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

Hi Mukthi, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
I don’t believe that you need to sacrifice a “normal” life in order to run your own business. I still manage to have a day job, 2 small businesses, social life and sleep. I think it is harmful to tell people that you need to give up your lifestyle to be your own boss. It discourages people from taking that next step and we remain shackled to our day jobs. It is possible to start your own business and still enjoy life. It takes some time to learn how to manage your time and your priorities but it is completely possible.

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?
OHM ESSENTIALS is an all-natural skin and hair care line that I started a few years ago. I hand make these items with ethically sourced ingredients from India and all over the world. I started making my own products when I noticed that store bought items never stacked up to what I grew up using in India. The chemicals would show me instant results but in the long run was actually even more harmful to my body. I started playing around with different formulations and realized that I may have a business on my hands. At that time I had just quit my job at Apple due to burnout and needed a project to keep me entertained until I found another job – little did I knew that it would grow to become a true business. I wouldn’t say it was easy to build a business but it wasn’t difficult either. I always wanted to be my own boss and own something of my own so the work that I had to put in to get there didn’t feel like work, it was fun. I learned so much in the short amount of time being in business but the biggest take away is not to strive for perfection, or else you are never going to launch that project you have been working on. We have to be vulnerable to put out work out into the world and be ready to hear that feedback so that we can continue to grow and improve.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Austin, Texas! This city has been home for me for the past decade – this is a tough question but I will try my best. Outdoors – Any of the Greenbelt trails, Pease Park, Zilker Food – all the food truck parts, East Side Kings, La Barbeque, Tyson’s Tacos, Maiko Drinks – East 6th, P6, any rooftop pool Live Music – Emos, Stubs, Come & Take it Museums/Pop Up Art Installs

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?
My aunt Mamata Reddy deserves a huge shoutout. She has always been a role model of mine since I was a child. Growing up in India as a woman is tough, but she pushed through all the boundaries society placed on her and created a successful textile business. She lives her life to the fullest and I admire her passion and dedication to her work. If I could be half the woman she is, I know I will succeed in life.

Website: https://ohmessentials.com/
Instagram: @ohmessentials
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mukthi-dasaraju-93128455/
Twitter: @MukthiDasaraju

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