We are proud to introduce one of our collaborators: Hash Varsani. In addition to being a friend and mentor, Hash is a multi-talented entrepreneur. In his business, Hash provides tailored solutions in media and technology with an elegant touch. He is the founder of Atelier Helsinki and Atelier hosting. In order to understand Hash’s set of skills and his approach to business, we dedicate this edition of meta journal to his story.
Hash was born and raised in the UK. He is the eldest of two sons and his family was part of a Indian community with strong Indian traditions. Hash smiles when he addresses his beginnings:
“I grew up in London in the 70s, which was very cool!”
As a young person, Hash was social and actively involved in sports. In addition to tennis, swimming, basketball and cricket, Hash was particularly attracted to golf:
“I started playing golf when I was 10. I liked the precision of that game.”
Hash’s attention to detail was applied to his interests in computers and technology in general. He was also very interested in the conversations about art, philosophy and psychology, and he started becoming aware of his artistic abilities. He felt that he didn’t quite fit the mold of what was expected of him in the community he was raised. In retrospect, he defines his young self as a “rough nut”.
For his education, Hash decided to pursue a combined degree in typography and photography at the University of Plymouth in Exeter. In order to support his expenses during his studies, he worked as a security guard in London’s top art galleries and museums. By surprise, this job became a stepping stone for Hash to see and feel art at a deeper level. Outside of work, he immersed himself in art books, and was able to have philosophical conversations with like-minded people (while listening to jazz and a good glass of wine or two).
Hash was very successful in updating his skills based on the theoretical frame of his degree. However, he longed for a more practical approach to learning as the lectures didn’t include the business element. After his second year of university, Hash decided to develop his skills in a “real business” environment. He got a job at a photography laboratory in West Hampstead. There, he could understand and apply his set of work skills. Soon enough, the place went from a 1 hour photography laboratory to become a ½ hour photography laboratory. Consequently, the business became more profitable after his arrival. It also became the only digital business of that franchise in London. Because Hash was the person doing all the digital work, he became responsible for teaching other stores of that franchise on how to integrate the digital component into their work (which at the time was the big boom).
Through his work, Hash met a renowned photographer, who became a mentor to him. He felt that he could finally learn the skills that he expected to learn at university, mainly commercial photography. He got introduced to pro-labs and started doing various types of work: fashion photography, food photography and architecture (which he fell in love with).
Later, Hash got a better position in another digital photo laboratory. It didn’t take long for his skills to be acknowledged. Within 3 months, he changed the digital process of the place. The owner of the business trusted Hash´s opinion and started purchasing things based on his assessment on the operations.
“He knew I was a geek”!
As a result, he got the freedom to apply his ideas at work while developing his own parallel projects as an individual. Hash got to travel to several places around the world as a commercial photographer.
One day, he met a jazz musician through a game of pool. From that encounter, the jazz universe of London opened up and he became responsible for designing album covers for musicians and record labels. Most importantly, he also started getting invited to concerts and gigs and jazz became a part of his lifestyle. Jazz photography now became the new passionate affair in his life.
Influenced by the social environment at the time, Hash went to Thailand to be a voluntary worker (soon after the tsunami). When he returned to England, he felt similar to the way he felt after his first trip to India.
“I was too detached from abundance to worry about first world issues. The more people travel and are exposed to other realities, the better they become.”
Hash realised that there are different contexts or “bubbles”, but life goes beyond all of that.
Eventually, he decided to work with photography and design. He was introduced to real life technology, during the rise of WordPress and Photoshop, which he consciously incorporated into his skills set. Together with a business partner, he started working with interesting projects in Brighton that involved architecture and travel. At this time, Hash was also considering starting a jazz club in Brighton.
On the other hand, he got some news that would change his life forever. It was when he got to know that he would become a father. In 2009, Hash moved to Finland to start a family and to welcome the birth of his child, a beautiful Finnish-English girl.
“Ever since, Aava has come first. I would stop the world for her. She is the best creation I’ve ever produced in my entire life. For that I am grateful for the relationship I had.”
In Finland, Hash runs Atelier Helsinki providing design and digital marketing services, web development, graphic design and branding. In addition, Atelier Hosting provides Finland’s first fully managed WordPress hosting, domains, and servers. He is an autodidactic serial web entrepreneur building sites around food, wine, travel, and of course jazz. His first site Jazz Club Jury was a passion project to list every club in the world, since then he has launched Jazz Calendars, JazzIn.London and Jazz Interlude.
Hash is currently working on projects in Finland, UK and Australia, with development plans of setting up Atelier Sydney and Atelier London. He is open to expanding his network through creative and ethical work with other businesses, who share his vision for philanthropic design services, and provide elegant solutions using technology and media.
“I’m first a father, everything else will follow suit. After that I am a doer, I always have to do something… There are many possibilities to create solutions and I like solving problems. That´s who Hash is every time I look at the mirror: I am a problem solver.”
This story was empowered by Metaphora. We can also mediate your story or help you to craft a story that suits your needs. Contact us for more details or get to know more about us by following Metaphora on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
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