Co-print director Kalia Richardson reflects on her Rowdy love affair and the people she met along the way.
( Kalia Richardson / Rowdy Magazine Print Director )
Dear Rowdy darling,
Rowdy Magazine and I met last summer. As COVID-19 cases surged forcing many to find fun in the four walls of their childhood bedrooms, Rowdy outstretched its arms and opened its applications. It was a summer that I assumed I would spend largely alone. Rowdy swiped right.
As an editorial assistant, I became part of a team that shared the same uncontrollable passion for Rowdy Magazine as I did. I worked with an amazing girl gang: Jenna Bennet, Grace Romo and Ava Loomar, who made me feel a part of something greater, coupled with positive affirmations and appreciation. I felt loved, despite the Zoom squares that encased us.
The honeymoon period had begun.
Through every midday exec meeting to 3 a.m. editing sessions, I cringed, I laughed, but I also learned to paint portraits with my work. I learned to look beyond the face value of story ideas and seek a deeper theme, be it cultural appropriation, selective empathy, police brutality or prison abolition. I learned that a story begins with a pitch and evolves with every interview and round of edits. I learned that the edits I received did not discredit me as a writer but made me recognize the unsought potential that my story truly held.
Through Rowdy, I found a soulmate but also a friend. As the editorial director for “An Overture of Something Great,” I worked alongside the insanely talented and kind Jenna Bennett who helped me brainstorm meeting ideas and find the daily confidence to lead a group of six powerful writers: Taesha Jones, Michelle Holder, Rachel Kutcher, Kaylinn Escobar, Samantha Bailon and Veronica Nocera. I met Anushka Dakshit and Lily Clark, the sweetest souls who write with pixie dust and craft effortless stories that reveal the beauty and talent within them. I made a friend in Lauren Rousseau who amazed me with her work ethic and helped me reclaim my worth as a journalist. I wanted to recreate the indescribable sense of community Ava had established where writers from across Florida felt like family, like we had met sometime before in another life and reunited for the first time.
Rowdy and I had a beautiful love affair, but it would be selfish to keep her all to myself. As my fingers leave the shimmering, unfiltered pages of this great magazine, I know that it will find the eager hands of another journalist drooling for a community that thrives off idea creation and authenticity.
Kalia Richardson is was Co-Print Director for Rowdy Magazine for its Volume V issue. She enjoys post-workout dance parties, checking on her virtual Sim family and daily phone calls with her mommy. It’s common to find her writing stories anywhere but a traditional desk and spending hours on end reading fashion news at 3 a.m. You can reach her firstname.lastname@example.org