The ultimate multi-tasker, Lucia Tran, created the inspiring and incredibly cool Zooey Magazine when she was just 16 years old! Now a student at UCLA, she still manages to balance it all and produce an amazing magazine that is carried in Barnes & Nobles nationwide! How does she do it!? Her incredible passion and lots and lots of coffee. Lucia herself is the picture of “genuine intelligence and sophistication” that Zooey represents and her business insight proves it so.
Name: Lucia Tran
Company: Zooey Magazine
Title: Founding Editor and CEO
Location: Los Angeles, CA
How and when did Zooey Magazine come about?
Zooey Magazine took a little while to appear online. In 2008, I started utilizing my love for writing and entertainment by blogging for the young female audiences. I wanted to inspire girls through this platform, because entertainment has such an enormous power. I felt that there wasn’t truly a representative outlet for women – there’s such a range of issues that other magazines shy away from. So in 2010, having always wanted to create a print publication, I finally did and out came Zooey Magazine. Mind you, I was a junior in high school so I am sure my teachers hated me for falling asleep/zoning out in their classes (Sorry Miss Schuet!). Zooey’s audience is mainly composed of women in their 20s and 30s, and it has been such a great journey to make Zooey for all them! I just hope to one day, be able to inspire and help make differences in our female audiences’ lives.
What does a typical day in your position as Editor in Chief look like?
Well, on weekdays, I actually go to school (UCLA). So every morning, I make a good cup of joe and quickly scramble through whatever emails I can respond within those 10-15 minutes. Then I would jot to school. Between classes and after classes, I’m either working…studying…or doing homework. It’s a pretty…messy lifestyle, and honestly, I don’t know how I do it. There are days when (and please don’t tell my professors), I’ll have to skip out on classes for whatever the day calls for – cover shoots, meetings, etc. And of course, sometimes my grades are affected…I’m really trying to be better at juggling everything! But, whenever there is any time at all, ANY, I always find myself working on something else… Pursuing new ideas, new careers (I’m nuts), etc. I usually end my nights with another cup of coffee, and sleep late… You know, 3, 4, 5 AM? During midterms and finals, I am a zombie.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part about my “job,” and I put that in quotations because it’s odd to call it a job (it might be more of a lifestyle!), is meeting people. You meet the good and bad, and more so when you do what I do. I grew up in Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley), and there were never truly opportunities to meet people out of your safe-zone. Being in Los Angeles now, I am blessed to encounter so many people and know how to react to certain situations. And above all, I get to surround myself with some of the truly greatest artists and wonderful people because of this “job.” For example, I was able to meet Shiza Shahid – ½ of the people behind the profound organization called ‘Malala Fund.’ I never would have without Zooey Magazine. It’s amazing, and I’m beyond grateful.
You’ve had some pretty amazing celebs grace the cover of Zooey…Sophia Bush, Julianne Hough, Nikki Reed, and Kristen Bell just to name a few! Who has been your favorite to work with?
I, unfortunately, wasn’t on the set for many of the shoots! So I didn’t get to meet a handful of our cover girls. However, I did get to spend the day with Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) and I adored her. For me, I look for the people who can represent our female audience. Kaley was very grounded, sweet, and so much fun to work with. She has been in the business for so long, and even so, she took the time to thank everyone who worked on the shoot and the issue. Her gratitude and happiness is very infectious. I think that she’s the type of person I always want to work with and also introduce to our readers.
Where do you find inspiration for your job as well as everyday life?
Oh, a hard question! I can find inspiration for the magazine anywhere, really. From overhearing conversations in a restaurant, reading the newspaper (yes, I still read the newspaper), seeing the billboards on Sunset Blvd., watching an old (or new) film, classes I take (even my Henry James class inspires me!), and beyond. Inspiration just falls on my lap, and I guess that’s the best kind of inspiration. You just have to keep your eyes peeled. As for inspiration in everyday life…well, like I said before – I’m lucky to be around such a great group of friends and colleagues who really inspire me each day and help me keep sane. And, I tend to live by this quote by Sam Levenson: “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.” I keep that in mind as I pursue goals.
Best business advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve been reminded to surround myself with the right people, and also to ignore those unwillingly to care or to support. However, keeping that negativity in mind will certainly push you to achieve your goals even more so.
Where can we buy ourselves a copy of the last Zooey Magazine?!
Zooey Magazine can be found in stores (Barnes and Nobles) and newsstands nationwide. It’s also sold online at shopzooeymagazine.com.
Your first job: Does selling my brothers’ rare basketball cards at 5 count as a job?
Beauty secret: Consume good foods, and then you’ll look good and feel great.
I would die to work with: Audrey Hepburn. But that’s clearly impossible.
Secret talent: Simultaneously watching Buffy while doing homework and work. Is that a talent?
I can’t live without: A good book.