisation there was an enormous gap in the market for something more real but relaxed, digital but still curated. This led to the inception and launch of Sauce in 2017. 

The organicness from the writers and contributors that are willing to share a piece of themselves is a testament to the success of Sauce. The fact that our wonderful contributors trust us, with their story and vulnerability, has allowed me to persevere and ignite a sizeable fire to continue to power forward.

We’ve had so many wonderful successful moments over the years. This year I was able step back and see Sauce take slow and steady steps into the future with Liam Sharma taking charge of things. The unmistakable thing about growth is there is only one way to perceive it - that’s with immense excitement. Creating something that someone else can be just as excited about running it makes it titillating and unmistakably significant in some way.


Where do you see the future of media and what have been some ways you've worked to adapt to the ever-changing digital world we live in? 

It’s really hard to know where things are headed. The purgatorial nature of 2020 has sort of throw things off for most industries, especially media that has already been spiralling downwards in the last five years or so. I feel like we will be seeing a lot more digital and boutique-y publications – which is exciting because brands are now seeing value in story-telling and the importance of conversations rather than focusing on the numbers game. Influencers are going to continue to grow from strength to strength but the organicness of discovering things on the Internet has slowed down a little. So it’s a bit of Catch-22. I think print is here to stay, but only a handful ones with longer self life.

 

On identifying as a Sagittarius woman.

I am perfectionist so yes. Fiercely independent when it comes to travel and self-discovery. I think a Sagittarius never backs down from adventure and that’s truly the core of my being. I often meet Sagittarians on shoots or creative settings so I know sagis love to create and they are governed by it some way.  I think we can be reckless with what we say and careless with our financials too. 


Her ideal Sunday.

My ideal Sunday starts at the French markets with coffee and a delicious sweet treat. Followed by a beach stroll or a swim. I’d love to wind down the day with wine, cheese crackers and conversations to with friends. Maybe squeeze in a class of restorative yoga too. 

 

T H E   W R A P

What is your advice for encouraging self-care? 

Ask yourself if you are taking care of your spirit, soul and body during chaotic times. Learn to say no to things that don’t matter to your core being. Say yes to zen moments with (or without) the help of a meditation session, yoga or art class. Sometimes self-care is also just going to bed early and sleeping in.

Best quote. 

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” – Rumi

Your favourite accounts to follow.

@stellasimona @monikh @hattiemolloy @eleanorpendleton @alisonrice and @beckwadworth

Where do you find inspiration for your home?   

I try and seek inspiration from seventies minimalism for my home as it was originally built in that decade. Quite often on Instagram and sometimes the ol' pinterest for DIY ideas.

Your work soundtrack.   

Anything by Raveena

Once the world begins to slowly open up, where will you choose to vacation?

I would love to go back to Europe and maybe explore Portugal this time. But realistically, it would have to somewhere incredibly relaxing like Fiji or Hawaii or Bali. This tired mama needs lots of massages and naps by the pool.

 

 

We hope you loved our In Conversation with Zeenat as much as we absolutely adored interviewing her.

To discover more about Sauce, find their website here.
For Zeenat herself, follow here.

Lead image by Amanda Thomas Photography.