By: Simone Gobin
When I was 17, I was busy studying about how to program and depending on my parents to pay for my studies. Now, when I’m 25, I’ve met 17 year old Kayla, who runs a thriving business! Kayla Otto lives on the beautiful South Coast and tells me that the sea is practically on her doorstep! She enjoys playing arcade games and the artsy type of stuff, like graphic design. Kayla runs a photography business called Misty Kisses Photography in which she is both the owner and photographer.
“I established my photography business about two years ago with my mother’s point and shoot camera after doing a ‘photo shoot’ for my best friend at the time. After countless equipment upgrades and hours spent learning the tricks of the trade my business has since grown bigger than I would have imagined”
Being 17, Kayla has faced challenges like every entrepreneur does but one challenge that she is constantly faced with is that many other photographers in the industry look down on her because of her age. Apart from being looked down upon, getting finance to grow her business has also been a tough one. Whilst many entrepreneurs head off to the banks to take out business loans, Kayla’s age does not permit her to do the same. Kayla has not given up though, facing her criticisers and challenges head on.
“I had to face quite a bit of negative criticism in the beginning of my career, as does any up-coming entrepreneur. Although this would throw me off a bit, I went looking for it. You cannot better yourself if you cannot hear what you are doing wrong.”
Kayla feels proud of what she has achieved and giving all the gratitude to her mom.
“I feel I have grown more responsible as an individual, single-handedly managing a business is not a task most 17 year olds have to take on. I also feel accomplished to have grown the skills I have.”
“My inspiration has to be my mom, she has always taught me to be strong and that you are capable of doing whatever your heart desires, she has supported me unconditionally and has allowed me the freedom to explore my own path.”
Kayla believes that to be an entrepreneur you definitely need to have a brave heart to handle any form of constructive criticism, strong will power and definitely a willingness to learn. Although Kayla was nervous when she had just started out, she also felt extremely happy to be doing something that she loved. Kayla hopes to progress her business to a stage at which she is earning a consistent salary. She also has high hopes of travelling the world and meeting different people.
Here are some words of inspiration from our 17 year old, entrepreneur:
“Stay motivated, don’t lose track of your goals. One thing I have to emphasize on is that progress comes with time, you may not be the best of the best when you first start but if you keep trying you will continuously progress”
You can find Kayla here: