A Conversation with Sophia Lia - the Woman Behind Sophia Lia Magazine, Fashion Model and Mental Health Advocate
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A Conversation with Sophia Lia - the Woman Behind Sophia Lia Magazine, Fashion Model and Mental Health Advocate

Personal Growth

November 04, 2020

Meet Sophia Lia, the creator and editor in chief of Sophia Lia Magazine. Sophia Lia Magazine is a safe space where teens get to share their stories which mainly focus on mental health, dealing with stress or anxiety, eating disorders, and much more. Articles on healthy recipes, self-care, and study tips are also featured in the magazine.

You can check out the website and subscribe to their newsletter here!

Recently The Teen Magazine had the opportunity to interview her and ask about the magazine, her creative process, her experience with beauty pageants, and future projects as well.

Photographer: Natalia Fumagalli

Sophia has been writing for magazines for a while now, and we wondered what inspired her to start her very own. “I wanted to create my own magazine because as a teen myself, I really noticed that the typical teen goes through so much growing up, and faces difficult challenges on a daily basis,” she said,

“Mental health is something that I’ve struggled with before, especially in my early pre-teen years. Having a publication such as my magazine four years ago would have been so helpful to feel like I am heard, understood, and that I am not alone. So by creating Sophia Lia Magazine, my end goal is to provide a platform where people can share their stories and what they’ve been through, learn about mental health and how it affects some people, as well as provide motivation to keep pushing when life gets difficult.”

We asked her a little about the creative process to which she informed that the first thing going into the process is recruiting people to write for the magazine. Sophia Lia Magazine is pretty new, and so many teens, survivors, mental health professionals, and more don't know about it yet, so she is always sending out emails and messages recruiting new writers as well as accepting submissions.

After she finds or accepts her twenty or so contributors, everything is sent to her talented graphic artist to start creating the magazine right after a few sets of eyes correct and edit the pieces.

In today's world, we have several mediums through which mental health can be advocated but Sophia decided to create a magazine over other forms of media since her goal was to promote the concept of “teens helping teens” and felt a magazine would be the best way to do so! It allowed her to feature so many people and showcase their stories, not just her own.

She has gone through several trials during the creation of Sophia Lia Magazine. Most of which was communication with her graphic designer. She says, “Sending in everyone’s revised pieces as well as photos plus credit can from time to time be confusing while trying to figure out what belongs to whom. Over the past few months, we’ve been trying a few different strategies to keep an organized and efficient system.”

Creating the magazine has been super time-consuming and required a lot of willpower plus a determination to create, however she claims it to be the single most rewarding thing in her life.

“Seeing so many people come together to inspire others and speak their experiences on mental health is such a beautiful thing, and it’s truly what keeps me motivated to wake up every single morning and work towards the next magazine issue.”

For the debut issue, it is impressive to note that she donated all the revenue to Make-A-Wish, and we enquired about the reason. She then tells us that supporting them was an easy call because she believes in this charity and feels that they do some truly amazing things for so many kids. When initially creating the magazine, it was never a goal of hers to be profitable- she truly wanted to create something, and that’s simply it.

When asked about how she wants her magazine to impact others, she responds,

“I want my magazine to be a safe place where teens (and everyone else) can grow. Grow by learning about mental health, grow by sharing their story, and grow by connecting with others. I want to help people see mental health as a positive thing, simply a part of their journey and how it got them to where they are today. My end goal is to normalize mental health talk and make it something that people are never ashamed of. If I can help just one person, make them know they are loved and belong, that things will get better and that there is always positive coming their way, I feel like my purpose is fulfilled.”

To her, the most rewarding thing to come out of the magazine is when readers and contributors tell her that the magazine has truly become their go-to resource when things are tough and that Sophia Lia Magazine has truly helped them to see life from a different, more optimistic point of view. It makes her feel elated to know that the magazine has impacted someone’s life.

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wishing summer would never end 🤍

A post shared by Sophia Lia (@sophiallia) on

Sophia, in addition to creating this wonderful magazine, is also the creator of her own skincare line! There are several reasons why she decided to start a skincare line, however, her inspiration for starting this project was discovering what kinds of ingredients were in some of her own daily skincare products. Lots of chemicals, artificial scents, as well as preservatives, are put into skincare products.

Although these products are helping the skin at the moment, several professionals helped her realize that these products were severely damaging in the long run. So ever since learning that, she was so inspired to begin her own all organic, natural, good-for-you skin line!

