StyleNest take five minutes with jetsetter, businesswoman and President and CEO of ASMALLWORLD, Sabine Heller.
Having travelled all over the world from London to Paris and Tokyo to Dubai, StyleNest talk to Mumbai born Sabine to talk business, fashion, travel and all things digital. After a recent relaunch, exclusive site ASMALLWORLD is back and better than ever, helping users connect via travel and elite privileges.
You have been with ASMALLWORLD since 2006 and are now the President and CEO. Can you tell our readers a little bit about the redesign?
It’s more of a relaunch and the redesign is a small component of the whole relaunch. It’s sleek and focused on travel more with information deals. We are a travel and lifestyle destination and it’s hard to keep everyone happy so we are offering member privileges, rich content and services.
You have played a key role in the ASMALLWORLD brand, helping to implement future business strategies. Where can you see the brand in five years time?
Really narrowing on the travel space and being the leader in socialized travel space. We want to be that travel market insider which offer lots of privileges and benefits as well as being a guidebook to travel.
You really are an inspiration for women in business. Which other women inspire you and why?
Arianna Huffington. She stands for a lot and is not afraid to take a point of view or multiple points of views as well as being savvy and smart. Arianna is a great mother of the digital space.
ASMALLWORLD is unlike any other online experience. It’s exclusive and strictly invitation only. How do you go about cherry picking your lucky guests and ensure you have the world’s elite?
Our members invite other members so we trust our members to invite those suitable. It’s a community base site and it works.
ASMALLWORLD aims to connect likeminded people all over the world, whatever their purpose of travel and whatever their passion. What is your greatest passion?
Identity and transformation.
Could you tell us a little about your typical day – if in fact there is ever a typical day?
I travel a lot so rarely have a ‘typical’ day but when I’m at home I walk to the office everyday and go to business lunches or meetings. I’m a homebody and like to cook a lot and a few times a week go to the odd party.
You have worked with so many high powered people and luxury brands. Any particular favourite memories or faces?
The first company I worked for at UGO remains a favourite as it created the mood prints for my job today. It was when I first fell in love with digital space and got to know the possibility and opportunities. It helped give me tools to survive the dot com crash and help prepare for challenges, giving me real values. I also love Purple Magazine for its creative community.
Your work must take you all over the world and you grew up in Mumbai. Where do you call home?
I often think of myself as a Banyan tree as I have multiple roofs. Mumbai, NY and Upstate NY and Paris. I feel at home wherever.
With so much travelling, how do you keep on top of your beauty routine?
I don’t. I moisturise a lot to ensure my skin is hydrated.
How do you keep in shape with such a busy schedule?
I don’t know. My schedule is so hectic that I am always keeping busy. Every minute of the day is scheduled and I think the constant keeping busy keeps me in shape.
It’s evident you live and breathe luxury. Where is your favourite luxury hotel to escape to when you have some much needed time off?
In London I love Blakes and in India Ahilia Fort. It’s my godfather’s palace and I grew up going there and it’s now been converted into a hotel.
You travel all over the world. If you had to choose your favourite city for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where would it be?
Rosemary’s in the West Village in New York for breakfast as I love an all American breakfast of pancakes and bacon. It would then be off to Italy for lunch and ramen for dinner in Tokyo.
ASMALLWORLD focuses a lot on travel. What are your ultimate destinations for a city break, sunscape and for hitting the slopes?
Paris, always Paris for a city, Tahiti for a beach and Jackson Hole in Wyoming is great for actual skiing (not après skiing).
Do you have a little black book of your favourite places in London? Where would you go for a cocktail / dinner shopping?
When I’m in London, I love to go to the sister restaurant of Ottolenghi, Nopi in Warick Street.
As well as ASMALLWORLD, you also write your blog for Purple Magazine and Vogue Italia. You clearly love fashion and all things style. How would you describe your style?
Style is personal. I’m not a great retail shopper but I like to buy things from friends who are designers. I have a closer relationship to an object, people and art. I see fashion through the lens of aesthetics of people so I will love a dress if it was designed by a friend because of the knowledge it was designed by them and the process behind making it. I’m not trend driven and can wear the same dress again and again. The outfit I’m wearing today, everything was a gift and made from a friend.
If you had to wear one label for the rest of your life who would it be?
For jeans it would be BLK DNM and for a dress it would be Zero + Maria Cornejo.
In London we have such a great hub of creativity. Are there any British designers you really love? Whether established or new to the fashion scene?
Jonathan Saunders, Preen and Matthew Williamson for summer as I love a touch of boho.
What’s your motto?
This is going to be cheeseball territory but to live in the moment and to live passionately. There is more time in a day than people think. There is a lot of dead time. “Eighty percent of success is showing up” – Woody Allen.