Sasha Shantel is a successful model and is also the editor and founder of In-spireLS magazine (http://www.in-spirelsmagazine.co.uk/), The UK’s number 1 magazine for positivity. We’ve always been impressed by Sasha’s creativity and regular readers of Urbanity Chic will realize that we interviewed Sasha a few months ago about her blossoming modeling career and work in the fashion industry. A short while ago we discovered that In-spireLS magazine had recently won the 2011 Magazine of the Year Award at the BEFFTA Awards and were really keen to interview Sasha again about the tremendous work she is doing with the magazine. Despite Sasha’s incredibly hectic schedule she agreed! Read the full in-depth interview below where Sasha discusses, amongst other things, what inspired her to start In-spireLS magazine, what challenges she faces and where her favourite holiday destination would be.
How would you describe In-spireLS Magazine?
In-spireLS Magazine is a positive lifestyle magazine purely dedicated to promoting positive lifestyles through thought provoking articles, reviews and interviews with some of the finest talents from all genres. Many other magazines depend on slander and gossip to increase their popularity and readership. However, In-spireLS strives to always share a positive viewpoint on everything we feature.
What inspired you to start the magazine?
The need to read information that wasn’t contrived or biased. I am a magazine mad woman, often buying around 3-5 per week. As much as I love the magazines on sale right now, I sometimes get bored of the constant gossip, knocking of the overweight celebrities or the booze infused female celebrities dropping outside seedy nightclubs. I wanted to produce a magazine which celebrates individuals who are striving for greatness within their careers as well as offering original articles that engage and encourage its readers. I honestly feel that this objective is being met and 2012 is solely based on taking my magazine and the team of people who have worked with me to the next level.
So how have the last few months been for you?
The last few months have been very positive. More than anything, it has been a period of reflection on all that has happened over the year. There has been many highs and a few lows, but they have all helped me to begin to put my life and the direction I want it to go in, into a new perspective. In the short period of three months, In-spireLS has won two awards. The first being ‘Magazine of the Year 2011’ at this year’s 3rd annual Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion and Television Awards. This was a major feat because the magazine was up against a number of reputable and recognised online and print publications. The second award was ‘Future 100’ which is an award which celebrates social media that are making a significant to the environment. I was so thrilled and proud to win these awards.
Great news about the BEFFTA Award! How was the awards ceremony and your evening in general?
Thank you. The awards ceremony was great; tiring but brilliant nonetheless. There were so many people in attendance and many of the individuals nominated have featured within my magazine so it was a nice feeling to see so many of them being recognised. It was a great excuse for a dress up and we really were not disappointed when it came to style. I had an amazing time and I was completely thrilled to be acknowledged.
I never realised how nervous I was until the names of the nominees came up onto the screen. When my magazine was called out I honestly couldn’t believe it. I was like a deer caught in headlights (laughs) but I got through it, so overall it was a successful night.
What is your goal for In-spireLS Magazine?
The eventual goal for In-spireLS Magazine is for it to go into print. That is the main and only aim. There are so much plans being put into play at the moment. It will take sometime but I have never got anything easy and I don’t intend nor wish for this to be anything different. The brand in itself has a great amount of leverage and I am excited about where we can take In-spireLS. Positivity is a major seller in the US and have a strong readership in the US. I want to tap into other markets and that will be the aim as we approach 2012.
How do you promote your website?
I am blessed to have a PR- Katie Ryan from Pink’N’Black Entertainment who handles the promotion of my magazine through the creation of newsletters, promoting the site on numerous social networks and much much more. People do not realize how much she does for the company but our hits and overall readership have grown since she came on board. Also, nothing beats good old networking and I try to go to as many events as possible to spread brand awareness and to give out business cards and flyers.
Being the editor, what are the main challenges you face?