Her skincare line is cruelty-free and ensuring so was an absolute no-brainer since she believes that there are several other, more effective ways to test products, so testing products on animals was never ever even a consideration! For our readers wondering about the exact launch date, it is not released to the public yet, however, look out for some news in the winter/spring season of 2021!

Furthermore, Sophia has a couple of upcoming projects. One of them being that she is releasing a small jewelry brand, the launch date for which is Friday, October 9th, so stay tuned for that! She has one more project that will be announced very soon on her Instagram @sophiallia, make sure to follow her for the updates!

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Photo creds: @meli.perron #brandrepfollowloop\_

A post shared by Sophia Lia (@sophiallia) on

The next round of the interview was quite fun where we got to ask her some random questions.

1. What’s your favorite color?

- Hands down it has to be light blue or pink!

2. If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?

- Oh I would definitely love the ability to heal other people. I think that could be such a cool thing!

3. What Hogwarts house do you think you’d be in?

- I would have to say Hufflepuff!

(They are known for hard work and patience, so that sounds accurate!)

4. Coke or Pepsi?

- Coke!

5. What’s your dream vacation?

- My dream vacation would be going to Greece with my whole family!

6. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

- I think a hedgehog would be just the cutest little thing as a pet!

(Couldn't agree more!)

In the last round of our interview, she cheerfully agreed to answer a few questions that have been popularly asked by fans.

1. What caused you to get into beauty pageants?

- Never did I think I’d find myself in a pageant, however last September I saw an advertisement that the Miss Teenage Alberta competition was accepting delegates, and when I learned what a pageant girl really does, I was so inspired to get into it in order to promote my platform of mental health even more so! I was so fortunate to win the title of Miss Teenage Central Alberta. It allowed me to have even a louder voice when it comes to promoting what I believe in, as well as help out in my community.

After winning the provincial title, I was offered the opportunity to compete in Miss Teenage Canada! It was such a rewarding experience, and I was so fortunate to place among the finalists across Canada.

2. How long have you been doing pageants?

- Crazy to think, but I’ve been doing pageants for only 7 months! My first one being Miss Teenage Alberta back in March.

3. How have pageants impacted or changed you as a person?

- Pageants have taught me hard work, success, drive, determination, and leadership. I am now more passionate than ever in every single thing I do and always put my best foot forward with 100% effort. It has impacted me in such a positive way to become a better version of myself as well.

4. What caused your passion for teen mental health?

- Growing up, I faced mental health struggles, and I can tell you it was not easy. Just recently in the past few years, I’ve really noticed how many people face mental health challenges, and who battle with their own mind every single day. I gained my passion initially through myself and my friends, however, by connecting with people through my magazine and title I have gained so much more passion for the cause because I want to be the role model youth look up to as a mental health inspiration.

5. How has reading and writing impacted your life?

- Writing has completely changed my life… before I found my passion for writing, I had so many ideas, but nowhere to put them. I wanted to share what I’ve been through to provide motivation and offer help, but I didn't have a platform to share it. After my writing career picked up, so many amazing opportunities came along with it which I will forever cherish and be so grateful for.

6. How would you describe your creative process?

- My creative process has quite honestly been the same since day one when I sat down writing my first ever article. I am not much of a planner. Ideas come and go, so when I get an idea I write it down immediately as It might never come back!

Once I feel I have enough “ideas”, I sit down and simply write. I start and write the whole piece, interview, story, etc in one sitting. My ideas just begin to flow and if I don't get them out onto paper right away, the piece will never be as good as its potential.

7. What would you say to all of the aspiring writers that want to create a magazine?

- Go for it. Maybe you don't know how to do it, where to start for the best results, or what to even do all together, but just simply start. Ideas and the right people will come to you, and waiting around to make sure everything is perfect is simply procrastination, and procrastination kills good things.

Nothing will ever be perfect, and the time will never feel right. So all I can say is just start. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

You can catch up with her latest projects by following Sophia Lia on her personal Instagram handle @Sophiallia. You can also follow her pageant account @missteencentralalberta. Also, make sure to check out her magazine @sophialiamag. If you have a personal story to share on mental health, you may submit your write-ups to her magazine at sophialiamag.com

Aakansha Munshi
10k+ pageviews

Writer since Jul, 2020 · 5 published articles

Aakansha is a student of humanities and she enjoys reading. She aspires to work with publications and have a career that involves writing/editing.