Hannah Lee
(on Hannah, the 117 slinky v-neck tee. Buy it now) At GR8-1, we have a genuine interest in the voices of young men and women living life on purpose. We are committed to providing these young talents a platform to express their work, their ambitions and their stories. We love Hannah's story for the sheer grit and commitment to her dream which has led her to very early career success and leadership skills. Meet Hannah. The janitor’s closet in my dad’s fine-dining restaurant, Bernardin’s, was never intended to be an office. Maybe 100 square feet, it was supposed to house mops and brooms – not my brothers and I, like it commonly did. But whether it was the small loaves of freshly-baked French bread we stole out of the kitchen, or the heaping helpings of shoestring fries my dad brought us for lunch, that closet became our space to co-exist peacefully amidst the chaotic restaurant scene. Those experiences at Bernardin’s, and my dad’s other eateries, instilled a love for the restaurant industry in me at a young age. I’ve since worked as a hostess and waitress, volunteer sous chef and willing taste-tester. But more than just the food, what I’ve come to love about the food industry is the people: all the chefs, managers, wait staff and owners. Really, I’ve cherished learning their passions and origin stories. Now I’m lucky enough that this lifelong connection with restaurants became my job, where I can gorge on soulful Southern dishes for “work.” The combination of personal and professional experiences led me to my first opportunity in publishing with Shannon Media as Editorial Assistant, my duties started out with meeting locals in the arts, food and entertainment scenes – building both sources and friends. Not only was I covering and photographing dozens of events those first few months, but I was representing our company as a brand ambassador and promoting community businesses on our social media. When I was promoted to assistant editor nine months in, my responsibilities grew. Suddenly I was managing our seasonal interns, delegating and monitoring their assignments. I challenged myself with new story formats and focuses – from oral histories and business analyses to listicles and how-to’s – and launched an original newsletter strictly focusing on local food and drink. Most recently, I served as managing editor of my first magazine: Taste, a celebration of the cuisines and characters that sets the Triangle apart. That meant developing an editorial lineup with original ideas, overseeing freelancers and other staffers, and coordinating with both sales and art to create a delicious visual product. Stepping into that role taught me so much about what leadership means, including helping find others what they excel at and providing clear feedback along the way. It made a better editor and a big-picture thinker. Hannah Lee Follow Hannah @hanjaylee