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Tanya Ahmed

Tanya Ahmed
We are super excited to introduce Tanya Ahmed to Pitty Stories - she's the director at Sharkra Medi Spa, Hobart and she's one hell of a go-getter! Sharkra celebrated their 20th birthday in March 2017 and our very own Martina acted as their brand ambassador last month. Tanya believes small, independently-run businesses need to support one another in every way they can in order to thrive. Candice managed to capture some stunning shots of Tanya in the midst of her early morning routine - read more about her below!
PM: Do you have a favourite life quote?
Tanya: Go hard or go home. If I had to think of something that constantly comes to mind, whatever I do, I do it hard, I do it well, I do it to the best otherwise I don’t do it at all.
PM: What or who inspires you?
Tanya: I’ll tell you who makes me want to be a better person: and that’s my kids. They make me want to be better. You know if I get a bit strung out and I’m just really frustrated, and I kind of can’t keep it together: the next day I’m always striving to be a better version of that person because of them. So they inspire me because they’re so magical, they’re so free and innocent, their minds are so unaware and they don’t have the restraints that we do and the stresses that we deal with. Just the stuff that comes out of their mouth, I think they make me want to be like that rather than be so in control all the time.
PM: What are your hopes for the future?
Tanya: My hopes for my professional life for the future are that I’m healthy, and wanted enough to continue to work, that my skills are desired by my clients, by my friends and that they keep me in a job because I love my job, I love what I do, I love my salon. My hopes for my personal life are that I have a bit more time, like I do things now at 5am so I can get stuff done, so my hope for the future is to somehow have more time. I go to the gym early so I can have time to myself, away from everyone so I have the headspace to think. It’s good to have rituals for the day – I have about five or six things I have to do every morning and if I don’t get them done I feel frazzled.
PM: What is your main motivation for going to work everyday?
Tanya: My main motivation is the fulfillment of my professional career, end of story. Second is financial stability, goal achieving for my family, you know, we have school fees to pay and I think that is the order it has to be. If you don’t love what you do, it can’t be a good place. Love what you do, do what you love.
PM: What is the hardest thing about small business and starting a business?
Tanya: Starting a business, the hardest thing is the fear of the unknown, not knowing what you're jumping into, not knowing what you’re capabilities are, not knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are because you haven’t developed them yet. Running a small business, the goal process changes dramatically. I would have to say that even though I am so so lucky because I have an amazing team, human resources are the hardest and trickiest to deal with for a lot of people. Whether it’s a lack of, or up-skilling, or whether it’s something that they’re finding challenging, or their attitude or mindset is in a different place – that’s all challenging for business owners and we as business owners have to understand that not everyone’s mindset will be in the same place as yours. My staff see me here at 7am and leave at 5pm and they see me run to after school care and run between other things, and although I’m setting an example, I don’t expect or need them to live their life like mine.
I also think running a small business at a financial level that cash flow is always something that is challenging – you put large amounts of money into expensive stock that sits on the shelves and it’s a balancing act to keep that at the right level. Another thing now is understanding the marketing levers and how is can leverage your business and being savvy about it and not saturating it and not damaging your brand. Twenty years ago when I started, a letterbox drop was my claim to fame, now it’s all online with flick flick flicks so things are changing all the time because we live in a diverse and ever-changing business world.
PM: How can small businesses in Hobart continue to support one another, and why is it necessary?
Tanya: How is easy: referrals, going in and purchasing something, telling your friends about it that’s the easiest thing you can do. Word of mouth is absolutely the easiest way you can support small business. The other way is to share it on the different social media platforms to show that you are aligned with that business because people that love me for example, might not know about Pitbull or vice versa and we both hold a position of trust within the community. If I align myself with a business, I’m telling my customers that it is an awesome business and I love it. Why? Because without supporting local business we would have no boutique fashion out there, we would have no independently run medi-spas, no small shoe repair people, no seamstresses and although there is a huge push for online purchasing in both our industries and there is nothing that can be done about people buying cheaper products online I personally love the tactile relationship I form with the people I buy products from in person.
PM: What have been your favourite buys from Pitbull Mansion?
Tanya: Oh my god, how do I even pick? I love everything - I love my Rolla’s jeans, my Rolla’s denim jacket, my Double Trouble Lover sweater – I love the shit out of that.  I love my Jeffrey Campbells from a couple of years ago. I honestly love everything, I bought a little Folk Song tank in summer from you and it’s been amazing. What did I buy from you that I wore to Karla’s wedding? Oh the dress! The May dress! That was beautiful. I actually learned a lesson – I went around to some other shops to support other people, and I just didn’t like their stuff. So now I know where I come to when I’m looking for a certain thing and obviously I’m not going to come to you for a formal gown because that’s not your thing, but if I’m looking for a new top for Saturday night or a new casual outfit I won’t go anywhere else. I know my style and I’m not going to fight it anymore. I need top quality stuff and that’s what you guys deliver for me.
PM: You have answered this already, but you prefer shopping in store to online – is there any other reason why?
Tanya: I do! I like to be led, to be told what I should buy or try on. I like going into a place that knows me so I can walk in and say “guys, I just want a top for tonight” and like, when I came to you sometime over summer Kenna pulled out a top straight away and told me I could wear it with a new leather skirt I told her about and I said okay! That’s exactly what I wore that night and I got so many comments and it makes me feel good.
PM: We know that you love a good podcast, what are you listening to at the moment?
Tanya: Um, I really enjoy listening to, now you’re going to laugh, this is very um, business girl: so I listen to a lot of business podcasts and Ted Talks – they blow my mind! The passion and information these people have about their topic like happiness. 45 minutes on something so simple, you’re like I know what happiness is and then you listen to this guy and realise, I didn’t know a thing about it at all.  I’m really big on self-development and personal growth. I don’t like to waste time on rubbish, when I have time to listen to podcasts; I want to make it count.
PM: Spontaneous or organised?
Tanya: Organised for certain things. I’m organised in the salon always, it’s very methodical and clinical. Although I love a bit of spontaneity in my life like you know, if we’re home in our pajamas and I say quick get dressed, we’re going to go out – I love it. We get excited, so I don’t like to be in too much of a routine at home, but running the business is very controlled, very organised.
PM: What do you love about Tassie in three words and do you have a favourite place?
Tanya: Community, weather and views.
I love that we have vivid seasonal changes, I love the views everywhere – we’re very lucky and I’m very lucky to be able to travel and I still love it here. My favourite place in Hobart is usually a bar. If I could position myself in a bar right now it would be at Rudeboy – I love it, it’s Caribbean inspired so it’s like being on holiday inside and they’ve done a cracking job with it. In all honesty I have too many favourite places. I love the waterfront, I don’t get to go out into the great outdoors very often but I know they’re beautiful. I also love being at home because I’m not there a lot.
Tanya is wearing Double Trouble Gang, Jeffrey Campbell, Assembly Label, Rolla's, Quay Eyewear - all available at the Mansion.
Photography: by Candice Carlin (
© 2017 Pitbull Mansion.  All rights reserved.

Comments on this post (1)

  • Apr 03, 2017

    Love you Tanya, you are such an inspiration

    — Rochelle

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