Lucia TranFounder of Lucia Tran Media & Zooey MagazineLOS ANGELES, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld
I started Prodigy because I am inspired by women young and old. With the current generation engaged in such tremendous technology strides and digital overdrive, I am continually fascinated by how the younger generation deciphers and maneuvers its way through to focus in on what matters to them most. Whether it is the digital connection or something completely outside, there are so many young people making strides faster and bigger than we ever did and could. With Lucia Tran, I will continue to be amazed I am sure throughout her career. A woman who is deeply connected to family, friends and all that is real, she has made a true impact on moms, women and the world around her at a very young age. She has translated her passions into successful businesses that all of us could learn a thing or two from. I am excited to share our Q&A.
1.Who are you? And what are you currently up to?
I’m Lucia Tran, and I’m the Founding Editor of Zooey Magazine as well as Little Zooey. Currently, I’m writing an essay for my Jane Austen class that’s due in a few days, while trying to get the newest issue of Zooey out the door.
2.Can you tell us a little bit about Zooey Magazine and how Lucia Tran Media came about?
I launched Zooey Magazine in 2010 when I just became a senior in high school. Zooey Magazine represents a dialogue for the everyday woman and has been such a labor of love. It really is a collective effort; artists, writers…simply the makers of this country. Lucia Tran Media is my corporation which houses all my endeavors, and boy, there’s a lot.
3.Zooey Magazine is one part of your company. Can you tell us about your public relations side of Lucia Tran Media?
I started public relations last December and haven’t stopped since. I represent children’s fashion and lifestyle brands, and realize how much I love what I do. Luckily, Zooey Magazine helped to develop my skills as a publicist.
4.What is your biggest source of inspiration?
My biggest source of inspiration is women.
5.I am sure each day is different but what is a daily routine or a day in the life of Lucia?
Every day really is different. Most of the time, I am in lecture (UCLA). The rest of the time, I am catching up on emails. I start each day around 6:30 AM – 7:00 AM with a strong cup of coffee, and I tackle my inbox as much as possible before I have to leave. Some days I am on set to either style or handle creative direction. Other days, I am at endless meetings around town. And sometimes, its a combination of meetings, photo shoots, and work events. Then I’ll crash by 2 AM or 3 AM if I can’t help it. I like to start early and end late. I know, my body hates me.
6.How do you juggle life and work?
I don’t think I do! But a lot of my friends are in the ‘business’, so it helps to give some semblance of a work-life balance. They’re artists: photographers, hair and makeup artists, fashion designers, etc. So when we’re together, we’re always imagining up new and fun projects – that’s our social life…
…We love spending that time together to explore our goals, and help each other out. That’s our balance – it’s a blurred line between what people call ‘work’ and call ‘social.’ Especially to us. Artists work 24/7!
10.What are some things you love to do for fun to get away from the office?
If there is any free time in my schedule, I like to make a run home to see my family in San Francisco. It’s also my favorite city. A stroll in the neighborhoods is always relaxing and visually-stimulating (the scenery is also so beautiful). But most of the time is spent working, reading, or writing. I can’t help it. Life. Is. Busy.
I also binge watch bad TV shows… I can’t name drop, because I work with the cast and crew of these shows… Hah!
11.What are some ways you keep creative and stay inspired with so much competition in the industry?
You’d think that I would care about “competition,” but I have a notion about competition and that is to not care about it. I honestly find those that ‘compete’ ultimately become less unique. Instead, I find other magazines so inspirational. I love reading international magazines, especially.
I can find inspiration anywhere, so it’s hard to pinpoint. The other day, I read the introductory paragraph to a Vanity Fair cover story of Scarlett Johansson by Lili Anolik and was so inspired by her narrative-voice. It was beautiful, and it inspired an upcoming feature in Zooey. And, I was reading Jane Eyre a few weeks ago and then watched the 2011 movie with Mia Wasikowska and was inspired by the way she and Michael Fassbender said the phrase “as we are.” That also inspired another feature for Zooey.
Then, I can be inspired by colors…textures…patterns that I see on the streets. Ultimately, we should just be attuned to our surroundings. There’s so much beauty in everyday life, and it’s very easily overlooked.
7.What is something you learned starting up your business as such a young age that you can share with the readers?
Educate yourself. There is nothing worse than jumping with both feet in so quickly. You don’t want to make regrets, but at the same time, they are huge life lessons. But for small businesses, it’s always a risk. Learn everything you can about the field you’re heading into. Grab all the business and marketing books, and you might just find things you hadn’t known before.
What I thought was also helpful, if you want to get technical, is exploring the field of accounting. Knowing your numbers and how to predict them is also helpful. I really enjoyed reading Warren Buffet’s financial statement from 2012, and found so many useful tips by his rambles. Yes, they really are rambles.
8.What is one piece of advice you could pass on to others about following your authentic self?
Comparing yourself to others does not help you in any way. This is one thing I constantly have to remind others, and even myself. I don’t think it’s important to care about where your ‘competitors’ are in their journey, because it has nothing to do with your own journey. Everyone performs differently, and everyone works at different stages. By comparing yourself to others, you’ll do things that will make you lose your own integrity and your ‘authentic self.’ There’s no reason to waste your time beating yourself up, because you’re not where someone else is.
9.Society still portrays girls and women as objects. What is a statement to empower women all around the world?
Society not only portrays girls and women as objects. We as a society objectify everyone (including men). There is such a huge facade in the multimedia, and it’s sad we still have to bring up this question and concern in 2014. But I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s an ancient way of perceiving our reality, and it’s hard not to. We fuel it, so we have no one to blame but ourselves.
For women, I think we lose a sense of hope in all this noise. We have the ability to make so many changes, but we’d rather be spending our time brushing off these issues and concerning ourselves with trivial things. I think we have to understand how to recognize the injustice (and there is SO much beyond our own reality), and learn how to partake in the larger picture.
Something as simple as giving yourself time to understand who YOU are, and who YOU want to become, and learning what YOU are capable of, will do wonders to your future and perhaps that of others. Do not compare yourself to others and do not allow these allusions of the ideal woman overpower you.
12.Who was your support system and how did they support you in your unique path?
Like many, you start with family. They supported me every step of the way, and allowed me to skip my classes (high school) to finish up work. Thanks, mum!
13.How have your peers felt about your early accomplishments? Even adults towards you?
I’m very private about my work life. I don’t talk to friends about what I do, nor any stranger. It’s not something you say… “Hi, I run a magazine. Blah blah.” So in that case, people generally don’t know. But once in a while, when someone is tempted to do a Google search, I get some nice compliments and emails. I’m always grateful that people are excited about my journey. Frankly, I don’t think it’s nearly as great as what so many young people have done with their lives. I want to help others, that’s all. Until that happens on a massive rate, I don’t think I deserve much praise!
14.Have you always known this is what you wanted to do? When did you know? Was there a moment?
Absolutely. Entertainment was how I was able to enter a limbo; something other than my reality. I’ve always loved television, reading magazines, etc. I remember watching “Friends” when I was two. It was just my thing… People knew I was all about the entertainment culture. Seeing how strong the industry is, I wanted to use it as a medium to empower other women. Imagine if we used entertainment only for good. It can be both entertaining and inspiring too, if put to that use.
15.Where do you want to be in five years from now?
I want to be happy.