We had the good fortune of connecting with Shweta Mistry and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shweta, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I grew up in a motel situated in a low-income area. It was a family business so I was essentially a maid as a child. A lot of people gave me the pity look when I tell them this story. This reaction forced me to be ashamed of my childhood, where I grew up, my culture, and more. But why? Why was I ashamed of something that I found so beautiful? The art of my immigrant parents running a motel business. The art of my mom carrying me in one arm while cleaning toilets with the other. The art of hearing police sirens after gunshots at nightfall. Were these things all positive and what a middle school girl should be used to? No, but this is all I knew and I saw the light and the beauty in it. Sooner or later, I realized that everything I was seeing was an art form to me. The good and bad, I always saw the light. Like a “damn that’s beautiful, let me take a quick picture of it,” kinda feeling. So in 8th grade, my dad bought me a Nikon d3300 and I started a photo business capturing whoever and whatever I saw as art.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
These three things are the sole reason my business is where it is today: failure, networking, and drive.

Failure taught me to grow up. I failed countless times in my business. Hell, I’m failing right now as we speak by not being able to get this one gig I want so bad. I used to view failure as such a negative concept until I realized that it’s a step towards success. Failure and pain are the roots of my success. So I had to suck it up and grow up. I learned to see the light of failure through the countless number of clients that rejected me because I’m “too young” or “do not have enough experience” to fulfill their wishes.

Networking helped me and my business by helping me understand why I wasn’t booking enough clients. You can have all the talent in the world, but it could go to waste if you do not know the right people. I talk so much, probably too much. I wanna know everyone. No matter what race, income level, or political party an individual holds to their identity, I wanna know them. For me and my business, this has helped me gain loyal clients. All of my clients are my friends too this way. It’s all love in this family. You are not merely a person who pays me for my service after working with me and I will forever take pride in that. Without networking, I would not have the family of clients that I have today.

Drive, it goes kinda like this in my head. If you want anything bad enough, you will get it. Be a shark. Keep going. Nobody is here to build this empire for you. Your story is far from over. I am far from over. This is just the beginning.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m Asian so everyone knows I love me a big ‘ole bowl of ramen. My best friend and I would visit any local ramen shop, but my favorite one is hands down Ton Ton in Ponce City Market. Afterward, we would probably go shopping and thrifting. We both have very different styles. She is more skater-girl, edgy and I am more neutral, chic. Regardless, we both hate wearing clothes that everyone else has. This is why thrifting makes a great date for us. If this is a dream day with my best friend, I would definitely take her to the beach and spend the rest of the day there. We love the water, the sounds of the oceans, and the feeling of the sun hitting our skin. The sun and the earth are so healing. We love disconnecting from reality and just enjoying the beautiful planet we’ve been blessed to live on. After the sunset, we’d wanna grab some dinner, like some juicy steaks. Then, she would probably make me take her somewhere to buy her chocolate. Her sweet tooth is violent if not pleased by midnight.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mum and dad, Sejal and Sagar, Shriya, Maddy, and Jennifer,

I do what I do because of you. Y’all keep me humble, tough, and always running. Even when I should lay back, y’all cheer for me when I wanna keep going. I can’t thank you enough for being the reason I am who I am today. I love you guys.

Website: shwetamistry.org

Instagram: @shotsonshweta and @shwetadmistry

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sssdmistry/

Other: Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/user133066859

Image Credits
01. Model – Jada D. (@maliyah.j) 03. Model – Tre Harris (@html.tre) 04. Model – Mckenzie Maddux (@mckenzie.maddux) 05. Model – Mckenzie Maddux (@mckenzie.maddux) 06. Featured – Wix Patton (@wixpatton)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.