On a hot summer evening, Kirra and I chatted and photographed Alexie Malloy, founder of The Sugar Zine, based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2017, The Sugar Zine “aims to produce content for all demographics ranging from pop culture to spirituality.” We met up at Meridian Hill Park, a gorgeous park right in the city and spoke about how she founded the online magazine, her campaign #fortheloveoftheV, and gave some advice for wom*n making it happen.
We found you through your feminine care product drive, #fortheloveoftheV. Tell us more about that!
[My friend] Alana told me about a special about homeless women on their period. Basically it’s a big old struggle. It’s just just very difficult for them and throughout my college career I was actually homeless. I stayed in my school dorm and moved around to different sublets. That part of giving back is always very important to me so we focus really hard on that. Our goal was to raise 1,000 products and then we [raised] 10,000. We partnered with six store fronts around the DMV and then collected and gave it [all] to two shelters, one in the city here and one in Baltimore, lower income schools, and then walked around Baltimore and DC, handing out products and sandwiches and just talked to people. It was really cool to see people give back to a cause.
Tell us about your new edition of The Sugar Zine..we’d love to hear more!
I think I’m the most proud of this one because we took a two month break and then came back it was just me. It looks so clean. It’s our sizzling summer addition, so it’s about sex health and I honestly let people talk about what they wanted to talk about. We have a graphic designer who’s also a nudist on the cover. We just wanted to talk about everything that’s sexy. Crystals, oils, and vaginal health. We had a section called “Ask my Queer Best Friend” and I’m the queer friend and my best friend wrote all those questions for me and she texted them to me one by one and I just respond it one by one and then we took it and put it on the magazine. We want to get people to submit questions that they have. We have a lot of queer people on our staff and we’re also starting a brother magazine at the end of the year called Spice and it is for the LGBT community. It’s going to be run primarily by queer men.
How did you start The Sugar Zine?
So we were friends and then I had a friend and Lana had a friend. Then, when we put it out, it was only for people and then when we put it out people would email us asking “can we write for you?” and I will be like sure! It was just send me what you want to send me, somebody will hopefully edit it. It just happened by word-of-mouth. We had a Sugar social at the end of December and through that we met a writer who is in California, we have one in Seattle, so we’re all around now. It literally just happened by women talking.
How would you define success?
The time when you know you are successful is when you can sit by yourself in silence and be okay. I don’t think success should be defined by any monetary means or any stature. Success is more of an acceptance of self and who you are in your journey and your acceptance of your journey and the crazy shit that’s gonna happen. Literally every day something bad can happen. Usually what happens is you’re on a bomb ass high and then two seconds later your life is falling apart, but the people are successful are the ones who can still get up every day and do what they have to do and still be okay inside and not completely break down. When they break down, they can still pick themselves up.
One of the biggest things that I had to teach myself this year is I guess because of the fast-paced life and social media, our generation is used to instant gratification, so we feel like we give 100% that means you automatically get 100% back. That’s not true. I can give 100% every day and some days I’m still going to get 50% back but that doesn’t mean that I lessen what I do because if I want to be successful, if I want to be peaceful, if I want to wake up every day and think I did what I had to do today, I still have to give that 100% even if life is going to throw me only 20 back that day. I feel like every time you’re supposed to level up or reach your next peak this is what’s going to happen so you better still give 100%.
What other advice would you give another wom*n entering your field?
If you are going to start something, finish it until its full capacity and don’t give up on yourself because at the end of the day, you’re not giving up on anybody but yourself. If you have a goal that do you want to achieve, if you have a dream for something just stick through it. Even if it falls apart in the end, at least you can say I did everything that I possibly could. People want stuff to serve them but nothing in life is going to serve you unless you serve it.
Do you think being a woman has affected your success?
No because I’m in an area where it is mostly women right now. We’re all about women empowerment. The stuff that affects me is that I’m 23 and when people find out they’re like, “what are you talking about?” That’s the only thing that that gets me down, is a little bit of ageism. [People] look at you like you haven’t even lived. So that comes from other women a little bit but other than that we’re in a time where women are supporting women.
What is the most important lesson you have learned is, in life and working on Sugar Magazine?
It is never going to be perfect. I haven’t learned it yet, but I’m really trying to learn that everything won’t be perfect and to stop nitpicking at every goddamn thing. [To meet people], I just go to everything. Just go there and stand. You have to be in the places that you want to be and then you’ll meet the people who want to be in those places.
Check out The Sugar Zine at thesugarzine.com and follow along on IG @thesugarzine.
All images © Kirra Kimbrell, 2018