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Five Life Lessons With This Same Sky Designer, Sofiya Deva

 When it comes to design aesthetic, Sofiya uses bold, vibrant colors like marigold and magenta that reflect the diversity and culture of her hometown of India alongside ancient symbols of change and transformation, like crescents, spirals and triangles, in the launch collection, to inspire our customers to reconnect with their own distinct roots. Her line of hand-printed scarves and robe ares made by artisans in Jaipur, India, each come with their own affirmation or intention, to inspire a mindful lifestyle and connect the wearer to the maker on a deeper level.

Here this International design star gives us five of her key life lessons. 

1. Fill your own cup

The life of a founder can be tough. Especially early on, you single handedly set the tone, make the big decisions, hold a unifying vision, and motivate others to engage. I realized early on that I needed to protect my energy, well being and mental health as a vital business resource. If I’m feeling depleted and scattered, that matters as much as a relationship with a vendor, a marketing initiative or pressure to scale.

Many of the entrepreneurial models we have overly romanticize hustle and struggle. The two are powerful forces, but I also think they can contribute to toxic interpretations of success and leadership. There are moments of crisis where you have to dig deep and persevere, and those tend to be very formative. But, I’d love to see us also championing self care, healthy boundaries/limits, and a sense of intrinsic worth that extends beyond our achievements.

2. Invest in relationships

Almost every major milestone or win in my career has originated in a relationship. We don’t always know what opportunities will arise through our relationships, but engaging with generosity, curiosity and a sense of genuine appreciation yields a network rich with ideas, contacts, and mutually beneficial moves.

3. Think like an artisan, not a machine

Though we often define artisan, at This Same Sky, as a multi-generational handicraft worker, I’ve also come to regard artisan as a mindset, one that emphasizes process, beauty and expression.

I’ve learned that anything worth scaling must first be crafted with love, that imperfection is the most human design signature, and inspiration is as vital a natural resource as gold, oil or data. However large we grow, or small we stay, this will remain core to our brand, and our purpose.

4. Never look down on learning

You’re never too experienced, successful or knowledgable to be done learning. Embrace being a life long learner, and recognize openness to learning as one of the most reliable signs of mastery. See what kind of learning makes sense for a given season or phase. Whether its seeking out mentorship, taking inventory of past decisions, going back to school, or getting your hands dirty, a learner’s mindset prevents you from resting on your laurels or growing stagnant.

5. Seize joy wherever you can find it, and turn it into a mindfulness bell

Joy is the secret fuel of satisfaction, and cultivating it in our lives, in small and big ways can make the difference between following our authentic path and getting lost in a maze of others’ expectations. Pay attention to whatever brings you joy, whether that be a person, a practice, or a piece of clothing, and amplify it with mindfulness. In my book, joy + mindfulness = an awakened soul. And the world needs more of those.

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