SQUA.RE is proud to introduce to you the unique concept and vision of AHALife.com in online retail, with an exclusive interview with founder and CEO, Shauna Mei.
AHAlife is the online discovery destination where you can learn about – and purchase – the best unique products from around the world, collectively curated by a group of influential tastemakers. AHA stands for the universal sound of discovery, and Life is to be be inspired by every day.
We are also proud to announce an exclusive collaboration between SQUA.RE and AHALife soon. Watch this space.
1) What is the concept that gave birth to AHALife.com?
Shauna Mei: The concept came to me when I was living in Stockholm. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and live all over the world and am constantly discovering unique products that should be globally available. For each designer, it is very difficult and expensive to expand their brand and products globally. I wanted to create a discovery destination and platform for people to be able to buy the best the world has to offer. I also wanted to create a destination across your entire lifestyle… Versus forcing the consumer to have to go to different sites for different categories. I think that time is the new luxury and people want to cut through the noise on the internet. AHAlife.com is all about cutting through that noise and working with the best tastemakers and experts from around the world to discover and make available all the treasure of the world.
Here’s a video where I describe the genesis of AHAlife.
2) How do you see AHALife being different and unique from most online retailers?
Shauna Mei: We are a site about discovery and we are often looking to find new products that are not available or difficult to find ONLINE. Most e-commerce sites have a staple of inventory they sell over and over again. We feature one new feature or product per day so we can continue to push the boundaries of finding the coolest things out there.
We also INVEST a ton in editorial. AHAlife.com is really a media company with a buy button. We invest in telling the story behind the product and the designer, and the curator to give you a 360 degree view to be inspired and learn and have the ability to purchase seamlessly.
3) What are the types of products, or what common criteria do they all have to end up on AHALife.com?
Shauna Mei: We feature a range of lifestyle goodies—fashion, food, beauty, accessories, home decor, travel and tech, to name a few—but all are united by their craftsmanship, unique provenance and amazing aesthetic… We also feature products that come with a unique story because we believe the purchase of a products is MORE THAN THAT, it’s a transfer of an INSPIRATION, someone’s creation and hard work, and the new owner should enjoy the product and also share the story with someone else.
4) I read that you are getting into more philanthropic work lately, what have you been up to?
Shauna Mei: As I mentioned, I really see AHAlife.com as a TRUSTED DISCOVERY DESTINATION FOR YOUR LIFE. We’ve been featuring more and more products that are tied to a good cause that we call AHA Good Karma Products.
Each of these products come with an amazing story and one of my favorites is the Congo Whistle… It made me cry. Also AHAlife is currently collaborating with a charity organization I feel very passionate about. This will get announced in September but I love being able to create a new excitement through consumerism around good causes. I love fusing doing good, feeling good, and buy good all together.
5) For our young entrepreneurial readers, what advice would you give them?
Shauna Mei: My advice is simple. First discover your passion… If you know your passion, you’re on your way. Most people don’t know what they are passionate about. Once you have that, just take any opportunity to open that up for you. Don’t be rigid — the best “job” I got was an unpaid job. Go for it and take every opportunity to magnify your passion.
Starting your own business can often feel intimidating. I believe you whenever you come across something that challenges/intimidates you, Embrace this… Innovation is where real success happens. When you are intimidated, that means you’re onto something really fun and disruptive.
6) Finally, what are your favorite items on AHALife.com?
Shauna Mei: For the special guy in my life, Men’s Ties.
For myself when I travel, Danish Design Headphones.
The Glam side of me, the black mask, Swarovzki Masquerade Masks.
I love wine: the skull decanter.
For my iPad, this Croc iPad Cover.
The perfect gift for any occasion, Preserved Roses.
As you can tell, this is tough for me to decide…
Click below to start your journey into AHALife.