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Meet Trailblazer Shayda Torabi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shayda Torabi.

Shayda, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born and raised in Austin, and the daughter of an Immigrant is where my story begins. I grew up in a pretty diverse household, my mother is a Texan born through and through, and my father immigrated to America from Iran. And while I grew up in the states, my father’s foreign heritage was infused into everything I did from the lust for travel I developed, to the acquiring of tastes for all types of cuisines. Now, professionally, I work in technology full time, as head of marketing for a digital agency, WebDevStudios. But, it was at a previous job 4 years ago, when my passion project With Shayda was created. I was traveling around a lot representing this company at corporate events helping to market our startup at the time, and hosting a lot of dinners in a lot of different cities. Always wanting to impress, I would find the hippest, coolest, most buzzed about restaurants for our parties. And I quickly became known by my colleagues, clients, and peers as someone they wanted to “Dine with” hence the name “Dine With Shayda” which now is just shortened to “With Shayda”. But it was really within that opportunity that I started to merge my love for travel, food, and community into a platform and ultimately a brand that has afforded me some really great opportunities that I couldn’t even imagine were made possible because of social media.

I’ve been running my business for about 4 years now, and about 4 months ago, I made the decision to drop the “dine” so I could broaden my content creation. As life progressed, my passions evolved and I now try to focus on being a mindful foodie, I’ve been invested in learning as much as I can about my body through fitness and nutrition, and now, try to share insights for a healthy fit, wellness led a life on the go with my readers. These days you can find me trying new fitness routines, discovering new healthy snacks that travel well, and figuring out how to pack for trips (including workout clothes) in a carry-on!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Obstacles are inevitable and I believe that it’s how you approach those hardships and challenges that sets you a part from others. It’s just as much about how you get started as it is how you get back up when you fall. I think the biggest challenge is just not giving up and just doing it. One of the ways I find success in overcoming obstacles is to identify mantras for myself. One of mine that I say often to myself is “what’s the worst that could happen”. When you start to breakdown the barrier, it doesn’t seem so scary in little pieces. Reminding myself that I did my best today and tomorrow I get a chance to try again makes me feel more in control than ever, especially in a world where a comparison is the thief of joy. Obviously, social media is a tool, but you can’t get sidetracked by it. It is so easy to see how other people are doing in comparison to you and then to feel bad about yourself. The best thing you can do is to operate with integrity and focus on telling your unique story. Because it’s when we tap into our true potential that we’re able to impact others. Something that doesn’t come up nearly enough in society is the challenges. And so it’s something I have been trying to focus my content on lately. Highlighting the good but also the bad. For me, a year before starting my blog, I was in a car accident and I broke my pelvis in two places. As a result, I put on a lot of weight, became depressed, and was honestly just so defeated I couldn’t see any silver lining. On top of that, a year later my boyfriend of 6 years broke up with me. I had two big life whammy’s happen and it would have been easy to give up on my passion or push it to the side during that time. But those things happening to me are what pushed me to re-define my life right then and there. And realizing that your life, your best life is there for the taking. That’s a liberating feeling! Since then, I’ve not only rediscovered my physical and mental strength, but I’ve lost 30lbs and my brand has evolved to allow me to share that fitness journey in a more meaningful way because I started talking about the challenges and failures as opportunities to grow myself as a person. So I encourage you to look at those setbacks as ways to push yourself forward!

We’d love to hear more about With Shayda.
I really resonate with creating an authentic voice and letting that speak for itself. I see my blog, my business, my personal brand as just that. It’s me selling myself, which I think in reality applies to any business. At the end of the day, people do business with people so whatever your selling or your goal is to remember it’s YOU they’re doing business with. So, I try to run my brand as professionally as possible, and I think I’ve become known for that. When brands work with me, they know that it’s something I believe in and want to be doing vs taking on sponsorship opportunities for the sake of making a quick buck or selling myself out. My main focus is on creating content and so whether that’s video or still images for social media, or it’s a full on campaign, I have the most fun when I get to be creative. But I think for me the sweet spot is the story telling aspect. Yes- photos speak a thousand words, but it’s the narrative that is the undertone for everything I do. I want people to see the possibility in themselves when they engage with my content. I want them to feel just as empowered, capable and strong as I feel. So, I think being able to do that effectively is how I’ve gotten this far. Recently I was the Emcee of the Austin Ice Cream Festival and I had so much fun being on stage, riling the crowd up and just connecting with the community. I get happy when I see others living their best lives, which motivates me to continue to pursue mine!

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I believe in the law of abundance, which simply states that there really is enough to go around. So none of this jealousy, or hindering others from finding success. It just breaks my heart how sometimes women (myself included) can be the worst to each other, and what’s even worse than that is, we feel like we have to overcompensate and sometimes we pretend to be different than we are so we can… what? Impress others? or Save face? I know it’s easier said than done, and I won’t even pretend to be perfect 100% of the time. But I start by acknowledging the problem. It’s only then that we can face it and find a resolution. We are all going through something, and if we can start to remind ourselves that we are all human beings at the end of the day, we’ll maybe be able to see more love than hate and more praise than tear downs. I just hope every woman reading this realizes that it is her opportunity to shine the light on other people and by doing so, the light will shine on you. There are many names for it, a theory of reciprocity, law of abundance, karma. Whatever it is to you, I just hope that you’ll be more acknowledging of it when it comes up and remind yourself there is plenty to go around so instead of spewing hate, try shouting love!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Shelly Borga

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