We had the good fortune of connecting with Estefania Ochoa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Estefania, how do you think about risk?
It’s funny you ask about risk, as I have recently learned to be more critical and risk-averse. Let me tell you why: growing up, I was always very free-spirited, and a bit rebellious, so risk came naturally for me. I have a personal mantra that reads, “We can be safe, or we can change everything”. My mindset has pretty much always been if an idea emerges, then I would see it through. I have moved cross country, traveled solo through Europe with no itinerary, said goodbye to jobs, and said yes to things just for the experience. These risks allowed me to gain skills and lessons, but more recently, my mindset has shifted to be a little more conservative in my decision-making process, and it started… A few years back, I quit a job, which I thought was my dream job. I did so because, after a year into living in NYC, I discovered Art and wanted to pursue starting a creative magazine, known as SOYYOmag.com today. With no experience, very little capital, and zero plan, the first few months leading up to the launch were experimental, exciting, creative, and it was everything I thought it would be. But, as the release happened, and days passed, I couldn’t keep up with the demand in content, I was running out of resources, and I needed to figure something out. I went back to a job to do the necessary to support my dream and had to learn how to balance work, life, and dream career. Now, I am 3 years into the journey of work, life, and passion project continually evolving. I have changed the way I work, and rather than jumping the gun, there is more systematic planning in mind. That is why I mentioned being risk-averse. When you are developing and managing a business, there are many moving pieces to consider, especially where there is more on the line. Do you know what I mean? I am not discounting the value of risk because, quite honestly, if it weren’t for the risks I took then, I would not have had the valuable information I carry with me today. The beauty of life is that we can create, express, and think-free. I am grateful because today, I can take more calculated risks in my process as a business owner, friend, partner, and human
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am not an artist per-say, but rather a facilitator of the arts. I began SOYYO in 2017 and we launched as a creative magazine covering culture. The goal has always been to align with the UN’s Global Goals for a better future. Today, we still work to align with those goals, but have shifted our business model to be more art dealer, and art advisory services focused. We aim to create artistic experience for our clients to promote innovation, through inspiration. The journey to evolving to this arts & culture focused magazine/business has not been easy, and I can probably predict that it wont continue to be, but I think the challenges will come in a form of growth for something really great. For example, when I first launched, I had no idea how to run a magazine, let alone monetize it so the first few years it was solely funded by me, and my “day” job. Then there was a year, where I went basically silent to focus on how to better run a business, and share the topics worth talking about. There are many lessons I have learned along the way as a business owner, creator, etc. and many of them have to do with adapting to change, getting back up after failures, and staying on track even when my mental heath isn’t at its peak. The biggest take away from this journey is realizing that I have to do the work because no one else is going to do it for me. Even hiring a team isn’t the same because no one can see your vision like you can. So, there you have it, a little about the rise and rollercoaster ride that is SOYYO Magazine. I welcome anyone and everyone to be a part of SOYYO, and learn more about art and what it means to collect art because Art has the potential to change the world, but it has to start with you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is such an incredible place, but to be honest I only moved here about a year ago from New York so I only had a few months to explore before COVID hit. But in a perfect world some of my favorite spots to enjoy in LA have to do with food, good views, and art. I love visiting the random galleries of DT LA like, InnerSpace, In Heroes We Trust, and Avenue Des Artes just to name a few. When it comes to getting some work done remote and getting a bite to eat, I love The Hoxton, Ace Hotel, and Broken Shaker. Also love hanging out at Elysian Park and admiring the 360 views of LA. So if I had a friend visiting from somewhere else our weekend would probably look a little like this: Arrive Friday, have dinner at Las Perlas on 6th and Main. Enjoy a movie and a cocktail at The Alamo theatre at The Bloc. On Saturday we would wake up go to Sibling Rivalry for breakfast, and chill by the pool for lunch. Take in the sunset from Elysian Park and get ready for the night at the rooftop of the Freehand Hotel then make our way over to the Ace Hotel for some dancing. And we would probably end up at our friend’s house somewhere for the after-party. Sunday’s hangovers are the best way to get me up early, in need of a cold glass of water! lol. So rise and shine by 7AM and get going probably hike the area by the Griffith Observatory, and yell our goals once we get to the top. Enjoy brunch at some place my friend probably wants to go to, and take the day as it comes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a huge shout out to my Best Friend, Maria, who is always there when I need her. A big thank you to Johan Wahlstrom to always helping guide me in the art world, and Lightning Yumeku who’s moral compass, and intelligence helps me expand on current ideas and issues. Thank you to David, Joe, Nadia, and Michael for advising me through the launch and growth of SOYYO. A huge thank you to the group of creatives I have had the opportunity to work with in NYC, Miami, Sweden, Peru, LA and other places I can’t think of at the top of my head. I am grateful to you for trusting me with your creations, through soyyomag.com. A last bu not least, thank you to my parents for taking the time to raise me, and allowing me to rebel and find myself.