THE THIRTY-EIGHTH INSTALLATION OF THE BELLEBOSS SERIES
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I hoped that with this series, I would find a way to appreciate the incredible South Asian women of our generation, who are breaking boundaries and paving new paths for themselves.Moreover, I would like you to take a little bit of your time to realize how incredible the women around you are.
Especially if you are a woman! I know that at least one woman’s story in my #BelleBoss series will inspire you to follow your dreams, your vision and most importantly your heart. Even if that means breaking a few rules and many societal prejudices along the way.
Could you give me a little intro to yourself?
Hey! My name is Deya Kannesha. I was born in SriLanka and spent most of my childhood living in both Sri Lanka and the Maldives. When I was in grade 3, we immigrated to Canada where I currently reside. I am 27 years old and during the weekdays,
I work in learning and development at one of Canada’s big five banks. During then weeknights and weekends, I spent most of my time creating content for my social media platforms (@DeyaKannesha). I love creating content and my hope is to inspire women to live their best life and realize that their potential is limitless.
I just got married a few months ago and my husband and I moved into our first home together which has been really exciting!
Who inspires you as a person?
Women inspire me! I love meeting women who are chasing their dreams, trying to be their best self, encouraging and uplifting other women, achieving their goals, speaking up for what they believe in, and the list goes on.
They inspire me to be the best version of myself! The strongest woman that I know is my mum.
She taught me to be strong and fearless, even if i am scared and even if all odds are against me. She also taught me to be kind, even to those that are not kind to me.
How did you get into makeup and what would be your favourite holy grail products?
I wouldn’t say that I have a huge interest in makeup but I do enjoy trying new looks once in a while! I get complimented often on how I apply my makeup and so I want to share my secret with you- a few years of practice!!
If you look at pictures of me from high school or even from university, you will see that I only ever wore concealer! Makeup scared me like it probably scares some of you. I felt like I could never find the right products that looked good on me. Then I started to apply it every time I went out and eventually I mastered my everyday makeup look.
Don’t be intimidated by makeup, just practise on your face whenever you get the chance and over time you’ll figure out what works on your face and what doesn’t- just like I did!
Some of my favourite products that I constantly find myself reaching for are the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and the Kat Von D StuddedKiss Lipstick in the shade Lolita.
What inspired your blog and to start creating video content (is there any video, in particular, you are proud of?
I started my social media journey by sharing photos of my everyday outfits on my Instagram page (@DeyaKannesha). Then one day I shared a photo of a South Asian outfit I wore to a wedding and received a lot of positive feedback. There weren’t a lot of content creators that focused on South Asian fashion back then.
So I started to share more and more of my South Asian outfit photos on my platform. I received an influx of messages from girls all over the world talking about how I helped them embrace their culture and how I inspired them to wear their South Asian outfits with pride.
That was all I needed to continue sharing more South Asian content. Growing up, I didn’t see women that looked like me in mainstream media
I am happy that young girls now do get to see that and if there was at least one little girl who looked at me and felt beautiful in her brown skin then I have done more than I could have ever asked for!
I went on to launch my own Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/KanneshaSuresh
) and my blog (www.bydeya.com
) where I post content related to fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. I also share articles in the “Live Happy” section of my blog which aims to inspire women to live their best life and become their best self.I am proud of many projects I have worked on including my campaigns and collaborations with Coca Cola, Toyota, and Pantene.
You recently got married, congratulations! Could you tell us a bit about your love story?
Bala and I met while we were both attending the same university. I saw him just a handful of times around the campus before we started dating and I can still remember every single one of them!
Once I was waiting for my mum to pick me up after an evening class and he walked by me then looked back, smiled, and said hey!
Fast forward a few years later, he asked me to marry him while we were travelling in Kerala, India on a houseboat! We got married this past September, moved into our first home together and we will soon be spending our first Christmas as a married couple!
What is the best piece of advice you have gotten, career-wise?
I recently had a great conversation with my senior manager about our careers. He told me that he had a rule- never stay in one job position for more than 3 years.
Even though I haven’t been in the workforce full time for too long, I love his rule. In order to learn and grow, you need to constantly challenge yourself. Whenever you feel too comfortable with where you are, bored, and/or unmotivated, it might be time to push yourself out of your comfort zone- with careful planning of course!
I don’t think life is about finding a comfy spot and staying there, i want a life where I am always aiming to reach my full potential, a life full of experiences and one filled with crazy, scary, happy, fun, and exciting moments.
You can’t reach your full potential if you are too scared to get uncomfortable.
Whatever you do, make sure you plan and prepare before you execute because getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean that you make impulsive, careless or ill-informed decisions.
Any tips to anyone wishing to collab with brands?
My biggest piece of advice is to stay true to who you are and make your audience your number one priority. This means that you should only work with brands whose products you would purchase with your own money and whose products you would recommend to your closest friends and family.
It is important to prioritize your audience above anything else such as how much a brand wants to pay you or the amount of exposure that you will receive.
Your audience trusts you and losing their trust is not worth the short term benefits of working with a brand that you don’t truly believe in.
On your IG you talk about high school is a hard experience for you. Could you tell us more about your experience and any advice for those facing difficulties at high school?
High school was an extremely tough period of time for me for many different reasons. If you are experiencing something similar, first off, I am sorry that you are having a hard time and I won’t pretend to understand your unique struggle.
I would advise you to focus on your education and get involved in extracurricular activities.
You are the only one who can create a better future for yourself and having good grades, getting involved in the community, volunteering, being on a sport team, learning a new skill etc… are all things that can open up many doors for you in the future. Even if where you are right now is not great, you can do things today to change your tomorrow.
I know it’s hard to stay positive and steer yourself in the right direction when you are going through extremely difficult circumstances but try your best and focus on creating a brighter future.
If you need to speak to someone, I would really recommend that you speak to a friend, family member, guidance counsellor, therapist, or contact a helpline.
We all need someone to talk to and if you don’t have a close friend or family member that you feel comfortable reaching out to or if you don’t have anyone that you can reach out to, then please reach out to a guidance counsellor, a therapist, or a helpline.
What are your dreams and wishes for the future both professionally and personally?
I have so many dreams, goals, and wishes! In 2019 I want to launch digital products on my shop (www.bydeya.com/shop).
My goal is to sell products that help my audience live their best lives. By the time you are reading this I will have launched my first digital product- a printable goal planner!
It contains a comprehensive guide to help you set smart goals and it also contains inspirational quotes, worksheets, mind maps, habit trackers and much more to help you attain your goals and have the best year possible!
I myself want to live my best life as well.
This means, to name just a few examples, that I want to strengthen my relationships with my close family and friends, pay more attention to what I am putting into my body, and continue to improve and grow while accepting and loving who I am and where I am in life right now.
I also am excited for the launch of Aspire to Inspire. Aspire to Inspire is a movement started by myself (@deyakannesha) and Swarnaa (@thelifeofasocialbutterfly) to inspire women from all over the world to uplift, support, and stand by one another.
This year we (Deya & Swarnaa) are hosting their second official event which will consist of a vision board workshop, a panel of motivational speakers, a social media Q&A, and a networking party to end the evening. It will be hosted on March 23, 2019 between the hours of 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. followed by the networking party in the Greater Toronto Area.
We truly believe in the power of females loving, supporting, encouraging, uplifting and ultimately empowering one another. It’s the only way forward. The aim of the event is to help each attendee create a carefully structured vision board and provide them with the information that they need to manifest their dreams into reality.