We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaya Asha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaya, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Curating my magazine has taught me many lesson, some common and some unconventional. I traveled on numerous paths on my route to creating a magazine worthy of being someone’s inspiration, motivation, and aspirations. However, if I had to pick one lesson it would be my last lesson that CHIONE taught me. The ability to let go. For you to truly grasp my past fear of letting go I have to explain a couple memories. I distinctly recall a past friend was horrible to me on certain days but was my best friends on others. The feeling of not wanting to change anything because I wanted things to stay comfortable. Another memory was when I began reading seriously. I would avoid any book that didn’t have a happy ending. In my mind at these points in my life I thought if the characters in my book, if I didn’t change then I wouldn’t have to face change. Letting go of something or someone was hard for me because I was scared of what would happen afterward. Dealing with disappointment, pain, sadness. Luckily for me CHIONE gave me an opportunity to fix that. I’m going to let you in on a secret…..ready? By my fourth issue I had fallen out of love with creating magazine issues. The process seemed stagnant and predictable to me. Although I was no longer in love I continued because CHIONE obviously has a fifth issue. I continued because I was afraid that all my accomplishments would go away if I stopped the magazine. What would my followers think of me if I “just gave up?” This haunted me for a while till I came to a point where I was secure in myself and in laymen terms “let it go!” It took awhile to have confidence in my abilities without the magazine to back me up. In time my intelligence and wisdom was the only thing I needed to back me up. Now I’m starting a new business, an online course to guide others to pursuer their passion. But to answer the question directly, my most important lesson was learning to accept that yes, good thing end and it can be sad, but it could also be happy. That after passing one door there is always another. Opportunities are plentiful and if you lose one, if you miss one, or simply let one pass in time another opportunity will present itself. Don’t stop change, it’s in our world for a reason. Learn to let it all go.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My most proud moment had to have been when I was given permission to use a National Geographic photographer’s photo for my cover photo. I felt as if this was a sign that the magazine was “winning!” A major factor to my success was my repetitiveness. I did what people call professional harrasment. For instance in my first magazine I would ask someone on instagram if they wanted to be featured once and they would read it, some would agree on the spot but majority would forget. So I started sending messages to a person I desperately needed in certain issues two times a week. Don’t think badly of me I didn’t do it excessively, I was completely professional about the entire ordeal. The job was not always easy sometimes I made mistakes and face challenges that if not handled correctly could have had drastic consequences. Like my ignorance to copyright. As you probably guessed this was a scary situation, an unconventional lesson that I learned early on my rise. For my first issue I contacted Kanae Branch, the model on my cover, for her permission to use one of the photos she’s in. She said yes and I published the issue with her on the cover. Now the problem was I received Kanae’s permission, not the photographer who owned the photo. See a mistake. Luckily for me the photographer was cool and understanding about my ignorance about copyright. When you are in a situation like this, remember to stay calm. You can’t fix anything or problem solve if you are freaking out. Also makes sure you have support to help you out of a situation if you need assistance. Throughout my journey I’ve learned, patience (to a point), acceptance, how to improvise, compromise, how to problem solve effectively, how to stay calm in the worst of situations, balance work and social life, staying connected to others, I’ve learned the true meaning of black girl magic, confidence, tenacity, I know how to execute any ignorance in me and around me. Making this magazine has taught me many things, some I haven’t even noticed. I want people to know that I have enjoyed watching others rise and I want people to know that yes CHIONE is over but I hope that you will inspire and empower others in its place.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t actually have a best friend I travel way to often to be a good one, but if I had to choose an area to have the best time in I would choose Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. We would be going on a food tour! To my followers who do not know this I am the ultimate FOODIE! I will try almost anything except cockroaches, I just can’t. I’d take her or him to a small restaurant in near the heart of Ho Chi Min for some Bun Cha. By the end the week we would have eaten pho, soft crab, banh mi and drunk cà phê đá (traditional Vietnamese iced coffee). We could hang out in district one to enjoy the city life or just road trip from Ho Chi Min and drive to district one, going through multiple districts. Outside of this week visit my favorite place to be is the library. The literature, that new book smell; I could live in the library! My favorite people to see would be my two sets of cousins Genesis and Eden and Seven, Magic, Tide, Moxie, Rocket, Plum, and Chay. To all of them I would also add their parents, my aunts and uncles, Auntie Pipes, Aunt Rhonda, Uncle Chad, and Uncle Nick. And of course how could we forget Dazzle, Auntie Piper’s mom.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom deserves a loud shoutout! She was with me through it all, helping, advising me. Also a magazine wouldn’t be a magazine without a cover so I thank all the photospheres who allowed me to use their photos. Another huge thanks is to every business, entrepreneur, motivational speaker for allowing me to feature them in the magazine
Other: I have given you my CHIONE instagram but here is my new instagram for my new business (@the_principles_of_passion)