A conversation with Our Girlboss, Shalma Ainaa
Among her friends and family, Shalma Ainaa or Shal is known for her exquisite taste and her “gracious” laugh. Growing up, she was always exposed to fashion as she used to collect fashion magazines to get inspiration for her outfits. Shal also learned a thing or two about business when her mom and aunt opened a small tailoring shop when she was younger. Having studied fashion marketing at Middlesex University London, our girl boss returned to Malaysia with big dreams in starting her own business in fashion.
In 2011, Shal co-founded SHALS with her sister Shalmanisa. At first, they went for the buy-and-sell approach. Fast forward years later, they decided to sell their own creations by designing their products. Making that decision led to a 180° change in the brand outlook, which was the best decision made. One of the reasons SHALS was able to grow and develop so much up to this point is because they have really supportive friends and family who would always cheer them up on their every effort.
She kicked off her career in the entertainment industry as a TV host for HLive on Astro Ria back in 2014, following the reality talent show called On Air 2 in the same year. Later on, she ventured into acting and making content on her own Youtube channel. To the public, Shalma Ainaa is mostly known for her hosting act for Motif Viral on Astro Ria. To the SHALS Team, Ainaa is a creative director who acts as an anchor to the team, providing them the support and motivation they need to give the best outcome.
What is fashion to you and what is your fashion style?
Fashion is a tool where I can express myself. I love experimenting with outfits and my whole look, even my hair. Honestly, I don’t think I have a specific style as I’m always trying out new styles.. and now more than ever I feel like the fashion world is evolving so fast that you just wanna do it all.
How would you describe your life?
Life’s been good. I’m nearing 30 years old now. Things have been great, intense, and fun at the same time.
TWO things that keep you sane?
Oh, easy. I’m a huge food lover. Food is one of the things that makes me the happiest. When I’m hungry I can’t think, I turn moody and hangry. Food makes me happiest no matter the time and place! The other thing that keeps me sane is sports. I’ve always been a sporty gal. Futsal, swimming, running, you name it.
What kind of music do you listen to calm yourself?
When my head feels super messy, I like listening to Yiruma. Her, or any other classical piano songs like Debussy and Mozart. Then I just sit, listen, and not talk to really feel the music. I love it when music has the power to keep me calm and able to make me get lost in the rhythm... it feels like an escape every time.
Are you living the life of your dreams?
I’m certainly living the life of my dreams. At this point in my life, I feel so content, so grateful, and blessed with everything that I have, especially knowing that I have people who support me. In terms of achievements, there’s still a lot of things I’ve yet to achieve like my personal goals, my business goals.. and such. I still have a lot to learn… it’s a never-ending process.
What is your life mantra?
“Create a life you can be proud of”. It’s so straight to the point. To me, it means attracting good things in whatever you do, like The Law of Attraction, you know? Turning my thoughts and dreams into things.
Most of your followers know that you’re a huge fan of Beyoncé. Can you tell us why Beyoncé?
Beyoncé is my alter ego. I really love her because she radiates such positive energy that, to me, no one can beat. She’s a visionary and she has a strong beautiful aura. I love how she is very involved in her performance. The fact that she always gives out 110% for everything from singing to dancing, it’s like she’s telling a story.. and I’m obsessed.
Ok lastly… since you’re a huge music fan, can you share with us your current playlist?
Of course! You can search “Shalma Ainaa” on Spotify, I have a few public playlists but my all-time favourite is called Calories of Happiness.
Editor: Afeedah S.