Inspiration and strength comes from the most unlikely places. For Asha Dahya it came from a difficult divorce and the renewed sense of purpose and drive that came after that experience. A few years ago Asha founded Girl Talk HQ, an online media source dedicated to publishing content about challenging and empowering women around the world. Their motto is “We are the headquarters for inspiring, empowering, informative, entertaining and positive news stories for millennial women.” and I first met Asha at a Comic-Con panel about body image in Hollywood and personal empowerment. Since the first time I heard Asha speak about her journey, I knew that she would be a source of inspiration for our amazing Ms. In the Biz community. We managed to chat right before the holidays about her impressive hosting career about what inspired her to start Girl Talk HQ.
I know that you have an extensive hosting career. Let’s start with that:
“I’ve been hosting for 12 years in Australia and here in Los Angeles, where I have been for 8 years. “I have a journalism and film studies double major. I remember a professor saying that less than 10% who graduate actually work in this business, so I feel extremely fortunate to have the work I do”
I do a lot of freelance television hosting, online media content creation, and I have just started writing for a political site called Blue Nation Review sharing my thoughts on women’s issues leading up to the 2016 Presidential election.”
Did you find the transition to Los Angeles from Australia difficult?
“I moved to LA right before the economy crashed in 2008 which couldn’t have been a worse time, but that is what led me to online media and making opportunities for myself. I had to learn to be creative right at the start. I had a few jobs immediately in LA but after a year my manager and I parted ways and I had to find new options for myself. I had friends that worked in production so I started to work as a production assistant and production coordinator on a number of commercials and reality TV shows. The behind the scenes work became a second avenue to my television hosting work. I ended up getting consistent work in production and started to really enjoy it because it taught me lots about what goes into producing a television show.
Tell me about Girl Talk HQ.
“Let me rewind a little bit. In 2009 I got married and things were great for maybe 11 months but then things started to get really bad for a variety of reasons. When the marriage finally ended in 2012, I decided that I wanted to focus entirely on hosting again because I had devoted too much time to production. Coming out of the divorce I realized that I needed more out of media than what it was offering myself and other women. I wanted to create a media platform that would focus on inspiring and empowering women instead of discussing what so-and-so is wearing. “
“I started a Tumblr account blog and started sharing articles that I thought were interesting and empowering. I eventually wanted my own website with powerful articles in one space, so I transitioned to what is now GirlTalkHQ.com at the end of 2012.”
How has Girl Talk HQ grown?
“The growth has been slow but steady. I have learned a lot about building a website through this process. The content has become more refined each year and I have learned a great deal about introducing people to the website in an organic way. A lot has to do with social media and consistency of articles, but I have also started working with PR companies and advertisers to grow traffic.”
You mentioned becoming more focused in the content. How so?
“Coming out of my divorce and wanting to change my career, I initially presented myself as just a host. I would position myself as an entertainment, pop culture, and music host, but I began to realize that going through some difficult life experiences I had more to offer. I decided to combine my love of hosting and social issues, and my career began to follow a similar path to Girl Talk HQ. “
What is your vision for the future of Girl Talk HQ?
“I would love it to be the number one women’s media site in the world. It would be populated with meaningful articles, articles that challenge women, and spark social justice ideas. I just want these topics to be compiled in one place because they are an important part of our society.”
The articles and original content compiled on Girl Talk HQ are some of the most fascinating and thought provoking articles I see in the media today. I have Girl Talk HQ bookmarked on my computer and I highly recommend you do the same. Asha’s focus on empowering women and changing the face of media is a testament to how our struggles create new opportunities in our life journey.