My Mentor: Lisa Smosarski on Sara Cremer

'I know i could always contact her for some pearls of wisdom to sort me out'
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Sara Cremer gave me my break at New Woman when I was 25. It was my favourite magazine at the time. I loved its tone and irreverence, and was looking to make the transition from the teen magazine Bliss to a different title, and Sara gave me that opportunity.

I was the 'celebrity editor', and in my first week I was sent to Los Angeles to do a travel feature on how to spot celebrities. I am possibly the only person ever to have come back from LA without having spotted anyone. I returned with my tail between my legs but Sara was very philosophical about it and we turned it into a funny piece on the irony of not being able to track down a celebrity. She was very good at not making you feel like a failure, while pushing you to succeed the next time.

Sara introduced me to elements of editorial work I hadn't been involved with before, like doing the cover and the coverlines, and using humour, which has been really influential for my current job. She is firm but fair and very friendly and approachable, but she also has high expectations and wants you to deliver. As an editor I've tried to be like her in the sense of communicating well and getting the best out of people.

The sad thing is that I only worked with her for a few months because I was offered the job of editor of Smash Hits. It was a hard decision to make because I was having such a great time, and I had learnt so much in a very short time. Her advice to me when I told her I was leaving was, "I hope you've bought a nodding dog, because then at least you'll have someone who'll always agree with you"!

Whenever I've seen Sara since, she has always been really encouraging and enthusiastic. She's one of those people I know I could always contact for some pearls of wisdom that would sort me out.

Lisa Smosarski is the editor of More. Sara Cremer is the editor of Eve