Sofiya Deva didn’t waver from her commitment to launch a new business, This Same Sky, even in the face of a pandemic. She was unwilling to turn away from any of her ‘loves’ – of beauty, for supporting multi-generational artisans, ethical and sustainable fashion and her self-described geeky love of strategy and business. I believe Jim Collins would give her an A+ in building a business with a clear Core Ideology (Vision, Purpose, Values).
“We have a twofold purpose: On one hand, supporting the artisans and preserving their traditions. On the other hand, we’re trying to inspire a more intentional lifestyle for our consumers…that is more fulfilling and authentic.” - Sofiya Deva,
Founder and CEO of This Same Sky
Integrating your passions, strengths, and purpose
Not only did Sofiya Deva launch her brand, This Same Sky, in the middle of the pandemic, but she managed to masterfully integrate her loves and strengths. The company focuses on artisan-centered rotating collections of personal and home accessories, but it’s also a social enterprise that earns these multicultural artists an exceptional livelihood. Her purpose is to preserve traditional arts and crafts and remind us that we can’t forget the irrefutable value art can bring into our lives, - even in an era where minimalism is gaining traction.
One of the other passions the brand draws from? Poetry. The inspiration for the company name comes from a book of poetry of the same name. Everyone under “this same sky” lends to the sense of solidarity, that we’re all in this together. Profiling different artistic lifestyle pieces, it celebrates the distinctiveness of cultural differences while affirming a sense of unity.
When less is more, choose intentionally
[17:47] “My subtle critique to sustainability in the present moment is we have a lot of emphasis on minimalism, and less clutter, which is great, but…I think if we just negate and eliminate, without tapping into a greater sense of who we are, a greater sense of where we come from, it's incomplete for me.”
As consumers, we’re always voting with our dollars one way or the other. We understand not amassing possessions just to have them. But let’s also choose wisely, bringing things with beauty and life into our home.
The changing landscape of fashion
[25:51] “[The fashion industry] is in need of reform. But the great thing is that consumers are demanding that reform, so I think the brands that are going to deliver that reform have a competitive advantage in terms of being more desirable by consumers.”
[27:59] “Being born in the middle of a pandemic, it's forced us to be even scrappier than we would have ordinarily been, and very adaptable and very agile - and to really think through, how can we create? How can we create a diverse and flexible business model?...We leaned into collaboration and how to create win-win scenarios.”
Balance passion and self-care
[34:03] “As an entrepreneur, you have to take burnout very seriously. You have to recognize that you're not immune to burnout; you don't have infinite energy and resources. I've had some really good coaches who have helped me recognize that, actually, my energy is a really valuable resource in this project, and I need to guard it.”
As Sofiya says, it’s important to engage intentionally and assess priorities so you’re able to follow through.
This Same Sky by Naomi Shihab Nye - https://amzn.to/2MgrAe0
Guide to Reading Poetry - https://bit.ly/2Mc4G7I
Vickery Trading - https://vickerytrading.org/
Forbes article on Corporate Gifting: https://bit.ly/2Y1CkQh
Guide to Owning Your Value - https://bit.ly/3sJajLn