From New Jersey to the remarkable, city streets of Las Vegas, Brianna soon realized that Sin City was more than the linear set of neon lights and upscale casinos. What she discovered was a new found appreciation for the city’s unique culture. Wide eyed, curious and perhaps a bit introverted – her curiosity began to tug at her. And so her search began, just a few taps away, she had been connected to all of the hidden gems in Las Vegas. With her fiery passion to connect with others, she believed it was time to unveil the stories behind the makers, community changers, entrepreneurs and creatives of Las Vegas – revealing all of what this bright little city had to offer. Follow us along this explorative journey to reveal the bright-eyed, community-driven woman behind the Socialista podcast!
“You’re the one stopping yourself from doing it, no one else. Let it GO, let that talk go and make it happen.”
A conversation with Brianna Fox-Priest.
Inspiration behind starting the Socialista podcast? How did it all come into fruition?
B: So, I guess how it all started was when I moved here. I had never been here. I didn’t know anybody. I told you before you started as we sat down, before I worked I kinda just stayed at home and then when I started working, I would just go to work, come home, go to work, come home and not do anything. I didn’t know where to go, so little by little, I started following people on Instagram and just using that as a way to see what was around town, that I could do for like date night or try to meet people. So that helped a little bit. I was able to familiarize myself with downtown, very slightly around that time I still wasn’t as comfortable as I was with it but I thought, “oh I know there’s First Friday, there’s some little coffee shops, I want to try that out. But yeah, there were feelings of wanting to meet people and wanting to make friends because all of my friends are back in the East Coast and I can’t ship them here *laughs* … I was really just tired of not putting myself out there to meet new people as I told you before, I’m an introvert and meeting new people is scary for me.
M: Which is weird! You have the podcast and you do really well! When I met you at Market In the Alley I was like, “This girl knows how to conversate, she knows how to make you feel comfortable … that kinda thing!
B: Awww, I’m glad! I try. *laughs*
M: Yes, it’s surprising. We’re all full of surprises, I guess!
B: Its all … I don’t want to say it’s all fake but it’s definitely all taught! It’s an East Coast thing I feel like. So, I was an introvert but East Coast wise, you don’t smile and wave at people down the street. You don’t make small talk. If you’re from New York City, even Philadelphia, Baltimore – you don’t look at people. You just go where you need to go. And I grew up knowing that and other than I had a retail job and other than conversating with people that way, I wouldn’t do it outside of my group of people. And then coming here, I realized people here were a little bit friendlier, even at people at the grocery store, people will let you go by with your cart first or … you lock eyes with someone down the street, “Oh hey how are you” just little stuff like that was like, “okay I have to get used to this.” Because as an introvert as an East Coaster that was not the thing to do. If I didn’t have to talk to you, I wasn’t going to talk to you, like “Leave me alone!” *laughs* So yeah, all self taught. I guess I was tired of being that introverted person and just scared and I grew up just very scared of everyone and everything that I wasn’t comfortable with. And I hated change. I’m almost 25 now and you know, that’s not good. I have so much that I can learn, and live, and meet new people so that’s something that was a goal for myself. You know, set this goal to make it a thing to meet somebody and want to have coffee with them. Get to know somebody better than just, “oh hi how are you.”
M: All just service level!
B: Yes yes! So, that was kinda the push and then around fall I was listening to a lot of podcasts in the car. On my way to work and in my free time. I was like, oh I love learning about people and that was something I think as a young adult, I really loved doing too. I have a degree in Psyche and at one point I wanted to help people, talk with people and see what’s going on in their life and I neglected that for a little bit. I’ve realized that was something I was always passionate about. I just kinda lost that passion for a little bit so that was kinda the fire under my butt like, “You need to start doing that again” and I knew people back from high school who started their own podcasts and I was like, “oh okay how hard could it really be. Not to knock their skills or anything but I’m sure their self taught, not that this isn’t hard but I thought, “I think this is something I could do.” But, that along side with wanting to meet new people was kinda how that started. Around that same time, I start following more people on Instagram and seeing … Minimal Market was one of the first Instagram accounts that I started following over that summer. Like this is amazing, I would have never known that these ladies are doing something good for the community like going out to these pop up markets and going out to these events and “Look at the people they’re hanging out with like, that’s so cool!” You don’t see that back in the East Coast, so I was like, “Alright follow everyone they know!”
