How do you create a dream home? Look to Aisha Ashraf Khawaja, an interior design expert in Singapore who will style your space.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Aisha Ashraf Khawaja, the founder of Aisha Ashraf Interiors and Accentuate Home, gets it done like a boss.
Tell us the story behind your business.
My journey into interior design can be traced back to my childhood, where my passion for art, sketching, and architecture was evident from a young age. Growing up in a family involved in the wood and construction business, my affinity for design runs deep.
I subsequently pursued my formal education in interior architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and started my career at leading interior design companies in Pakistan and Singapore. In 2010, I founded Accentuate Home, where I curated and imported bespoke furniture into Singapore, and eventually set up Aisha Ashraf Interiors in 2017.
What are some milestones or achievements you’re most proud of?
I’ve had the privilege of working on some marquis hospitality projects including The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong and InterContinental Dubai – Festival City. I’ve also been awarded residential projects in Paris and Dubai, giving my portfolio an international flavour.
Share with us a setback that taught you a valuable lesson about running a business.
When I just started my company, I took on a project with a fixed timeline. The contractor on the job left my project halfway for a bigger project with a more established company. I’ve since learned not to deal with contractors I can’t trust to finish a project properly and on time.
Describe a typical day in your life and what you love most about it.
I wake up at 5am to meditate and go to the gym for weight training. I’m at my desk at 9am. After emails, designing, site meetings, and supplier meetings, the day is done. I usually wrap up around 5pm when the kids are back home.
I love meeting so many wonderful new clients in Singapore and globally. I’m also connected to many global suppliers. I love the fact that I’m involved in all aspects of the business and I get to learn so many different things every day. No two days are alike!
What’s your favourite book, movie, or TV show that has influenced your entrepreneurial mindset?
I love watching Selling Sunset and Dream Home Makeover.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are always issues that come up but it’s important to find solutions every step of the way. The aim is to keep going and navigating through the challenges; the solution is usually something unexpected and maybe not what you envisioned when you started.
Top tip for maintaining a good work-life balance?
Self-care (whatever that may look like for you). For me, it’s the gym, travel, and time with family and friends.
Favourite thing to do on weekends?
I like to do nothing and sleep.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself that not many people know.
I can make people laugh. Most people don’t see that side of me as I come across as a very serious person.
Get in touch with Aisha Ashraf Khawaja online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!