Ladies We Love: Tash Menon
Tell us why you chose your career:
I can’t say I have had the most conventional career path. Growing up, I played a lot of competitive sport and having moved 9 schools before the age of 11 – I found it to be my currency to fit in and make new friends with each move. When shoulder surgery saw me no longer able to accept a Division 1 US College Basketball scholarship - I was at a bit of loss as to where my next steps would take me. So at the age of 19 I moved to London under the proviso of a university scholarship. However I was pretty adamant to make the most of the opportunity - so I also started working as a bartender in Soho to earn some cash as well as complete an unpaid internship at Cosmopolitan Magazine. Over the next decade, I never once applied for a job. Rather I stayed curious, hustled hard and found my own opportunities by creating and pitching roles into organizations. At 21, I was completing a photography project for Lonely Planet.
By 25, I had worked my way up to be London GM of a UK based marketing and events consultancy with a team of 11 direct reports. By 30, I had a Masters degree under my belt and had the opportunity of working globally on the marketing and brand strategy of some of the UK's and Australia's highest profile chefs. By 32, I finally took the leap and started my own business, MASH Brands.
What do you love most about your job?
The freedom and fulfillment I obtain from MASH is definitely not something I take for granted - it genuinely makes all the continual hard work feel worthwhile. Our business is fostered on empowering both (creative) individuals and brands to have the freedom to produce work that truly fulfills them. It’s been pretty awesome to watch this vision unfold, with us now curating creative teams across Australia, South East Asia and Amsterdam.
Call it curiosity - but understanding what makes someone tick and what drives them to be better both personally and professionally is something I simply adore and it maintains to be a core value of our business and for me. I believe it underpins where great work and great things can happen – particularly when you can empower those around you to focus on their strengths and how they best channel that. I am also very fortunate that I also get to work every day with two of my closest friends, Sarah and Amy. They are literally my right and left hand at MASH. They’re both absolute legends and for those who say you can’t work with friends, my two cents on that is that you haven’t found the right ones to work with. I couldn’t have imagined this crazy journey without them.
What have you learned about yourself in lockdown?
Getting comfy with being uncomfortable is one of my key pieces of advice to anyone starting a business. No two days being the same – is pretty much the only consistency you will face. So much so, I’ve taken this opportunity during lock down to refocus on myself. It's been awesome to re-centre and focus on the controllables - such as my own fitness, to (actually!) cooking, to learning through podcasts and reconnecting with friends and family. If anything CV19 has accelerated the value of remote working and why it’s important for organisations to stay agile and nimble – a value we have held since day one of launching MASH. So with professional opportunities steadily growing during lockdown and MASH now officially present in Amsterdam, South East Asia and Australia - I set myself goals and challenges that had nothing to do work – but rather to do with my own development and learning.
When you can travel again, where will you go and what will you do?
During the first 12 months of MASH, I found myself at brink of physical and mental exhaustion. Having to take 24 international flights in a month was the tipping point and although it looked fabulous on Instagram- I can assure you it wasn’t pretty at all. Following this, I started to really look after my health – both physically and mentally. There is nothing glamorous about starting a business, your ego is left at the door and I learnt the hard way that reinvesting in myself is key, if I wanted to help bring the best out of those around me.
This led me to discovering a little piece of heaven in south Phuket. Commonly known as “The Soi” in Chalong (aka fitness street) this kilometre long windy road is packed with yoga studios, CrossFit gyms and Muay Thai studios – it’s an incredible bubble of health, fitness, wellness and man, a heck of a lot of fun. I have met some truly incredible people there – including Sarah - who has just come on as a partner at MASH . We met at the beach after a group training session there a few years back. Crazy to think how things escalated from there...I can’t wait to get back!
What are your wardrobe staples?
I’m definitely a low maintenance girl who loves an excuse to dress up for the right occasion. Generally speaking I live in activewear. Nike trainers (I am obsessed - it’s a serious issue), leggings and oversized jumpers are a standard staple. However if I know I have a day of meetings that will roll into dinner, nothing can go past my LNNY Leopard shirt dress and ankle boots or my LNNY red checked shorts and turtleneck.