M: Whoo! … follow spree!
B: No, literally!
B: When I decided, “Okay I think I want to start a podcast and show off the people in our community because I love it!” And when I started to immerse myself into the culture and the community, I was like, people have to know this. I moved here not knowing a thing, thinking it was just the strip and grew up thinking it was just “Sin City” and people back home don’t know anything about Vegas. So, it started out like, “I want people back home to know what I’m doing and who I’m meeting.” But, Vegas is truly really big so you know, people from different parts of the town aren’t going to be able to see everything there is so it was just, the fire and passion to connect with people and connect people with other people and show off our talents!
M: Ahhh, beautiful!
B: I know. I love our city.
M: Me too! The fact that you and I were able to do this so easily is such a great thing.
B: Right, in other places it almost wouldn’t be a thing! But yeah, that’s why I started to do this whole thing. And again, I was really nervous when I started contacting people! With Alex and Brie from Minimal Market, I saw that they were having a pop up event at a festival. So, I had off that day so I made it a point to go track them down at this festival and be like “Hi I love your stuff, my name is Brianna would you want to do a podcast episode with me.” Literally 2-3 days before I contacted them, like, saw them in person. I was literally like, “Okay, I’m going to make a podcast!”
M: Wow, crazy! That all came together pretty fast huh?
B: Yeah, it did! I’m just thinking, “Who am I some 24 year old girl, lady, I don’t know, what do I have to offer people?” “I really don’t know, I guess the worse thing they’re going to tell me is no.” But they didn’t have a clue who I was, and they were like, “yeah I love that, let’s do it”
M: Wow, so cool!
Any favorite podcasts that sparked that?
B: I haven’t been indulging in podcasts AS MUCH but I have a couple different genres I like, “Girl Boss” with Sophia Amoruso. Love that podcast! Let me look at my phone real quick because I’m blanking … there’s one called the “Jenna and Julien” podcast.
M: oooo is that local?
B: No, do you know Jenna Marbles?
M: Yes, she’s hilarious!
B: Her and her boyfriend just sit down and play games and talk about random internet stuff, it’s super funny. I love it so much. I love that podcast because it’s just really funny. Let’s see, I have so many. “Girl Boss” was a big one. I started listening to one called “Glowing Up” which is 2 comedians and they just talk about beauty products which I like skin care and beauty stuff. I’m not sure if you want to put this in the interview … but there’s a hilarious one called “Guys We f*cked” It’s so funny, 2 comedians from New York! They interview people and they’re just like, “When did you learn about sex?”
M: That’s fascinating because I feel that we don’t talk about that enough. It’s so taboo.
B: Right! If you like ones that are funny and a bit more provocative. It’s a good one. I follow a couple local podcasts. I started following some local podcasts as I was getting started so that kinda helped too. Getting to know other locals and the different niches that they’re in.
What is your personal mission in life?
B: Oh wow, okay. I think no matter what it’s always going to be rooted in helping others. I’m just really passionate about wanting to help other people and before I started the podcast and before I started my full time job I really wanted to do a lot of volunteering. Just talking to people, how I could help other people in our community, I think no matter what I do in life, that’ll always be my basis. And I’ll always remember you know, no matter how much I have or whatever I do. I can always be helping others try to find solutions to other problems.
M: It kinda gives us purpose. It feels fulfilling!
B: Yes … I think no matter who you are or what you’re doing, you can somehow help other people. Even if it’s just sitting down or having a conversation with somebody. If you’re volunteering, if you’re teaching workshop classes for small business owners, like Kelly (Founder of With Brave Company) and Ashley, (Founder of Sister House Collective) anything in that way I don’t know what it’ll be but something like that.
What do you fear most in life? How has those fears propelled you?
