It was sometime in 2018 that I first came across AISPI. As with so many other things, I discovered the company through Instagram and immediately reached out to the founder – Aisha Saraf – asking if she had any open opportunities at AISPI. Aisha responded back instantly but as it turned out, I never replied back to her at the time.
Cut to February of 2019 and Aisha was in Mumbai at the Luxury Lifestyle Weekend; I reached out to her once again and a few weeks later, I began working with her as a graphic design intern. It was a dream come true and a privilege for me to be able to work at a company whose mission excited me and where the founder inspired me every day at work – inspite of being in another corner of the world.
Great leaders inspire their team to work hard but it’s an exceptional leader who knows when to pivot – and how. A few weeks into my internship at AISPI, I sent Aisha a draft of an article that I thought could be a good fit for the company blog (even though I was working in graphic design at the time). She responded asking if I wanted to switch over to the editorial team and even though I had no past experience in the field, I instantly replied with a yes. As a leader, for Aisha to be able to not just recognise the spark that I had for writing but to show a willingness in cultivating it speaks volumes about who she is as a person. Needless to say, it got me on a path that I hadn’t really foreseen but one that I enjoyed tremendously in the time to come.
Two years later, I have authored over three hundred (!) articles. I have had the privilege of interviewing so many brilliant creatives across Europe and India. I have worked with so many talented writers – many of whom got their first writing break with AISPI! I have also been fortunate enough to work with a global team that has always inspired me to work hard and give my best. But most importantly, I have been lucky enough to have always had the leadership of Aisha to look up to; she gave me a chance when I had barely anything to show for myself professionally and she guided me through all of my hits and misses (and there were times when there were more misses than hits)! Managing a team that is dispersed all across the globe is not an easy feat but Aisha does it with complete grace; as someone who has been a part of the team since the very beginning, I have seen so many changes but Aisha’s unwavering faith and passion for her work and AISPI has always been the strongest guiding light that has gotten the company to where it is today.
As a company whose business model is inspired by and dependant on travel, the pandemic has been a steep learning curve but I am proud of the way we have pivoted and even more excited for all the things that Aisha and the team have been brewing; watch this space for all the exciting updates that AISPI has coming your way in the months to come. I have grown so much as an individual in the past two years and I have Aisha and AISPI to thank for that in LARGE part; from helping me discover the writer in me to fostering the values of responsibility, trust and (effective) communication to showing me how to recognise my worth (and how to convey it when needed), I would not be where I am today without both Aisha and AISPI.
While this is my last blog as a full-time member of Team AISPI, I am excited for all the other ways I will continue to be a part of this vibrant community of fashion enthusiasts from across the world. Please do follow AISPI on Instagram and stay tuned to the blog for all the exciting updates that we have coming your way soon!
To Aisha and all the amazing people I have met through my AISPI journey – thank you. For believing in me, for trusting me, for giving me the resources that I needed to find myself and for giving me a chance (sometimes more than once!); quite often, that’s all you need to do to create an impact on someone’s life. To any creatives who are reading this, take that chance; send out that cold email; flesh out that idea that you have – you never know where it will take you (I know it did so much for me!). And if it does bring you to AISPI, then I promise you, you are in for the absolute time of your life.
– Written by Soha Joshi