The founder and publisher of Honeysuckle, a well-renowned print and digital arts, culture, and lifestyle publication based in New York City, Ronit Pinto has definitely earned herself a title among the Aspioneer’s top women trailblazers, and here’s how.
Ronit developed an interest in print media, styling and publishing while she was working freelance for a fashion design publication in Detroit and witnessed the potential of visual impact firsthand at various photoshoots for magazines known by their style toggeries. She gained journalism experience, as an intern and later journalist at The Jerusalem Post in Tel Aviv, Israel and many other outlets subsequently. Owing to her growing enthusiasm, a few years later, she started working in motion pictures simultaneously. Ultimately, juggling different genres of mass media concurrently, given her talent and skill deposits took a shape of true metamorphic bedrock that cropped out as Honeysuckle. “I began Honeysuckle as an answer to our dark urges to explore the connection between beauty and darkness and discover the nuances of life,” says Ronit. “I think our lives are full of paradoxes and complexities and I’m eager and excited to explore them.”
“Honeysuckle’s content reflects who we are: as educated, cosmopolitan women, we curate a publication that analyzes society, all the while providing a platform for real people to learn something new and to make sense of their place in our constantly evolving world.”
Founded in 2013 the award-winning, women-owned, internationally distributed media house Honeysuckle Media; is an umbrella company for Honeysuckle Magazine, Honey Pot Magazine, and Honeysuckle Girl. Ronit shares, “Comprised of our flagship digital and print publication, Honeysuckle Magazine, and our cannabis-exclusive print and digital publication Honey Pot Magazine, our media house provide an outlet that emphasizes diverse perspectives and creative expression. Our flagship brand explores gender and sexuality, racial politics, sustainability, and pop culture. Honey Pot Magazine, our cannabis-exclusive print and digital publication, is a first-of-its-kind culture and business guide exploring the dynamic cannabis industry with a feminine edge.” The content is wise yet provocative and aims at normalizing the discussions of taboo topics. “Honeysuckle’s content reflects who we are: as educated, cosmopolitan women, we curate a publication that analyzes society, all the while providing a platform for real people to learn something new and to make sense of their place in our constantly evolving world,” exclaims Ronit. “Our reporting is authentic and unique. And our writers tend to ‘live what they write’ rather than just reporting on a topic.” Precisely, Honeysuckle can be best described as a digital and print media house for diverse voices and a strong visual impact. In addition, they offer various advantages to their clients and partners on multiple platforms such as print media, digital space, videos, and billboards.
For Ronit, business is not only about the mission and profit, but also the kind of impact it has on people and the planet. She asserts, “Honeysuckle is a company that looks to better our world. To create more beauty, more freedom and to provide opportunities and jobs for people who want to do that as well – while learning to sustain itself and contributing to the overall good of the planet. It’s harder than it sounds! ”
Like any aspiring leader, Ronit also came across some nay-sayers who didn’t share her vision. But she simply decided to ignore them. Rather she keeps her eyes and ears open for people who are visionaries, innovators and free thinkers. Besides being fascinated by media moguls, who are mostly male, her list of inspiring and iconic individuals consists of everyone from Nikola Tesla to Gaspar Noe to Kate Moss. When asked with whom she would like to dine if given the opportunity, she immediately responded, “Old friends from Detroit. Eccentric fashion and art icons, Frances Bacon, Kate Moss.” As a first-time entrepreneur, Ronit never hesitates to seek help and openly accepts her shortcomings to improve in every sense. She says, “I don’t know particularly what mistakes I’ve made, only that we all make mistakes and so the best thing you can do is to ‘fall forward.’ Our society is absolutely obsessed with being perfect,’ and so I just try and do my best. I am not perfect. No one is. If I feel weak in an area I try and seek guidance there. I suppose I am impulsive at times, empathic and excitable so sometimes I act too quickly.”
Ronit’s love for art and beauty is more than evident in her choice of business. That being said, it also underlines her as a keen reader. Speaking of her favorite books, she mentions, “Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown. It portrayed a life I didn’t know and made the reader understand what that life was like. It was very influential for me. That, and Go Ask Alice.”
A victor’s trail
Ronit is someone who measures her success in terms of the freedom she has to execute her creative and intellectual freedoms while learning to be financially stable. Hence, she describes her personal mantra in life as, “Create beauty. Create freedom. And create more of it.” As a female leader, she doesn’t normally feel intimidated or impeded; instead, she always thought she had an advantage. She exclaims, “Many of our best writers and editors are females.” She has always relied on her strengths to chase her aspirations, she says, “You always have to credit the key people you have worked with. Sam, Royal, Naomi, Jaime, and Keyanah are some solid footholds who have helped keep Honeysuckle together at different points. With the right team, we execute a positive, collective, and prismatic vision.” All the ups and downs in her journey have helped Ronit to develop a unique and winning mindset. She emphasizes, “Challenges are not always met by a positive outlook. Sometimes you have to take a hard look at the truth. Sometimes things are light and fairy and other times they are not. I think being able to look at opposing elements with an open mind is an element in becoming a successful leader.”
Ronit’s self-confidence, self-awareness, and her drive to leave a mark on the world never fail to bring out the best she has got, and she has always got some more. She is proving it’s possible to marry purpose and profits while making a difference.
Never let anything stop you
As for all career-minded women, Ronit appeals to them to be innovative, confident, and bold. “However, I am keenly aware that not all women – nor people for that matter – have the same advantages and access to resources, which is due to socio-economic factors and race. Honeysuckle is striving to illuminate those sensitivities through personal testimonies, as we all have unique challenges in life. As a dreamer, I recommend to try for your dreams. If something is important to you, go for it. The worst you can do is to fall. And then you can dust yourself off and try again:) Women are often conditioned in ways that are not beneficial to us in doing what we need in life. Be aware of how your conditioning might be holding you back. Femininity is a beautiful thing. People might feel threatened by it. Don’t let it stop you, but you’re better off being aware of it.”