We had the good fortune of connecting with Vonecia Carswell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vonecia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The idea of starting my own business came gradually. I was always doing the photography work that inspired my business, so it only made sense to turn what I was passionate about into a career. At the time, I didn’t believe my skillsets perfectly fit in at the companies I encountered during my career journey, so I decided to take a chance on myself. Additionally, the more I worked for others, I became more in tune with my strengths, the things that others came to me for help with, and my dislikes, which helped better inform my decision. Many people spend so much of their lives working and don’t get to enjoy it. This was my way of being able to provide for myself while enjoying the ride.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My work is rooted in spreading joy, and I love that it makes people feel good. After all, I am passionate about helping others live more fulfilling lives. My curiosity and love of learning about people helped get me to where I am today. It led me to places I would have never imagined myself in, and once your work gets around, people start talking and sharing. While it was easy for me to build a network for myself, it wasn’t easy to pinpoint my value and make sure I was working smarter and not harder. But being a part of a creative community helped me learn, hold myself to a higher standard, and stay accountable.
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.
We would hop from restaurant to shop along Tompkins, Nostrand, and Franklin Aves in Bedstuy/Crown Heights, Brooklyn. We’d rent some bikes and ride across the Brooklyn bridge for a little workout and nice views. We’d visit Hudson Yards Mall and get a more dynamic view of the city at The Edge. We’d visit Club Groove NYC for some live music and go skating in the park with Outdoor Skates or Rollerwave NYC for more grooves. I’d also bring them along for a photo walk with some of my creative friends.
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?
I owe a lot of my success and my drive to my parents who are always extremely supportive of my ideas and help me recognize my strengths when it’s hard to see them myself and, most recently, the Black Women Photographers organization has given me so much ammunition through community support, visibility, and more to further fuel my entrepreneurship journey.
For the image of me with the camera, the photographer is: Luisanna Tejada