Inspired by Craft with Sofiya Deva & The Postcard Edit
Join us for a peek inside the empowering and inspiring world of Sofiya Deva, founder & CEO of The Postcard Edit. As “the first e-commerce marketplace featuring exclusively designers of color, women and voices from ethnic dispora”, The Postcard Edit started simply with Sofiya Deva’s love for travel and fashion.
Growing up in a combination of India, New York, and Dallas, Sofiya has always felt like a global citizen. She worked as a yoga teacher, magazine editor, creative director and marketing exec before following her dream of “creating a smaller, stranger world.”
While traveling through Asia, Sofiya met designers who were creating using time trusted traditions with fresh eyes. Captivated with the originality she found, Sofiya began collecting pieces as memories of places she’d loved. And thus the The Postcard Edit was born as a discovery platform for underrepresented designers.
Read on and be inspired by Sofiya Deva and The Postcard Edit in this edition of the Lh Empowered Women Empower series.
Be Empowered by Sofiya Deva, Founder of The Postcard Edit
Love Happens: As our name and the tagline of our publisher, KOKET, denotes, at Love Happens, we are firm believers that you cannot achieve any level of success without love. When did your love affair with artisan crafts begin? How did it make you feel?
Sofiya Deva: I adore this question. It reminds me of the Chagal quote, “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” Love feeds and breeds creativity.
My love affair with artisan crafts began when I was a burnt-out marketing exec, seeking a deeper connection with beauty and heritage. Artisan crafts became a doorway back to my roots in India, back to a more mindful mode of being, and the start of my journey into social entrepreneurship.
At first, it was just a sense of wonder and awe. The generational knowledge, the fine nuances, the connection between maker and materials. It all spoke to me and resonated at a very deep level.
Later, I came to understand and appreciate what a powerful lever the craft sector is for an inclusive economy—it’s the second biggest employer after agriculture for women and rural populations—and a treasure trove of sustainable know-how when it comes to production. But the initial draw was just to the magic of making something by hand and the connection that act forged across time and place.
Lh: Who or what empowers you?
Sofiya: I feel empowered when I feel seen. What do I mean by that? So often, I’m afraid of being judged, I end up hiding. But when someone can really hold space for all of me and be curious about what’s unfolding, I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude and freedom. To be seen is also to be received, to be accepted, and to be celebrated for one’s differences and idiosyncrasies. I try to remember how powerful that is and offer the same gift to others.
Lh: What is an important lesson you’ve learned in creating The Postcard Edit?
Sofiya: It’s been a good teacher to me in terms of timing and patience. Everything has come together rather organically, and I’m invested in the project but also comfortable with the knowledge that when the time is right, it will grow. My job is simply to nurture it.
Lh: How has your upbringing impacted the work you do?
Sofiya: Being born in India, then moving to the States when I was five years old, and traveling extensively as a teenager and adult has really given me a sense that the world is far more connected than we realize. I feel as at home in Jaipur as I do in Dallas, and while that can be disorienting at times, it also feels like such a boon. I experience myself as a global citizen and want to take a stand for the richness of fusion and cross-pollination between cultures in a way that’s equitable, respectful, and inspired.
Lh: What does the term “artisan” mean to you, and how do you put it into practice?
Sofiya: When I hear artisan, I really think of a multi-generational handicraft worker. It’s not just about mastering a technique; it’s about being the guardian of an oral tradition and way of life. I put it into practice in my company through an active ethos of stewardship. How can we honor what’s come before us, translate it in ways that are relevant to us, and maintain a sense of continuity and communal fabric?
Lh: How do you empower other women?
Sofiya: I empower other women by refusing to compete with them to fit into a broken system. By fostering a sense of solidarity and creating new networks of power, mutual support, and fresh thinking, we can transcend zero-sum games and generate more abundance for all.
Lh: What would you like to see change in the world of e-commerce?
Sofiya: I’m very curious about how we can build robust communities based on shared values and experiences in e-commerce. Right now, there’s a lot of emphasis on convenience and optimization. Advertisers are trying to snare attention, and consumers vacillate between feeling tempted to make impulse purchases and being inundated by too much noise. But real longevity requires trust, dependability, and a certain care of curation. I’d love consumers and brands to share a commitment to that because it takes all of us to create a cultural shift.
Lh: Do you have any mottos or favorite quotes you like to live by?
Love tells me I am everything. Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Between the two, my life flows.
Lh: What’s next for Sofiya Deva?
A premium accessory brand for babies is on the horizon :). And, I’m also hoping to expand The Postcard Edit to include more designers and more cities! You can sign up for the waitlist on www.thepostcardedit.com to follow along and join the global sisterhood of style. XO
All Images Courtesy of The Postcard Edit