We had the good fortune of connecting with Deepali Bhandari and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deepali, what’s your definition for success?
Such a sought after instinct to uphold, ‘Success’ societally has many connotations. Some describe it as having reached a pinnacle moment, others refer to as a journey that they got to traverse, as opposed to attaining the absolute milestone. For me it has always been a challenge to put a definition around the ‘topic’. As a child, I do remember being very competitive whether it was to be at top of my class, or trying to win at a ‘carrom’ game with family members. This continued even until college. Maybe, it was this constant desire to prove, and climb on the ego-ladder. That single-mindedness went out of the door, when my son was born, who turned 18 years this year. All of a sudden, the focus shifted to nurturing this young human being, making sure I was always around both physically, and emotionally. On the professional front too, trying to stay on top of the ever-changing nature of the software technology field, was at times impossible. Many years did roll by juggling professional and family responsibilities. And in all due diligence, justice and fortune, today when I look back there is not a moment I think or wish that things should have been different. The term ‘Success’ therefore, I have come to explain to myself in the following few ways as I discover new meanings now and then. 1)It is the phenomenon, that should be savored, celebrated, as it can pave the way for new beginnings. – Success at the home front, propelled me to take hard challenges at work. – Success at work, gave me a jump start to apply myself more towards self-discovery – In 2016, I formed ideasAny – a hybrid place of ideas, original creations and everything hand-made. 2)It is that necessity, that break, that each one of us deserves privileged or not so privileged, hard-working or not, smart or even otherwise, – At the Solana Beach Farmers market there are days, when nobody stops by at ideasAny booth. – At the ideasAny website, to attract customers and convert has not been easy. – Yet, had it not been for the website where ideasAny made its first sale, had it not been for the returning customers at the market, ideasAny would not be for what it has morphed and grown to be as of today. 3)It is a summation of many paths we are willing to take. • In the process of doing so, we face new problems. • In the process of solving those problems, we make discoveries. • From exploring sales of Ayurvedic herbs, or rethinking a scalable sales strategy of our existing products to narrow down our target market segment, it is something that we discovered organically in the process. What some might consider a flop, could be blockbuster in the eyes of others. A true definition of the word ‘Success’ needless to say – is yours to keep!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
By professional training and education I work in the field of Software Engineering. Software in many ways is the lifeline of our economy, more so in our contemporary lock-down economy. I am passionate about learning new things, and figuring how they work. At work, I am in the Research and development team, doing feasibility studies through rapid prototyping to introduce new technologies to remove technological debt, to pave the way for innovation and disruption. It has been a long journey to have reached this point in my career, a field strictly dominated by men. I am extremely proud to be a woman engineer who has continued to stick with the STEM field. I have had my share of battles ranging from adjusting to a new way of lifestyle when I moved to America from India, a culture where everything can be done DIY. Initially that was empowering, but soon, it occurred to me that I was running out of energy reserves. I started picking battles, problems at work became more exploratory, as I realized that nourished me the most. When health suffered, I had to cut back on my tendency to over-commit. I slowly trained my self to feel less guilty when saying no to an ask. Above all, planning, clear focus and a realization of what I could realistically expect of my team, immediate family in terms of support taught me to manage stress and strike a healthy positive outlook. Having said all of the above, I fundamentally believe in working with hands. Whether it is to rummage to get to the mint in my garden, or being there at the market with my neighbor vendors every Sunday or dirtying my hands in the latest software technology, all of this helps me stay honest, useful, and humbled.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Places New Children’s Museum – Is a place where you can awaken the child in you. Established on the principles of think play and create, grown-ups can marvel at the indoor-outdoor architecture and fascinating workshops and exhibits of this one of a kind place in San Diego. Offtrack Gallery – The biggest little gallery in San Diego, set in Encinitas is a delightful place that houses paintings, sculptures, jewelry from local San Diego artists. Spanish Art Village – Located in Spanish styled Balboa Park this colorful village is a home for local metalsmiths, jewelry designers, clay artists, gourd artists, photographers and glass artists. Immerse yourselves in live art through daily demonstrations by the artists themselves. Self Fellowship Meditation Garden – Enjoy this serene gem on a seaside cliff. Beautifully kept gardens, a small stroll will leave you feeling rejuvenated as you admire the koi ponds and foliage that surround them. Eateries Darshan Cafe – French bakery located in Encinitas offers some of the best baguettes and pastries in town. Their cardamom coffee is not be missed! Campfire Carlsbad – Camping with friends and family always fun. This restaurant specializes in camp-style cooking offering dishes like charred broccoli florets, wheat-germ bread and decadent smores Julian Tea Cottage – Set in the heart of Julian apple country town on the outskirts of San Diego, and one of the first places where the gold miners arrived in California. Julian Tea Cottage, tucked away in one of the back streets, offers British style scones, finger sandwiches with imported tea.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It would be naive to say that we come this far in life, by our efforts alone. Family, Individuals, and Books, have provided that impetus to make my dreams come true. While I can enumerate many more beyond the scope provisioned here, I enlist a few significant ones. Family My Mother, Father, Sister and Brother – They have helped me curate my website. They have always supported my ideas big or small, without question. My Husband – His support is unwavering. He is at the market every Sunday help me put up the tent. My Son – I derive a lot from his positive plain youthful thinking. Books This I Believe – The personal philosophies of remarkable men and women, left a lasting impression on me. Passion Economy -The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century – reinforces my belief in the venture that I started called ideasAny. Individual Beverly Hartgrave – A San Deigo local clay artist, that transforms clay printing into spiritual custom totems. Thanks to Beverly for buying wooden blocks from our website from the very first time, and later agreeing to engage with us to develop an e-commerce website spirit-totems.com with ideasAny team.