Instagram has been my new guilty secret! As someone who has managed to remain skeptical of the benefits of social media, I have recently fallen in love with Instagram – a few minutes of scrolling can open the door to such amazing content – travel, art, illustrations, poetry, fashion and so much more – all laid out in beautiful images! What’s not to love! My latest Instagram find is a petite, dusky American-Indian beauty called Alisha Taneja who run a very successful blog and social media business by the name Saffron on Rose.
As it usually happens with the Internet, a mere half hour reading Alisha’s posts made me wonder why I hadn’t heard of her before! Some digging revealed that she is a 23-year-old UCLA graduate with a degree in Political Science! I reached out to her to chat about her journey, and she mentioned it all started when she started blogging as a hobby while pursuing her degree.
The blog which primarily dealt with her fashion struggles as a diminutive (she’s less than 5 feet) and curvy Indian girl to find clothes and makeup to suit her body and skin type became very popular in less than a year! She was talking about making beauty, and fashion inclusive way before Rihanna launched the Fenty line!
Naturally, with so many awesome opportunities, she jumped into blogging and social media full time as soon as college finished. Alisha, who describes her childhood self as shy and studious, has blossomed into one of the leading fashion bloggers and influencers in LA and San Francisco in just a few years. But no matter how effortless her photos look, it didn’t just all fall into her lap. Alisha spoke about her early struggles in her interview:
“I have had times where I didn’t make anything all month and others where my business boomed. The biggest struggle was to balance school with my full-time business, extracurricular activities, social life, and health and wellness. There have been numerous times I’ve wanted to drop out of university since my business was booming, but I put my education first.”
Alisha’s entry into the world of fashion blogging might be unintended – she grew up in a conservative Indian family where she was expected to fit into the usual doctor/engineer mold – but her sustained success is all due to her hard work and smart business decisions. “I am a normal girl who hustles and follows my dream, and I think that influences and inspires others as well,” says Alisha. “I also treat my followers to giveaways and network with other like-minded creatives which certainly assisted my growth. It did not happen overnight, but it did happen with hard work, strong passion, and dedication.”
The last few years have seen her collaborating with global brands like Uber, American Express and net a porter. Along with her own blog, she also works as a social media strategist for several fashion, lifestyle, and healthcare related brands AND she has recently been cast in the Fash Life Series.
This might seem like a lot at 23, but Alisha is just getting started! And I can’t wait to see what she does next!
Story by Linda Miller