noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Priya Dadlani is the founder and EIC of 'Spicy Zine.' During her 9-5, she is a support specialist at nonprofit consulting firm.
YJ: What are important lessons you've learned since the start of 'Spicy Zine?'
- How to delegate
- How to energize your team
- How to work with others
- How to work within the community
YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
PD: Writing has always been a lifelong interest. I graduated with 2 degrees one in International Relations and one in Journalism. Upon graduation (like my peers) I looked for jobs, sent my résumé out, etc. and I foun myself in the midst of nonprofit and foundation job applications.
I moved to New York City, got a job and realized how much free time I had and more importantly, all the opportunity. I wanted to do something alongside my job that was creative and involved writing.
So I thought “I want to write!” but I didn't want to pitch my articles to a specific publication. So I thought, “I’m just going to find a crew in NYC and start a magazine.”
YJ: How did the inception of Spicy Zine start? Is it a team of 1?
PD: Because of Instagram, I met a girl in Miami, Nicole Spencer. We started brainstorming and she helped me come up with my logo and by September — I started to message people to help grow the team and I met about 8 people genuinely interested. And since then we’ve found 3 more to do certain things within 'Spicy.'
YJ: Where do you find inspiration, when needing it? And does your team pitch you ideas or do you assign them?
PD: The writers pitch their ideas to their editors and their editors run them by me. Not all of our writers majored in writing so I enjoy giving them that freedom to be expressive. There are also stories/projects that I work to work on but honestly leading a group of people takes a large portion of my time — so I haven’t written as much as I'd like. And when I have the vision or inspiration that’s big enough then I’ll bring people on — to help flush out that idea/inspiration.
I think if you care enough you’ll work hard enough for "it." It's also important to understand that there's a balance, you have to find a happy medium. Everything you want to do, you can do in your spare time (if managed correctly). In NYC, everyone has a side hustle and some are in tune with their 9-5 and some aren’t.
Commit yourself to your passion. Understanding that concept is where my inspiration comes from.
YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal career path?
PD: Follow your creative passion — and stay encouraged. Realize that everything is a work in progress. And love the process or find a way to love it.
YJ: What’s been your favorite 'Spicy Zine' moment so far?
PD: I would say — there’s a lot of great things!
1. The launch party was something very special, we sold over 100 tickets and the best part about that was the 60% of people didn’t know me. They knew the brand and supported online which is what the invest in. The was one of the best feelings.
1A. My Mom came to the launch party and my parents are both lawyers. So they don’t always understand anything "creative." And at the beginning, they didn’t understand and would say “What is this?” “What are you doing?” And when my Mom showed up, she was able to see everything for herself. She said, “Wow! Look at all the people that are here. Look at the website!” I had a moment to showcase what I'd been working on and now she’s obsessed with 'Spicy.'
YJ: If you could tell your younger self one thing about life, what would it be?
Don’t label yourself and don’t limit yourself. Just be who are and don’t let anyone put one label on you. Labels can limit you and make you feel like you’re only doing one thing.