B: oh my goodness. I think the thing I’m most afraid of is being assaulted. That’s something .. constantly … well, I wouldn’t say constantly, but I’ve gotten better at not being fearful in that way. So, being harmed in that way by other people. I feel like – physically leading into emotionally is something that’s really scary for me. But, I think another thing I’m fearful of is .. I’m very connected with my family, so not having a connection with them or something bad happening. Whatever that case may be, it would be really bad if something happened. I have a lot of siblings who have a lot of medical issues and my youngest brother, he was born with heart defects so 3 or 4 days after he was born, he had to have open heart surgery and he’s had a lot of heart surgery since then so not to be all sad about it but there was time there was a lot of uncertainty of whether he was going to make it passed this age or this surgery. So yeah, I think that’s something … like I said I don’t constantly fear that but it’s always somewhat in the back of my mind. If one of the kids are sick, I’m like “Oh my god are they getting care that they need, “Do they have medicine” “Are they okay?” So, I definitely have a heightened sense, if they’re hurt or they’re sick.
Any creative endeavors that you partake in outside of the podcast that people don’t know about?
B: I do loom weaving and embroidery so that’s something I like to do for fun and sometimes I’ll do little pop-up markets for that. I love doing that, I love anything artistic. I don’t do it as often but I really love painting … Like watercolor specifically.
M: Ahh I love that! The paint has a mind of it’s own.
B: yeah, its cool. You can change it so much which is really cool. so yeah, lots of artsy stuff. We kinda spoke about this before. We were both in choir as kids even though I don’t really do it anymore, I like singing. I sing in the car and I have a very interesting playlist, I would say. *laughs*
M: Oh yes, very diverse I’m sure!
B: Yeah a lot of pop in there. There’s this band called “Super Fruit” do you know them?
M: *gasps* oh my goodness yes, I love those two.
B: I love them. So yeah, I have them. I have a guy called Stromae which I heard from “Super Fruit” because they covered one of his songs on Pentatonix. So, I have one of his albums, he’s a Belgium rapper – very eclectic. The beats are really interesting. I don’t know what he’s saying but I generally love his music! I have small indie bands. I also have Childish Gambino. So, you’ll often find me rapping to “3005” or “Sweat Pants” in my car. *laughs* That’s like, if I’m having a bad day or I’m stressed out just turn on either songs and rap it out. Get it out.
M: And with the indie bands, do you remember any of those you listen to?
B: Lumineers- I saw them in concert twice and it was SO good. Amazing. The band will actually go into the audience and like Wesley will be on his guitar and sing. They’re really good live. I would pay anything to see them again. Like any amount of money, to me, is worth it. Also, “Prinze George” they have a weird eclectic, mesmerizing sound.
M: Almost electric?
B: yeah, kinda. I’ll have to send you one of their songs, it’s different. I really like them!
What is the driving force in your life?
B: Well, like I’ve mentioned earlier my mom is AMAZING. And she’s always tried to push me in someway even if she didn’t tell me to do something, if i wanted to do something I could confined in her and say I’m thinking about this. I don’t care what you gotta do just do it. So, I think the driving force is a little bit of making my family proud and being successful. Stereotypical “success”whatever that means but I think bettering myself is very important to me. I love learning new things. I love being able to succeed at that “new” thing, it’s definitely a big part of that. And then, continuously opening up my mind to new things. That’s very new and weird for me still. Just being able to experience other people and conversation and cultures is something I’m really passionate about doing.
M: Yeah! Dipping your feet in all these different avenues.
B: I know, you’re traveling soon. We both went to Europe and I’m just like, “Ah I wanna do that again!”
M: Yeah, like what I’ve said before. It’s extremely important to expose ourselves to new things.
B: Definitely, yeah!
M: I think it’s amazing you had pushed yourself to start the podcast, given you’re a bit of an introvert. I can be the same way, so I feel for you 100 percent. It’s not an easy thing to do. Often times, we fear other people!
B: The REJECTION is a huge thing.
M: REJECTION. Absolutely! To be vulnerable and open up to someone in that space is a HUGE deal. That’s why I was surprised you told me you were an introvert! I didn’t get that from you at all.
