#WhatDrivesHer: Joanna Riquett, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hayo Magazine

Follow Joanna’s journey in the XT5 on Instagram: @joanacronica

Joanna Riquett, founder of Vancouver-based Hayo Magazine, has never been afraid to step outside of her comfort zone. In fact, that’s where she’s most comfortable. A life in pursuit of discovering new places and communities has taken her all over the world and left her with the desire to share her experiences with as many people as possible.

That’s why Riquett created Hayo: an online magazine dedicated to helping people discover things they might otherwise miss while travelling. Taking this approach of showcasing hidden gems seems to be resonating with other culture-minded travellers. “The people that have come to Hayo also share that interest in finding out who the trendsetters are in these cities and how can we connect with them so we understand what the local community is like,” Riquett says. “It’s not about sightseeing or finding the best restaurant: it’s about understanding the people of the places.”

“I wanted to inspire people to leave the stereotypes behind and be open to exploring places out of their comfort zone.”

Even before starting the magazine, Riquett was always looking for ways to share the world through her eyes. “When I first moved to Buenos Aries, I started a blog because I had a lot of things to say and not enough time to update everyone,” she says. “That’s the way I used to tell people about the things I was experiencing.” It wasn’t long before Riquett knew she wanted to do more than just update family and friends on her travels: she wanted to show the world what they were missing. That’s what led her to get Hayo off the ground as a space for immersive travel journalism. “When I launched the magazine, it was about the discovery of new places,” she says. “I wanted to inspire people to leave the stereotypes behind and be open to exploring places out of their comfort zone.”

“Being an entrepreneur requires a great deal of daring. You have to put your soul out there and know you’re going to fail trying some things.”

The online publication became not only an outlet for Riquett’s travel experiences, but one for other likeminded storytellers with a penchant for genuine exploration. “I wanted to share more authentic stories,” she explains. “I like to understand what the local community is like, what the artistic movement is like and how they are informing the culture of the city.” This in-depth approach presented a marked difference from other travel publications Riquett was seeing online. “Finding that kind of information when I was travelling, it wasn’t that easy. I could find lists of restaurants, lists of exciting things to see everywhere. Thousands and thousands of sites have that information. But not a lot of them would have information related to the creativity and the communities: that more specific niche.”

Publishing specialized content proved to be a popular approach among travel-obsessed readers. As the magazine’s reach grew online, Riquett saw the potential to move beyond the site’s captivating content by offering real-word travel adventures. The Hayo brand has now evolved to feature Creative Immersion Journeys: curated trips that guide travellers towards more meaningful experiences. This ambitious move is a reflection of Riquett’s willingness to take risks with her brand to help it grow. “Being an entrepreneur requires a great deal of daring,” she says. “You have to put your soul out there and know you’re going to fail trying some things. We keep going until we hit something we know is going to last.”

Share:
Related Articles
Entrepreneurship
#WhatDrivesHer: Micah Cameron, founder of Frankie’s Surf Club
Entrepreneurship
Daring Origins: Julie Hubert – Workland, Business Matchmaker corporative
Entrepreneurship
Daring Origins: Elizabeth Stefanka – From lingerie to technology
top