They say luck favors the bold, and this couldn't be more true for Nai Vasha. Armed with a pinch of wanderlust and a hell of a vision, Nai Vasha - known to her friends as Vasha - risked it all, sacrificing the comfort of corporate life to pursue life as an all-around creative. And we're glad she did. She's the brilliant mind behind the creative direction of Undo Ordinary magazine, Miguel's "Kaleidoscope Dreams" album, art pieces for Puma and regular projects for Stussy.
Tell us about yourself. Prior to Undo Ordinary, what were you doing before?
I’m a storm in the desert. In my thirty years on Earth I have been a pageant kid, speech and debate champion, Las Vegas party promoter, make-up artist, stylist, photographer, creative director, set designer, window dresser, video director, thespian, provider, and friend.
How did Undo Ordinary begin? What is the meaning behind it?
Our genesis was quite natural. Robin and I drink the same tea. The concept of creating a space for others who share this attitude evolved on a beach in Hawaii. We wanted to fill the void in fashion and motion. We wanted to create a dwelling for fitness, resilience, power, fortitude and beauty. We train with style. We seek goals and achieve them. We rewrite the narrative. We undo the ordinary.
How did you get into print?
The magazine was birthed out of a desire to showcase our community. I'm personally not a fan of putting everything on the Internet. We wanted to reach people with a tangible product that has shelf life with infinite visibility.
"We train with style. We seek goals and achieve them. We rewrite the narrative. We undo the ordinary."
My background in production, along with Robin’s experience as a writer made for a great marriage through activations. Sophia Chang has always been an active influencer of our vision and came on board to help create a qualitative product.
Do you remember the first magazine you purchased? What was it that made you buy it?
It was probably a Vibe or Source magazine with Puff Daddy on the cover. I was obsessed with him as a kid. He turned R&B and rap music into a business beyond sound. That inspired me to reach beyond expectations to create culture. Be new and slightly disruptive at all times.
Why have you chosen print vs digital? How did you decide?
Digital is such a dark hole. You have to search for what you are looking or stumble upon something through a rabbit ditch. With print you can reach people who aren’t event looking for you. I like that. Things that are tangible have the power to touch all senses, not just one.
There is nothing like watching someone smell your magazine. Flip through the pages. Hold it close. Place it on their coffee table. Digital can't do that. It can’t trigger relationship.
Do you believe that "print is dying" since everything is digital based?
No. There is always life in dead bones.
What makes you passionate about print magazine?
I am reaching people that I never would have imagined while doing something so selfless. We don’t profit off of this. That’s the honest truth about digital and print. Digital is free and print cost money, but if you have enough passion you can make money in order to print more of what you love until someone with a fluid currency picks up your project and invests in the future.
Did you have a mentor to guide you through this process?
Not one. Many. Many angels. Many gifts and clues along the way. If you’re quiet enough you can hear the voice that lives inside of you. If you’re selfless enough, you will listen. If you’re open enough you will take in everything that has been given. If you’re giving enough you will give everything away.
"If you’re quiet enough you can hear the voice that lives inside of you. If you’re selfless enough, you will listen. If you’re open enough you will take in everything that has been given."
What was the process like creating your own magazine? What are the pros and cons?
The first issue was relatively easy. The perfect blend of everything that represented the brand. I wanted to introduce real conceptualism so we started to think in moments and texture. The process is usually Sophia asking me for the theme of the next issue on the release date of the current issue. I go to my hiding place and dream.
Everything has a process, a purpose, a place. I think about the athletes, entertainers and creatives that I have met through life. I start to draw lines between them. I first see colors, then textures, temperatures, and smell a fragrance. Everything starts in an organic place. Then I put these thoughts into a vision boards and share the direction with the team. We build with every tool we can find.
The process itself is rewarding. I don’t think I have any cons. It’s a process. We bend yet never break. Conditioning our muscles to make them stronger.
How would you differentiate Undo Ordinary from the other magazines on the market?
There aren’t any other magazines on the market like UNDO Magazine. Sports, fitness, health, fashion, philanthropy, and food. It’s a lifestyle, than plenty of people I know live, yet they have no place to celebrate achievement and learn vital information. We don’t do fluff.
Undo Ordinary's content is fitness, art, lifestyle driven - how do you come up with the content ideas? The creators live super lives with no margins. Finding a balanced possibility in career, art, philanthropy, and health. This idea should not seem so far fetched. The magazine is a collection of things seen, heard, smelt, tasted and felt.
Fitness is a huge component of your life, how do you find the time to balance everything?
I live on military time and take a lot of naps. If you were placed on a four inch metal beam 1,000 feet in the air you would find a way to balance. Anything is possible, it just depends on how bad you want it.
What advice do you have for those who want to start their own business or magazine?
It takes a village. An executive is only as great as their colleagues and staff. You will play the role of the janitor more often than the boss. I spend a lot of time cleaning things up in order for business to run smoothly. I also treat people like humans and not help.
What are 3 hidden gems in New York?
1) West Harlem along the Hudson from 125h St. past GWB. Mad romantic.
2) Azure Bodega in East Williamsburg off the L-Montrose stop. They have the best sandwiches and the most expensive almond butter.
3) Woodside, Queens. Where I reside.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Boss moves. No woman wants to be called a bitch in any context yet we embody the savvy prowls that makes you want to called us out of our names.
Photos by: @chris_nec