The Phoenix Tribune: A Candid Interview with Founders Atoya Bellamy & Mallory B. Richardson
Written By: Elle Forrest
Photo Credit: The Phoenix Tribune
This week The Lux Blog is taking a look at two very aspiring women, Atoya Bellamy and Mallory B. Richardson. These two ladies have been dedicated to creating The Phoenix Tribune, which definitely sets them apart from other publications. The Phoenix Tribune is a magazine giving insight to Native American lifestyles, socioeconomic structures, Native contributions in society and various avenues to wellness empowerment for Native Americans.
What lead you to the creation of The Phoenix Tribune?
Atoya: “I had the vision to do something different for Native Americans and to bring a platform to where we could advocate. When the pipeline situation was going on I started realizing how much Indians were just unappreciated and not recognized. Everything about that situation made me feel there was a need for advocacy of Native Americans”
Another turning point for Atoya was during a period of time where she became very ill almost to the point of death. Atoya says that she then began to realize a major part of her increased sickness was due to being prescribed medication that did not work for Native Americans. She began her own research and learned that unfortunately many pharmaceutical companies do not base their testing on the genetics of people of color or Native Americans. Her passion also hails from seeing how the lack of resources and limited exposure affects tribal communities. “They are lacking education of proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles by proper professionals.”
Mallory B. knew she wanted to be in publications however, this didn’t occur right away upon graduating from college. The two ladies found their Native American roots as an initial common ground and decided to work together. With Mallory’s more tangible resources and Atoya’s business relationships they were able to create The Phoenix Tribune. The goal is to change the perception that people have concerning Native Americans such as stereotypical looks, political matters, lifestyle, business and education. “ We are entrepreneurs, we are designers, we are architects, we’re doctors and lawyers. We wanted to not only bring exposure to Native Americans in NC but we wanted to make this a representation of international and national Natives around the world”.
What is your most valuable lesson in this journey?
Atoya: “ I would say the most valuable lesson for me is making sure that when you go into something, try to have a clear understanding of the roles and listen to what your partner has to say. There’s value in their input.”
Mallory: This has been, honestly a life long lesson. I don't think this experience changes it, it just enhances my need to continue to embrace it. Doors will be closed and when people are not open to help you, just find an alternative. There will be multiple ways to find success in any avenue you aim for. Strategize and no matter what, keep up your efforts; they aren’t unnoticed.
These ladies have no problem with understanding each other’s differences as business owners. They say compromise and finding a happy medium is key.
What’s your go to method to winding down?
Atoya: “One of the things Mallory and I started together is meditation. We have a meditation coach that actually comes to us and we work with her. Self care is obviously important and it’s just about shutting down and saying ‘no more, let me just take some time for myself”.
Mallory: “It’s funny that you use the term ‘wind down’ because we have wine together and we laugh!”.
Both ladies also feel there’s a certain amount of accountability that they hold for each other when it comes to self care. Sometimes feeding off one another helps balance them into doing the right thing for their minds and bodies. Also, they believe in giving back to their communities as well. Giving back to others serves as a formula of relaxation; knowing they have impacted someone’s life in a positive way assures a well rested night.
Describe your magazine in about five words.
Mallory: “A guide to indigenous lifestyles everywhere”.
With many remarkable projects in the making The Phoenix Tribune is definitely on the rise. “We’d like to forge ties between Native people and local business efforts to continue to stimulate economic development”, Mallory said. Both The Phoenix Tribune creators maintain a passion in Native American advocacy as well as highlighting the daily lives of tribal communities. With plans to extend their work into collaborations with urban Indian organizations, local business and other untapped arenas such as media and entertainment, the Phoenix is emerging as a new voice amongst Native Americans.
Follow The Phoenix Tribune @thephoenixtribune on IG and check them out online at http://www.thephoenixtribune.com