Yolanda Edwards

Coolstuff Team
October 5, 2021

Meet Yolanda, a Brooklyn-based writer, traveler, and creative director. A few years ago, she founded YOLO Journal, a print (!!!) magazine that we absolutely love. Most recently, she launched Yolo Intel, a substack newsletter that hosts her highly coveted recommendations in cities around the world. We caught up with Yolanda just in time for us to jet -- in true YOLO Journal fashion.

How did you start your magazine, YOLO Journal?
In a way, I’ve been working on Yolo Journal my whole life. I’ve always collected travel information and made files—like recipe cards—whenever anyone would tell me about a place they loved, I put it into a location file for future reference. At the same time (I’m talking about the 80s, when I was a teenager!) I was obsessed with fashion photography, but mostly with the locations. I vividly remember these Calvin Klein ads in black and white and they were in some gorgeous place and I was more interested in the place than the fashion—all I could think about was “how do I get there?”! After college I always worked in magazines or photo production—always in the location orbit. And when I finally had the opportunity to do my own magazine (when I lost my job at Conde Nast Traveler three years ago), with no rules (no advertising constraints, no boss!), I knew I wanted to do a travel lifestyle magazine that people would want to hold onto—big pictures with very little copy, and no cover lines! Once I started putting the journal together, I started reaching out to all the people I knew who were great photographers and had great taste, or a great nose for finding the gems out there in the world! There are so many fantastic stories out there that are buried in people’s iPhones and hard drives!—I want to give them a life in Yolo Journal.

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?New York feels like a village to me—I’m always running into people—and not just at events, very often just walking down the street. My husband and I always talk about how a chance meeting can change the course of your life, and that magic is what keeps us in this great city and not moving to the west coast. I also find everyone to be so thoughtful and generous—we all help each other out and it feels like a collective, not competitive.

What's inspiring you right now?Morning walks (or runs) are what inspire me the most. No matter where I am, I always get out there and find beauty. Whether it’s an old door with beautiful peeling paint, blossoming trees, or signage, I am always looking for something that gets me excited. But travel is consistently my biggest source of inspiration!

Follow along:
Yolo Intel Newsletter
@yolojournal and @yolandaedwards on Instagram