Who is Divya Butani from The Veggie Wifey?
As Divya says:
I’m a former IB business and economics teacher turned vegetarian chef. I started my Instagram account, The Veggie Wifey, when I got married 7 years ago. I documented our struggles as a newly wed couple that had no idea how to cook. My husband worked longer hours than me at that time so I decided to take on that initiative at home.
Every time I cooked something edible, I documented it and posted it. That’s when I started learning more about food photography, recipe development, food writing and how to code because I needed to build my website.
The Veggie Wifey Instagram page was my side passion project. Zero income was generated at that time because it was just for fun. I slowly built a community of like minded people, those who were veg but in meat-eating households. Those who wanted to learn more about easy, veg cooking.
After I had my second baby, it hit me that working these many hours would mean I wouldn’t see my children. Teaching hours are such where I leave at 5:30am and come home by 6:30pm. I’d literally never see them wake up or go to bed during the week. I did not want that. I had to leave my career and really think about how I wanted to build this into a business. An income that would work for me, my new priorities and my family.
While I was breastfeeding late at night, I watched YouTube videos on how to build a website. I joined a few online classes to learn about food photography. I invested in some equipment. It was a work in progress, but I was consistent.
I finally launched my website dedicated to recipes, nutrition and easy meal ideas in 2020, 4 years after I started my IG page. I started making videos and learning about food videography, and marketing. I researched on new recipes, experimented with different foods and really worked on my skills, in between handling postpartum depression, two kids under two, covid, moving homes, etc.
I realised this passion project truly made me happy. If I could monetise from what truly made me happy, It would be the best career switch for me.
By the end of 2022, I signed my first client. That was a very long process, but I finally got them to work with me. Shortly after that, I signed a few more clients that approached me.
I now have a steady stream of income and multiple ways of earning while doing what I absolutely love. My heart and soul goes into the food I make and the recipes I create, more so than anything else because it really is a struggle to dedicate time to my work. My son and daughter require a lot of attention because they are so young, and it is always a balancing act each day.
I only have 4 proper hours alone, in a week to dedicate to my growing business. I always need to strategise and plan in advance what I am going to do in those 4 hours. From recording recipes, to editing the videos, to food photography, to writing articles, writing the captions, making sure all the links work, all the spelling is correct, the grammar works, the SEO is at a decent level, to speaking to my clients, understanding their feedback, and how I can be better, and finding new clients.
It is absolutely overwhelming. However, I know I should not compare myself to others because my situation is different. I have my own stuff going on and comparing other success stories can really get in my head and stop me from achieving my potential.
The best advice I can give to anyone in the same boat is to keep your head down and just keep working on your art. My husband has taught me that. You being the best you can be in your field is something no one can take from you. No matter how fast they reach success. This journey is about long term success not a short term sprint of success. Patience and consistency is gold.
I know my potential and I know where I am going. It may take years, but I am willing to wait to get to where I need to be. My first priority are my children. This is why I made this career switch.
Reminding myself that I am doing this for me and them helps me cope when it gets overwhelming.
Lastly, I want to thank communities like Mother Founder that make me feel less alone on this very challenging journey. It’s always important to learn from others and see how you can be better.
Find & Know More about Divya and her brand
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