B: Aw, thank you! If you were to talk to my friends and family back home, they would be like, “yeah this is new Brianna, this is not normal Brianna” and everyone here, since everyone is new, they’re all, “you’re an introvert?” *laughs*
Describe your creative process within your creative endeavors (Socialista Podcast & Loom Weaving) and why it works for you.
B: I think I’m still finding that creative process. It’s definitely not 100 percent. Life has been … not hectic, but changing A LOT for me. A lot of times, when I get an idea in my head. I try to run full force at it. So, the podcast I decided in October and was like, “I want to get episodes out like NOW!” I officially launched in January, I was like, I know you want to start things now but learn what you need to know how to actually do it, and meet those people. The biggest part about my podcast, the loom weaving and when I do pop up markets are my connections. I had to connect with other people who then were able to connect me with other people and business first before I could … full force go into it. But, if I was like, “oh I want to do a podcast, I’ll interview you” and not really having a conversation with them first, I don’t think it would have been sustainable because I probably would’ve gotten out one episode then hurry and try to find another person who would be interested in interviewing me. I definitely was like, “oh okay this is what I want to do” These are the people that I’m interested in learning about. And I’m just going to start reaching out to people in businesses. So, like I said, my creative process has changed. Sometimes it’s make sure you set yourself for success, other times … I get in a feverish moment and I’m like, I gotta do stuff right now. So like, with my embroidery and when I do that … My first pop up market was in March at Ferguson’s and it was like 2 days before the market, I decided I was going to do it. I was like, I only have a few things made. I need to get things done now so, I sat for two days straight in my office for 10 hours a day just making stuff.
M: Oh geez, a very tedious thing.
B: So yeah, I flip flop between covering all my basis and knowing what I’m doing, and being creative with it, and then, “okay this is something I’m passionate about, I need to do it right now I’m gonna make time and set aside everything else and do it right now.” The wonderful thing about connecting with people in Vegas, especially with people in Ferguson’s for example, Jen with Ferguson’s (downtown market square in Las Vegas), Nic with Ferguson’s (downtown market square in Las Vegas), Kelly (Founder of With Brave Company and Ashley (Founder of Sister House Collective). You know, all these amazing people. They’re very open with what they do. And I’ve been able to, even through conversation and seeing what they do and what they share on Instagram. I can get a little bit of of their process and take baby steps, you know?
Moving forward with the Socialista podcast is there anyone we can look forward to hearing on the show?
B: Yeah, I have a couple people who I’m back and forth with. So, a lot of my guests have been focused downtown. Kind of in our niche market area and a lot of the people know a lot of the same people so a lot of them I’ve been trying to connect with. But, I’ve been trying to venture out through, going to markets or going to coffee dates. I’m able to meet 100 percent those people coming into town. So, I should have an interview with the owner of “Hydrant Park” downtown. You know, the dog park downtown!
M: oh sweet, yes!
B: It was amazing, her rep reached out to me and was like, “hey they would be interested in an interview can we do that” I was like, “oh my god, yes absolutely!” So then I talked to a rapper who’s touring over the summer and over in June, I’ll have him on. So yeah, getting to know more
business owners. I feel like I’ve been focusing on more artists and creative minds. But I definitely want to get more business owners and business people.
M: Amazing. Yeah, all the information and knowledge is vital!
B: Yeah! I’m so grateful for everyone that I met and was able to talk to because you can learn so much from all of them. The way in which they work, what they do and why they’re passionate. So, I love it so much. That’s why I love being able to show what’s going on in Vegas because yeah you might walk down the street and see a coffee shop and see a clothing store but do you see that woman selling vintage clothes at a pop-up market, shout out to Amy, I love you! *laughs* But yeah, do you know that person? Do you know, the person who’s putting on workshops that teach other people how to do small businesses. Do you know who’s revitalizing downtown, basically!
M: The people behind closed doors. Looking where no one is looking almost!
B: Yes, exactly. Those are the people that I want on the show!
When it comes to finding new people to come onto the show, how does that process usually go?
