Today we’d like to introduce you to Devika Mae.
Devika, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story started many years ago in Ft. Collins Co. My grandparents owned a men’s clothing store and after school, I would spend time with my grandmother who was the seamstress. This is where my love for sewing and design was born. She and my mother taught me to sew and nurtured that skill over the years. When I was 10, I decided I wanted to be an architect. I have always loved the idea of building and designing. However as the years went by, I was discouraged by teachers who told me I wasn’t good enough at math and that architecture was a man’s job – maybe interior design would be a better option – and so, I drifted away from that dream. 20 years ago, I followed the sun and surf to California, got married, and became an event planner – a career I fell into, but ended up having a knack for and even came to love. You can build physical objects, but you can also build experiences. In 2008, I had my son Ben, and life was good. But we all fall on hard times and before I could blink, I lost my job and my marriage and suddenly I was an unemployed single parent. That kind of experience changes your perspective on life. I looked inward and channeled my negative experience into creative energy. I went back to my passion of creating, designing and building, and thus Sundaze Originals was founded. Sundaze conjures up that happy, soulful feeling you have on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I felt that way again.
Has it been a smooth road?
The road is never smooth. We all go through hard times. My favorite quote comes from Hemingway in that “The world breaks everyone and many become strong at the broken places.” Become stronger and stay true to yourself and what your soul feels. Don’t try to live up to the picture-perfect world of Instagram. Remember that’s just a highlight reel. There’s no such thing as luck, your focus determines your reality. Never let anyone convince you that this is a man’s world. There has never been a better time for women to stand up and push the limits, pick up some power tools, and maybe remember what you wanted to be when you were 10.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Sundaze Originals story. Tell us more about the business.
I started out by creating serape blankets with a waterproof lining. I hated having a soggy, sand filled blanket at the beach. These are still my number one product. I make each one by hand with high-end materials. I also personally design and make the clothing items I sell, using locally sourced fabrics from Mexico and other upcycled garments. I launched the Baja Poncho 2.0 as an updated version of the classic. I love big chunky jewelry using natural stones and leather remnants. My designs are a mix of my western heritage and my California beach lifestyle. Everything you find in my shop is an original. Designed by me. On occasion, I wander into another medium. I just finished a full mosaic wall piece installation, became an axe-throwing coach and fully restored a 1967 vintage camper. What’s next? Whatever I decide I want to do…
What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
This is the time for women to shine. There is so much opportunity out there you just have to reach out and grab it. So much education is free. We can now learn how to do just about anything on YouTube. There are now so many worldwide women’s groups that we can join for support or mentorship. I belong to many! Women make powerful allies. Cultivate the relationships you have. It’s the quality not the quantity of “likes” you get.
- Website: www.sundazeoriginals.com (website under construction)
- Phone: 760-214-2706
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sundazeoriginals
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/SundazeOriginals
- Other: www.etsy.com/shop/SundazeOriginals
Dominique Labrecque Photo