Sasha’s fierce, following her passion in bartending
24, Creative Developer in a free-form distillery (@sashajiliane)
For some, the artistry behind a drink is just a medley of flavours. For others, it’s their true passion of a creation they concepted from scratch, and is part of a world they’ve always dreamed of joining. For Sasha Wijidessa who was studying Pharmaceutical Science and dabbling in bartending, she ended up working as a “spirit creator” fulltime.
“It just sort of happened” — she just started it during her student days to get some extra cash, then realised she loved every part of it, which includes, “being in a creative space, making drinks, the creative process, interacting with people and customer service.” At the crossroads of choosing her studies or continuing bartending, she said, “It seemed only fair to myself to choose to do something that I love.”
“It’s a job that made me really happy” — because she finds meaning in seeing people have a good time and knowing she had a part in that. “And accomplishing goals that we’ve set as team, whether it is service standards, or creatively with our drinks, or just day-to-day stuff, like a team member learning something new or improving. That made me happy and fulfilled. And when it comes to service, seeing our guests enjoying themselves made me really happy as well.”
Moscow Mule cocktail
“If I could be happy and still make a career out of it, why not?”
“For as long as I’ve known, I’ve always been affected by my surroundings” — so for Sasha, her surroundings drove her too. She explains that a job in the nightlife can be challenging but her colleagues made it easy, if not worthwhile. “I feel so privileged having the team that I had, being able to grow, learn and evolve with them; that keeps me going. Trying to be the kind of leader that I know they deserve pushes me to be better, and do better,” she says.
“My creative approach to drinks has always been about expressing different forms of inspirations” — And it’s all thanks to her mentors, Luke Whearty (Owner, Byrdi, Melbourne) and Aki Nishikura (Owner, Byrdi, Melbourne). “We always take a different approach and simply shifted our focus to flavours. To work like a kitchen and give the same amount of attention and detail that you would to food, into the drinks that we made as well,” she explains.
It's all in the flavour when it comes to her drinks
24, Fashion Designer (@pinkdurian)
Anisah right in her element
You miss all the shots you don’t take, and this couldn’t be more apt for someone like fashion student Anisah who applied to Marc Jacobs in New York not thinking it was within her reach. She got a call back and then started working in brand’s atelier/sample room department. From initially discovering the world via art or architecture, Anisah believes that her work needs to stay true to her roots and provide opportunities for creative-minded individuals. Her journey — from fashion-related competitions to learning from seamstresses who knew how to work sewing machines to a world-famous fashion label — is all imbued with meaning.
“In my second year, I had to decide on the top companies I wanted to work with” — and actually, Marc Jacobs wasn’t in her top five, because it didn’t seem achievable at that time. “I had even asked my course leader if I was able to even consider thinking about going to New York, and he replied ‘You may try, only if you’re capable of facing rejection’,” Anisah said. After applying to a job listing for the Marc Jacobs Atelier/Sample Room department, she had the interview call two weeks later, then got the offer two days after. It seemed surreal, as she explained that it took sleepless nights to prepare the portfolio. “I never was mentally prepared, I usually never am,” she told us.
The Marc Jacobs Atelier, where it all began for Anisah
“After seven months in Atelier, I was transferred to the RTW Runway Design team” — Then, Anisah assisted senior designers, the creative director and the maestro himself, Marc Jacobs. “It’s been a true honour to be able to work alongside such competent and hardworking people, who really do care about carrying sincerity, quality and love into the product that you see walking down the runway,” she says.
“This all started from a place of frustration in my economics class” — Everything she experienced connected the dots into the meaning of her work. “If I rewind to my teenage days, I was very lucky to discover art and architecture as a way of understanding the world. That creating space was a way of bringing people together and creating self-love was a way to express a voice,” she says. She asked herself: “How could I stay true to my roots, express my individuality and voice, and provide opportunities for creative-minded individuals, women’s groups in rural areas, vocational colleges and the under-represented in society?“ ”The road led me to Fashion Design,” she said.
“It has been accompanied by difficulties” — Of course every story isn’t all pink skies. “This past year has made me recognise my identity; why it is important and how it can help inform my future self, given me a voice, made me more confident, and has made me claim my labels and passions, unapologetically. I still have a long way to go,” Anisah says.
“One ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re a failure” — Anisah doesn’t believe in thinking of yourself less, even if people say you are. “Your blessing comes with standing firm in your identity, passion and faith. Go and do it. Stop thinking you’re not worth it. Failure is good preparation for success but success is a poor preparation for failure,” she advises.
YOUNG AND MINDFUL
These Gen Zs found a way to communicate the message of mental health through their platform, RAD Culture, which was launched in 2018.
HANIS HAZIRAH AND LIZ AZALEA,
23, PR Executive; 22, ACCA Graduate, Founders of RAD Culture (@radcultureofficial)
RAD Culture’s power duo Hanis and Liz
What is RAD Culture?
Hanis & Liz: RAD Culture was launched back in July 2018 with the aim to bring awareness to heavily stigmatised social issues. The name itself seeks to promote and bring about a renewed culture which breeds an informed and unified. The idea behind creating the platform was first stemmed in Hanis’s mind at a time when she was still mourning over the loss of someone she was very close to.
What gives you the most meaning when pushing out content on RAD Culture?
Hanis: It is the little things that inspire us, we often receive messages from our followers telling us how much they love our posts.
Liz: The support and feedback that we receive ultimately drive us to feel motivated and inspired to continue pushing out quality content every week, even if it means having to juggle between our other responsibilities and setting aside some time to create content.
How do you stand out in a plethora of social media platforms?
Hanis: We realised that often times putting out content does not suffice for social media channels. What brands need are authenticity, visual-pleasing aesthetics to accompany quality content. That is how I feel we can attract and grow our audiences, especially the millennials and Gen Z.
INTERVIEWS AND COORDINATION JESS NAIR TEXT LINA ESA PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SASHA, ANISAH AND RAD CULTURE