B: Everyone that I’ve had on the podcast, just about everyone, I didn’t know before. It was just through DM and being like “Hey would you be interested” And then meeting them the day of the recording. It was interesting, the first couple of episodes, I had a sheet of questions to ask because I was so nervous and I would be blanking and I’m just like, “oh what should I ask now” but now I’ve learned to be more immersed in the conversation and I don’t need that sheet of questions. I already know the points of what I would like to learn from them. It’s definitely more comfortable and conversational for me and I think that reflects for the guest too.
Has there ever been a time where you’ve interviewed someone that you didn’t flow with?
B: I mean, I’ve had many different personalities, definitely. But no matter whether I agree with them or not or don’t think I would be friends with them afterwards. I mean, we can’t be friends with everyone. I’ve definitely had people on where, “Yeah, I like your perspective, but this isn’t something I would do or I agree with” Putting that aside, they’re telling me their story and that story is still important so just being open to that. I think everyones creative process and the way they’ve built themselves up has a benefit to it and a lot of key information that other people can learn from. Also, with the interviews and podcasts, for me it’s there to learn, its not there for me to be like, “Oh I don’t like that or I don’t agree with that.” It’s for the community, it’s for them. For me, I just want to show people or let people listen.
M: You’re almost like a vessel for these people!
B: Yes, exactly!
If you only had one year to live, what would you accomplish in the next 12 months of your life?
B: Oh shoot! All those questions are always like, “Oh what WOULD I do?” I think I would still continue with wanting to learn more about people and interviewing them and get that out there because I think their stories are so important and I don’t have a ton to offer, but they do, and being able to show the world that there’s people there that they can learn from. Definitely travel, 1000 PERCENT would travel. I definitely would get in an RV or airstream and travel around the country and be like, “It’s a Tuesday, I don’t have anything to do, okay I’m gonna go take a plane ride.” I don’t want to say, “oh do everything that I’m doing now” But I would dive a little bit more into what I like to do creatively and go to more outings around town. I have so much to see and learn about Vegas. And of course, if I travel, also about that place. So being able to take the time and enjoy where I am.
M: I love it.
What has been your greatest discovery along your journey?
B: Not to be cheesy …
M: Cheese is good!
B: *laughs* I think if you set yourself out to do something, if you’re passionate about something no matter if you don’t know how to do it or you don’t know who to go to – DO IT! I know that’s cliche like, “oh if you love it, do it!” but really! Even if it’s a hobby. You just need to do it. I feel like, growing up and even recently, I would think, “Well, I don’t even know how to even do that.” “Why would someone like me even want to do that?” “I have no resources, nobody. I can’t do that.” Often times, that’s yourself telling you to do that. That’s your fear, anxiety, self-doubt, that’s all of that telling you that. That’s not true. As long as you realize that and pick yourself up and say, “Ok, this is my fear, this is my self-doubt, this is not necessarily me or true, I can really accomplish something” So, let that all go, let the barriers down and just do it. Figure out a way.
M: It’s all possible!
B: Yeah! Of course, if you make it possible for yourself. Getting to know people, that opens doors for you, but I think constantly goes back to an open mind. And confidence is KEY. So, believe in yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for something you haven’t even done. You’re the only person stopping you from doing something. I don’t want to say that 100 percent of the cases. If you’re passionate about doing something and you just aren’t doing something, as you’re doubting yourself – You’re the one stopping yourself from doing it, no one else. Let it GO, let that talk go and make it happen.
M: And you’re doing it man! You’re doing the damn thing. You’ve shown up for yourself so many times, moving out here, starting your podcast, your business. All of it is INCREDIBLE Brianna. Thank you so much!
B: Of course. Yes!! Doin the damn thing!
M: oh yes!! *laughs*
And of course, a photo-shoot session downtown with this lovely gal! These were such a blast to capture!
Be sure to tune into the Socialista podcast for more insight on what Las Vegas has to offer! And make sure to follow along with Brianna and all of the amazing things she’s been up to! As always, thank you for reading.
photo source: Socialistalv
Connect with Brianna.
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