New quarterly targets professional Asian Canadian women

This month will see the debut issue of Jasmine magazine, a Toronto-based independent quarterly designed with the Asian-Canadian professional woman in mind. The magazine will be available at Chapters and Indigo bookstores in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton - all centres with major Asian populations.

This month will see the debut issue of Jasmine magazine, a Toronto-based independent quarterly designed with the Asian-Canadian professional woman in mind. The magazine will be available at Chapters and Indigo bookstores in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton – all centres with major Asian populations.

Targeting women 18 to 34, the magazine will offer the usual fare of women’s magazines, with an Asian twist.

‘All content will have an Asian focus,’ says Amy Lan, 26, founder and publisher of Jasmine Media. ‘For example, the first cover reads: ‘Health problems that affect you,’ and by ‘you’ we mean the Asian-Canadian professional woman. We talk about osteoporosis. Many Asian women don’t drink a lot of milk, or are lactose intolerant. And they have a smaller build. This is a big problem.’

The magazine will also deal with superficial issues Asian-Canadian women face – from helping the typical 5’5′ target reader find a good suit, to helping women choose makeup that suits their colouring.

‘This is investigative reporting. We try the products and feature items that cater to our demo. What happens now is lots of trial and error. People spend the money, try the product and then throw it away and try again.’

Sunni Boot, president of Toronto’s ZenithOptimedia, says that media buyers in the Asian arm of her agency believe the readership potential of the venture is limited.

‘There are a lot of lifestyle and fashion magazines in the market and there’s not much they believe Jasmine can add to that. They also believe that young Asian-Canadian women, especially those who were born here, already might consider themselves more Canadian and so would read more Canadian or American publications. Those who are newcomers would probably prefer some mother tongue in a lifestyle book.

‘This group is very interested in lifestyle and fashion, etc. but the feeling of the group here is that [Jasmine is] not going to add a tremendous amount to the books that are already out there and that they believe Asian-Canadian women are currently reading.’

Lan disagrees, and says the magazine is already helping to fill a vacancy in the media marketplace.

She sold five ads for the debut issue. ‘I did that in two weeks.’

Lan also hopes to ‘put a little pressure on manufacturers’ who have not been quick to cater to this market. She cites L’Oréal’s hair-dye line Féria as one of the few products that is developed with multicultural consumers in mind. The ZenithOptimedia client has already offered support through the Féria brand – free samples at the launch party.