In an interview with Datta Shelat, we learn the secret to her successful career change and her subsequent rise to fame.
Datta Shelat is a lifestyle blogger, stylist, influencer, and fashion enthusiast, who belongs to the city of Ahmedabad. She lived in the US for about 9 years, where she completed her degree in Computer Engineering and even worked as a Vice President in the healthcare industry in Manhattan. Upon coming back to India, she joined Monsoon, the multi-designer store, as a partner. It was after a break of 2 years from her career that Shelat decided to start working as a fashion influencer and blogger. When Covid-19 brought the whole world online in a bid to stay connected, Shelat's page boomed and garnered her a loyal following that fell in love with her poise.
Shelat was a Gujarati medium student who changed schools 12 times due to her father being an IAS officer. She believes that this was one of the most valuable gifts that she received from her father. As she walked into a new school and classroom each year with a renewed sense of confidence, she learned how to become the independent and self-assured woman that she is today. Shelat's passion for fashion was something that became apparent pretty early in her childhood and she had even considered enrolling herself in NIFT once. Although back then, engineering seemed like the most obvious route that she should take as an academically bright student.
Once she was back in India with her husband, Shelat suddenly found herself as a wife in a very traditional joint family of 7. Then came the exhaustive list of responsibilities, from handling the household and taking care of her daughter to maintaining her grace as a 38-year-old influencer. "There were times when handling all of it together seemed tough and I found myself in a slump. She was advised to decide if her focus was money or fame as this would create a niche and give her content a direction. I promised myself then that I would do it for the name and my passion, but not for money. I wanted to become the person who could make anything look graceful and learn how to style a city that was heavily populated by joint families in a close-knit society. I wanted to start small and fit in Ahmedabad, not dream of the New York fashion week right away. I believe that this was what helped me create and establish my niche," Shelat explained.
"Instagram is filled with people much younger than me and starting as an influencer at the age of 38 did seem a bit daunting, but I realized early on that I cannot go on comparing myself to people who are not my age, thereby making me focus more on appreciating the little things about myself that made me different. This soon became my brand and I earned a following of people closer to my demographic who wanted to know about the fashion trends that I represented. Jealousy and ridicule are also some of the things that I have had to deal with and in these moments I remind myself of the good things that came out of my choices and that when I'm facing an audience of more than 40,000 people, not everybody is going to agree with me," Shelat said. She believes that she is blessed with a supportive family that applauds her success and is happy in all her triumphs.
Shelat says that it is her adaptability that keeps her going strong. Changing with the changing times and evaluating her career options from time to time helped her stay on top of her struggles. Through her Instagram, Shelat wants to bring back the genuineness that's been missing these days. People are too busy pretending and lying to themselves and others by being someone they are not. Shelat wants to change this by showing her life without the rosy filter. By embracing who she truly is online, she wants others to do the same and fall in love with their flaws.
This was her advice for the readers:
"Find your passion and keep on looking for new and unique ways to make it a career. Re-evaluate your life at certain intervals and reinvent to become an upgraded version of yourself. Remember to keep growing and reaching for the new."