Woman in Progress: Deepa Mistry of Mela Jewellery
Deepa Mistry is our Woman in Progress this week. We've been keeping our eye Mela Jewellery for a while and have mentioned Deepa's gorgeous pieces on the gift guide and mood board. She manages a job, a business and a blog and has kindly taken time from juggling her busy schedule to tell us about herself and answer our questions. Thank you Deepa!
I'm a jewellery maker, food blogger and marketer who finds it hard to choose between the three. I like variety and get bored by routine, so this might be why! I've been running my jewellery company for 10 years, but only in the last few years have I developed my style and made proper plans. It's a work in progress, but I'm excited for the future.
In my day job I work at a marketing agency in Cambridge, something which has really helped me in with my jewellery business and also my food blogging. Despite a day job not being a glamorous thing to have as a creative type, being familiar with copywriting, social media and branding are skills I'm grateful to have. In the evenings I mainly take pictures of my dinner. I love to cook and bake, I find it very therapeutic and satisfying. I tend to get a little grumpy if it's been a while since I've cooked anything from scratch.
What’s the one thing in your life that makes things easier?
My husband. He's awfully modest but I couldn't achieve anything without his excellent advice, constructive criticism and hugs.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
To do lists. I forget everything but reminder apps and my bullet journal mean I am not a terrible friend, relative or co-worker.
What’s one thing that you would stop if you could?
Worrying. I am a chronic overthinker and worrier. I'm getting better but it does make it hard to get things done sometimes.
What one piece of advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
Just go for it and stop faffing about.
What one piece of advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
I've always been naturally quiet, but I'd like to tell 10 years ago myself that I'll become a bit more confident speaking up and even be able to do presentations in front of important people!
What are you most proud of?
Being able to make jewellery. I am almost entirely self taught and I think it's pretty awesome that I have this skill. And people even wear my jewellery!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at work?
Everyone else is winging it too but you can only wing it for so long. Try to learn as much as you can about what you do, this is especially important in marketing. You'll find your job so much more satisfying if you know what you're talking about. Simple but true!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at home?
Nobody cares if you don't iron your bedsheets!
Did you expect to be doing what you’re doing right now?
Not really, I didn't think I'd be doing as much as I am now. Having a day job, a blog and a business! It's hard work but I find I like this variety in my life - it stops me getting bored.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing?
Jewellery wise, I was bored in the evenings and needed something to do. I bought some beads and jewellery pliers and made simple bracelets after work. After originally selling to friends and family, I opened an Etsy shop. Over the years I worked with different mediums and finally settled on a minimal style of jewellery, made in silver and gold fill. My jewellery's designed to be easy to wear, really comfortable and part of your staple wardrobe.
With my food blog, it was originally my jewellery blog with some recipes added in for variety. I soon realised people preferred the food, so I changed it to a food blog. I love food writing, almost as much as eating.
What top tip would you pass on to other women in progress reading this?
You're probably better than you give yourself credit for. Confidence is another big stumbling block for me, but I'm learning that I produce better work if I have faith in myself. When I'm struggling, talking with creative friends really helps - running your own business can often be super isolating so it's important to have a network around you.
Are you done yet? What’s next?
I am definitely still in progress. I want to continue growing my jewellery business, I'm totally overhauling my designs this year and rebranding. Wish me luck!