Last September we put a call out for design proposals that would ‘Deepen Human Connection’. One of those proposals was Lucia Journal, whose concept gathered enough digital votes on social media to award them our first ever popular vote grant of $500. We are happy to announce that with the help of the grant, Lucia Journal was able to publish their second issue just two weeks ago.

To celebrate, we got a little deeper ourselves with an interview. To feel the full connection yourself, you can purchase the issue on their website.

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Lucia Issues One and Two

— from Laura Lowery, founder and editor of Lucia Journal

How does Lucia Journal deepen human connection?

Lucia’s mission is to inspire and enlighten the world by giving voice to the heart and celebrating true beauty.

We (Karly Siroky, Amanda Ford, and I) created Lucia to meet a deep desire I think most people today relate with: the heart’s longing to be moved, feel inspired, and connect with what is real.

We are a small team and I like to think that being smaller allows for a deeper experience of human connection.

The journal itself is also smaller in dimension (7.5 x 9 inches) than other women’s magazines. This was a conscious design decision and reflects, in a tangible way, how important we believe the ability to stay small is when it comes to connection.

What inspires you?

People who speak from the heart. I don’t mean gushy, soft language overflowing with good-intentions and platitudes. I mean the kind of thoughtful, powerful exchanges that only happen when we can be vulnerable enough to speak our truth.

This is another reason why embracing being small feels so powerful. When I try to cater to the whole world all at once, the heart of the matter gets hidden. Sometimes it is too vulnerable to put out there in a public way. But when we are sharing those parts of ourselves with people we trust, our truth comes out and we grow.

I’m inspired by the men and women I know who have been brave enough to share what’s inside of themselves with me — and who have held space for me to share with them.

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Amanda Ford in Issue One

More specifically, what about Seattle inspires you in your work? Nature, or perhaps an individual or institution?

I moved home to the Pacific Northwest after having lived in Washington, D.C., all throughout my twenties.

D.C. has a powerful and exciting vibe, but it’s also a tension-filled city.

Landing in Seattle felt like being gently placed into a wholly different kind of world, where the pressure of the fast-pace gives way to a slower cadence. I breathe deeper here and feel connected to truth more often.

Maybe it is because Seattle is surrounded by the majesty of nature, or maybe it’s the result of wide open space and fewer bodies per square foot, I don’t know. But I find more people in touch with their own hearts here and understand that in order for humanity to survive we need to cultivate more evolved brains connected to wiser hearts.

I definitely find a warmer reception here for ideas that support giving voice to the heart. I do not think I would be quite so far along the path of finding my own voice and creativity had I not moved here.

How is SDF helping you bring your idea to fruition?

I was excited and touched when Karly surprised me by nominating Lucia for the SDF grant. We were thrilled to win the Popular Vote! The $500 grant went toward helping us with the printing costs for Issue Two, which comes out March 1, 2016.

Printing a high quality publication is expensive and as we are still growing our reader and subscriber base, every dollar counts.

SDF is also a wonderful way for us to be connected to other creative minds here in Seattle, to share Lucia, and keep expanding our circle.

What’s your motto?

“Breathe. Create. Connect.”

These three words pretty much sum up what I feel is needed at this point in human evolution. Our brains are still evolving. The reptilian brain remnant is shrinking but it’s still large enough that — for most of us, anyway — fear has more power over our actions than it should. These words remind me that I can override that fear impulse.

“Breathe” is such a beautiful word. I only have to think it to become conscious of my lungs and how sweet it feels to be able to inhale and exhale.

“Create” is a word I say to myself softly, with encouragement and permission. I used to think I needed an end-goal and a certain amount of experience or formal qualification in order to create anything meaningful or worthy. Now I believe the opposite is true.

“Connect” is the ultimate, it’s where everything happens. We certainly need solitude to be creative, but it is in the sharing of our ideas and collaborating with one another that we evolve. This is how we will change the world.

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Lucia’s Home Office

How will Lucia Journal stimulate Seattle’s creative culture?

Giving voice to your heart means being an original. Karly Siroky, Lucia’s design advisor, agrees. She writes:

“Although we looked to classical design techniques for things like layout and typography, we also sought to emulate our mission by creating authentic, original designs that you don’t find anywhere else, like Lucia’s logo and our use of watercolors in Issue Two.”

We hope Lucia encourages other designers and creators to trust and follow the voice that comes from their own heart. That’s where the magic comes from. That’s what the world needs from us.

Tell us your creative habits.

I wish they were more habitual!

I work full time as a communications consultant and since Lucia is still climbing out of the red and into the black, I cannot give up my day job. Finding time for creativity means MAKING time for creativity.

I try carry my camera everywhere I go. I try to write for Lucia for at least 15 minutes every morning, usually over coffee. Often times these short musings become blog posts.

Body movement is an important creative habit for me. Every day I try to move as much as I can. I practice yoga, go salsa dancing, and take long walks in nature.

Lucia’s editorial advisor, Amanda Ford, is also my strength trainer, believe it or not. Our weekly workouts are a fabulous habit. The combination of swinging pink kettle bells to strengthen gluteal muscles and coming up with new ideas for Lucia…it’s amazing.

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Karly Siroky at a Lucia Creative Meeting

Is there a way SDF can help keep and sustain young creatives in Seattle?

I’m so impressed and grateful for all SDF is doing, it’s encouraging and inspiring. Thank you!

I do worry that it is getting so expensive to find housing here. Some of the most talented twenty-something designers I know can’t afford to live in Seattle anymore. I don’t know the answer to this problem but I think shedding light on their struggle — in addition to supporting young creative talent with opportunities for steady and meaningful income and access to affordable spaces to live — is important.

What’s the last cultural experience you had?

I spent a lot of time traveling solo throughout Europe and Australia in 2014 and I’m still reaping the benefits of that life-morphing experience.

In fact, the idea to create Lucia came from those travels. I taught yoga workshops and spent a lot of time talking to women in D.C., New York, Spain, France, the U.K., and Australia about their personal experiences with intimate partner abuse and violence.

During my travels, I saw a lot of women’s magazines on newsstands in airports, train stations and shops. I felt disheartened by all of the degrading imagery and messages about what it means to be a woman. It’s not just here, it is everywhere. I realized on the flight home that the U.S. needs more women’s magazines that look nothing like what’s on newsstands today. We need to support a cultural shift. That’s why I started Lucia.

How has Lucia Journal changed from its original inception?

When I first had the idea to create a new kind of magazine for women, I was envisioning something a lot different. I wanted to focus on telling stories of inspiring women who have survived intimate partner abuse and violence and are now thriving.

Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. The UN Development Fund for Women estimates that at least one in every three women globally (one billion women) will be abused during her lifetime. It affects all of us. Having lived through a violent relationship in my twenties it’s something I care about deeply.

Amanda and Karly listened to me talk about this idea as it arose. Both of them gently offered me the same thing; they basically said, “Women need to be inspired and encouraged to give voice to their own hearts. A new kind of women’s magazine with this mission will appeal not only to one group, focused on one issue, but to all women.”

They convinced me Lucia would be more powerful and have longer legs this way. I think they were right.

The Seattle Design Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was established in January 2012. It aims to aid local, emerging design talent in both social and financial capacities by giving small grants and connecting grantees with mentors from varying facets of our community in order to stimulate collaboration between fields and create space for forward-thinking forums on design. For more information, please visit or send an email to

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