IMPACT 0087: BRINGING STORIES TO YOUR TABLE
Christy Chua is the founder and editorial director of independent food magazine, The Slow Press, which was established in 2021. She loves spending time hearing from individuals who are passionate about food and documenting their precious stories through the magazine. She spends the rest of her time either experimenting in her kitchen or working in a specialty coffee shop.
These are some lessons she has learned on her journey thus far:
Even if the new experience makes you nervous, it’s worth the risk.
Being the editorial director of a food magazine, I have a mental list of all the inspiring food places that I would love to visit or even collaborate with in my lifetime! Entering into uncharted territory is an intimidating task since I wouldn’t know how to order if all the dishes were listed in Mandarin, or if I am even ‘cultured’ enough for these more high-end restaurants who boast incredible food.
This all once felt like it was extremely out of my comfort zone – I still struggle to gather the emotional strength needed to wander into some of these spaces, even if they intrigue me.
But I’ve learnt that anything, especially good things, can come from venturing into the unknown and this is what gets me to step into these places. So if there’s an open invitation, I’m taking it!
Instagram is a place to speak your mind – don’t be afraid to sound uncurated.
Social media is my playground. For our magazine, we don’t want to sound like another sponsored ad on your feed because we aren’t actually selling a product most of the time with their witty taglines and absence of personability. Sometimes it’s better not to overthink a caption and just speak your mind.
If you compare our more recent Instagram posts on The Slow Press to our older ones, I’ve started adopting a first-person perspective to talk about our experience with a casual and honest tone, and that has certainly eased my burden.
Use the time saved from not overthinking to think about greater things instead – like deciding whether green olives or black olives are better on focaccia for me or maybe deciding what interesting things you would like to do with your day!
Set your clock ahead of time. Your future self will thank you for that!
We all hate deadlines; they stress us out. To make our deadlines a little more enjoyable, we plan everything ahead by at least a week, so that even if we hit writer’s block, we have another week to calm down and move on with what we’re doing!
It’s okay to fail, just don’t forget to try.
There’s this saying by Walt Disney that goes: “if you can dream it, you can do it”. I used to find this cliché, but today I see that sometimes you do need a dream to propel yourself forward, because you really are greater than you think you are! Always challenge yourself and let things surprise you.
Our launch party back in February 2021 is a memory that I always look back fondly on. It was our first event, and we did a collaborative event with different businesses and planned the nitty-gritty details down to the decorations, queue system, and quantities of items to be sold…it was definitely chaotic.
But the fun kept us going and we pulled it off, somehow, with bright smiles on our face after having sold out of print copies in just eight hours of the launch. I’m often surprised, more than anything, in this journey with The Slow Press, and I always remind myself that none of it would have been achieved if I hadn’t given it a second thought.
Be thankful for the people who support and encourage you.
No man is an island – rather, we all inhabit this island called Singapore together, and it’s natural and normal for people to depend on each other for survival.
Operating as a team has made me realise how much I lack as an individual, but that isn’t a bad thing entirely because these small, unique pieces that each of us possess can fit together to form a larger, more beautiful picture!
Whenever I feel a creative burnout coming or when I just feel worried about whether my ideas will work, I’m glad that there is always someone else I can speak to, and this support system has helped, and will continue to help us go a long way.
Always appreciate and give back to people who’ve helped you achieve your dreams – either by checking in regularly with your teammates outside of work, getting to know them more personally or even simply getting everyone together for a meal to enjoy one another’s presence.