We had the good fortune of connecting with Suhasini Yeeda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suhasini, how do you think about risk?
I came to embrace risk only recently in life. However, in small ways through my life I’ve always taken risks out of sheer necessity. For many people, there is no other option than taking a risk on ourselves, so we take big risks and just hope. Most recently, I took the risk to start my own communications company, NITI Communications. I began freelancing with a few QTBIPOC small business owners while working 9-5 and I became really excited by the work I was doing and the communities I was serving.
Then one day, I made the wild assertion that I deserved to spend all of my time doing things that excite me. I left my full time job with benefits. I took the risk without family financial assistance or capital investors. I’m still not guaranteed that this risk will be worth it. Yet, when I reflect on the best parts of my life, risk has always been central to connecting to my most authentic self.
Switching majors in college from STEM to English, applying to top tier graduate writing programs that rarely accept working class women of color, leaving my hometown to pursue my MFA in New York, leaving comfortable friendships and relationships that no longer served me, moving to LA, sending my first stories out for publication, writing about subjects that matter to my communities. Every single pivot in life has involved some real risk.
But that’s the thing about risk isn’t it? At the end of the day, it really is just trust, confidence, and hope. Trust that you’ll land where you belong, confidence that you deserve a life where your work and values align, and hope that the abstract visions you have for your life will slowly take form and completely surprise you. At a time where big business seems to win all, it takes real risk for small business owners to pursue their passions. At NITI Communications, we want to be a part of that worthy risk. We want to help you find the right words for your dreams. Without the right words, how do you truly communicate your creative, academic, or business ideas? If we cannot communicate our dreams, how can we really pursue them?
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a writer and a communications consultant. I’ve always been passionate about words. As a professional creative writer, I’ve spent most of my life in pursuit of the perfect sentence. I’ve snuck away one day every week for the last five years to sit down and write and submit my stories and essays. It’s not always been easy to balance full time work with my writing career, but I have come to the place where I realize, no one else is going to do the work, so I better sit down and write. Thankfully, my dedication and mostly-consistence schedule has led to some dream publications. My creative work can be found at Ms. Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Indian Review, Madcap Review, Packingtown Review, and the Arroyo Seco Press Anthology Redshift 5. My short stories have been nominated for three distinguished literary awards: The Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and Best of the Net. I am presently at work on my first novel.
I believe in the power of words, that ideas turn to words, and that those words have the potential to make meaningful change. I have always believed this with my creative work and now I am attempting to align those same values with my communications company. When I started NITI Communications, I did not have any intention of being your average communications company. Instead, NITI is intentional and mission-centered with our clientele, the quality products we create for them, and the diverse communities our clients serve. NITI aims to prioritize QTBIPOC small businesses and is committed to serving clients from all races, religions, genders, sexualities, and economic classes. We understand the last few years have been challenging for small businesses and we want to make sure that finances are not a deterrent from your dreams.
In addition to my writing career, I have 11 years of experience editing for a variety of literary magazines, nonprofits, academics, creative writers, and small businesses. I earned my BA in English from Texas Wesleyan University and my MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. These academic and professional experiences alone are not what makes me a strong choice for your communication needs.
I know when language seems too stiff, too abstract, or generic. I have developed an acute attention to detail from my years as a writer and editor of literary magazines. My six years as an educator gifted me a lifelong passion for learning new things. I’m never scared to learn the best solution even if not knowing a skill can feel daunting initially. My years in nonprofit have resulted in strong interpersonal skills which is an important asset in all areas of my life.
I have experience creating press releases, newsletters, social media posts, pamphlets, and digital flyers for small business professionals. I’ve created and maintained websites and social media pages. I’ve developed in-depth marketing plans using SEO strategies to optimize business growth.
This invaluable experience informs how I help your small business grow. In the words of one of my favorite authors, Anne Carson, “If your way of life is writing, then everything that happens becomes a sentence – which is perhaps hopeful.” At NITI Communication we believe we can hope for more and that your small business can too.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This question is very funny to me because since moving to LA, I’ve put together many elaborate itineraries for guests who’ve come out to visit.
My friends and I like to eat. I’ve always loved that this city offers nearly any cuisine you could imagine.
Food: LA Fiesta Brava in Venice, Malibu Pier Cafe, Stevie’s Creole on Pico, Biryani Kabob House in Little Bangladesh, Daikokuya in Little Tokyo, Speranza in Los Feliz, Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City, and 71 Above in DTLA.
My friends and I like to read and support local bookstores.
Bookstores: Skylight Books, Stories Books & Cafe, Eso Won Books, Aracana: Book on the Arts, The Iliad Bookshop, and of course, The Last Bookstore. Also really excited about the upcoming Salt Eaters Bookshop.
Most people want to see nature when they come to visit. Some of them want to see the ocean.
Beaches: El Matador State Beach in Malibu, Longbeach City Beach, and Venice Beach.
Sometimes they want to see weird west coast plant life.
Gardens: Descanso Gardens, The Huntington Botanical Gardens, and The Japanese Garden.
Sometimes they want to experience views that can’t be found at a beach or garden. That’s when I take them to any high vantage point like the Griffith Observatory or drive through the windy streets with music up high and windows down low- especially Mulholland or the otherworldly Malibu Canyon roads.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I strongly believe that community is at the core of everything good in my life. I wouldn’t be here without my very special community. Today I’d like to shout out my family, especially Vijaya for never believing any of my dreams are too big and Suseela Aunty for welcoming me to LA with open arms and a trifold map, my best friend Kimmy for having my back since middle school art class, my partner Patrick for being the single best gift LA has given me, Kaiti Boyd for being my go-to Image Wizard, my former professor Dr. Stacia Dunn Campbell for constantly pushing me to use my voice and aim high, my friend and fellow writer Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn who is the walking definition of a good literary citizen, my former employer Paul Nicholas who gave me my first job in LA which allowed me to try out a city I soon fell in love with, Women Who Submit and all their incredibly supportive members, my friends in SoCal and beyond who continue to be my hype people, all the coffee shops in LA where I’ve spent hours writing, and to Clarisse McClellan who is the first fictional character who really inspired me to question everything and to become the catalyst of my own story.
Other: (To follow my creative writing): https://linktr.ee/suhasiniwrites
Kaitlin Boyd Patrick Fay