This week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to a storyteller, leader and entrepreneur, Sofiya Deva. 

Sofiya is a global citizen, spending her childhood between India, New York and Dallas, Texas where she currently lives. She came west to Portland to attend Reed College as a religion major. The program sharpened her writing and critical thinking skills and led to her first job in marketing, as a copywriter. She went on to a job at one of the first social media agencies in the

 world and has developed marketing/creative campaigns for a number of major corporations, including Chase, Tupperware and the U.S. Navy. Sofiya loved the creative side of the industry and eschewed the business side for many years, until she eventually discovered her inner entrepreneur. And that inner entrepreneur led her to start her very own business. In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s been both a maddening exercise in hope and an incredible learning experience.

So what prompted Sofiya to launch a business during Covid? She’s always been passionate about artisan goods. She’s inspired by the incredible talent and wisdom inherent in traditional artisan techniques and craft clusters. And with her robust marketing experience, she wanted to create more sustainable networks and ways in which to market those goods. Her company, This Same Sky, sells personal and home accessories. Limited editions of beautiful things – no mass production here! (Looking for meaningful, wholly original holiday gifts? Check out This Same Sky.

Sofiya is an innovator – you’ll likely never hear her say, “Because it’s always been done that way. She feels that one of the most valuable things she can bring to a new project is a fresh perspective. She likes to question long-held beliefs and bring a “beginner’s mind” to the process. (Does the phrase, “Think outside the box” come to mind?!) Sofiya strives to make her business a force for good and the pandemic has pushed her to build trust in unconventional ways. It has also made her realize how vitally important a strong network and support system are. That, and self-acceptance – for Sofiya, it’s not about being Instagram-perfect or having all the answers. She believes self-acceptance goes a long way toward finding balance, and ultimately, helping you play the long game.

Pleschette FontenetEsther Nelson