22nd July 2021
OB Res in Focus: Shahwali Shayan Founder Shahnanigans
- Name and Role: Shahwali Shayan – Founder Shahnanigans
- Company elevator pitch: Shahnanigans is a creative studio that helps brands engage with their fans through augmented reality (AR) experiences and their super-fans through digital collectibles or NFTs.This has been so powerful that our AR experiences that we created for brands like Samsung, Sony and Avon have been viewed by over 1.5 Billion people.
- Business/career goal for 2021: 2020 was a difficult year for us all but with the advent of 2021, it seemed like things were going to change. Being a part of Propel, was such an amazing start to 2021. My big goal for this year is to venture into digital clothing through augmented reality!
- What excites you most about your role? I get to be my own boss! I have always been an extremely creative person growing up, but I had struggled to find a way to turn my love of design into a career. Shahnanigans was born serendipitously and I really do have to pinch myself sometimes because it feels surreal. My work in its nature is very exciting and although the admin/business side of things can be quite monotonous and gruelling, the creative side of the business offsets it completely! My work revolves around creating engagement and interaction through digital experiences – it is always super rewarding and exciting when I get to see how people respond and interact with my work as it is all very real time.
- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur during Covid? Before COVID, I used to tell everyone that I wanted to create a completely remote company without a physical office; remote employees and contractors; clients around the world – just something that would exist in the virtual world! And I was told, it couldn’t happen as it was not going to be sustainable – Haaaah! And here we are now! Shahnanigans was founded just before COVID, and everything I have done has been online. We met the most amazing mentors, speakers and entrepreneurs all virtually through Propel – which might not have been possible otherwise. I think there were a few big lessons for me:
- What advice would you give to entrepreneurs right now? – Don’t let the noise around you drown your own thoughts.
- Cherish the smaller things in life – like chatting with workmates over a coffee.
- You cannot live your life in pyjamas.
- Trust the process.
- You aren’t always right – there are people around you who know more and sometimes you need to listen.
- Also, it is okay to take some time off to unwind. We have all survived an unprecedented event.
- Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you? I took a 3 month exchange program in Egypt at the peak of the Arab spring and at the very end of the program, I was nearly killed by a sting ray while snorkelling. It’s ridiculous!
- If you could pick up a new skill in an instant what would it be? This is going to be a really boring answer, but I would like to learn how to a code. I have picked things up here and there but I would actually want to learn how to do it properly.
- Who is your dream business mentor? The serious person in me wants to say Steve Jobs but I realise that is quite a boring answer. So I’m going to say… Kris Jenner.
- Where can people find out more about your business? You can find out about most things on our website: www.shahnanigans.co.uk
Instagram : www.instagram.com/shahnanigans__