Time, Funding, Loyalty from writers. The list is endless. But challenges are what we live for right. The joy I get from putting the magazine together each month is what I focus on more than anything. Challenges help keep things in perspective and make you realize that what you are doing is worth fighting for. At present, I have a great team of writers and individuals involved who believe in my vision and for many that is the hardest part. Luckily, that has never really been a major issue for me.
What inspires you to work on the magazine?
My love for writing inspires me. I could write all day and all night if given the opportunity. I love this magazine because there is nothing online like it. In 2011 it really is difficult to come up with unique ideas but I honestly feel blessed to be given this idea because it has the potential to be bigger than me. I am committed to making this happen.
Which magazines do you read? What makes a good magazine?
I read many magazines, the list is endless. Some of my favourites include: Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Star and Look for Fashion. What makes a good magazine is original content. Not made up articles, I can’t stand magazines filled with contrived stories and make believe fairy-tales.
How do you manage your time to partner your editor duties for In-spireLS Magazine with your work as a successful model?
(Laughs) I am no where as successful as I could be. My commitments to my writing and turning myself into a major business brand has overshadowed my modeling. However, I feel 2012 will be different. I did some great shoots and featured in a number of amazing publications this years and I aim to raise the bar a little higher next year. I want to do more conceptual shoots, work with more high fashion boutiques and brands. It would be great to shoot for more hair publications also.
To add to this, I have good management who gets what I am about. I will not compromise my self respect or vision for a quick buck. If I wanted to do a certain type of modeling, I am pretty confident I could have a lot of money. But, to be honest, I need to look back at what I have achieved and know that I didn’t tarnish who I am. That is more important to me than anything.
Do you have any stories about your recent photoshoots you’d like to share?
Not really. (Laughs) my shoots are always fun. I work with great people and they help to make my shoots enjoyable experiences. I can say that in a shoot this year, I fell off a bike I was sitting on and cut my hand. But hey, what can I say. You get up and you carry on.
What are your other interests except style and fashion?
Music. I recorded two songs earlier this year just to see what it was like. My official website is interactive and is home to all my talents. I want you to visit it and stay for a while and really enjoy what’s on offer. Having songs on the site was an added feature I wanted so you could watch my videos, read my magazine, explore my blog, purchase from my shop and listen to my voice. What more could you ask for from a website. I love my website and next year with all my other ventures, I will be concentrating on getting my name out there. I will be working on a series of books in the new- year and many other things so watch this space.
Where would your ideal holiday destination be and why?
My ideal holiday destination would be the US. I am shocked at myself that I haven’t been there yet. Many things one after another have got in the way of my getting there but I will be aiming to get there in 2012. The US is the land of opportunity and I get the impression that my success would be much more greater than what I have achieved in the UK to date.
If you could describe London in 10 words or less, what would they be?
Over-populated and over-crowded yet amazing all the same.
Are you involved in any events you’d like to share?
I will be covering a number of events for my magazine of the coming months including a number of fashion shows. I can’t give too much away, but whatever I am involved in will be promoted on my TWITTER and website Sashashanteluk.com
What do you think about Urbanity Chic?
I can honestly say that Urbanity Chic is one of the best fashion sites online. I had a number of features online but the most indepth one, was the feature I had on your site. It was detailed and informative and a great amount of detail was paid to the overall layout of the content. I love the site in all its entirety and I am excited to see how it expands over the coming months.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you Urbanity Chic for featuring me for a second time this year and giving me the opportunity to share my magazine with your audience. To all of your readers, thank you for reading my interview and make sure to keep up with me on my website and other links listed below.
Editor’s Note: In-spire magazine’s incredible concept is to celebrate and share positivity in all walks of life and all creative arts. Make sure you check it out! Sasha Shantel is an incredibly vibrant person and we’re sure everyone will be seeing a lot more of her over the coming months and years.
If you’d like to see more of Sasha Shantel’s work or get in touch, just follow the links below:
InspireLS Magazine: http://www.in-spirelsmagazine.co.uk/