While we sat there waiting with her ‘nana’ in her hall room we couldn’t help but wonder who we’d be meeting. Introductions always make or break how you think of someone. However, all our speculations were put to rest when the 23-year-old walked out of her bedroom to greet us.
There is no warmer greeting than a hug. She walked out looking her gorgeous self and embraced us warmly. While social media may give us a glimpse of who people are and how they look, it becomes tricky to judge their personality. But, Iona’s Instagram pictures and blog posts reveal her bubbly personality to the ‘T’.
Clad in an off-shoulder white crochet top and black skirt, Iona looked her chic self. For those who don’t know this chirpy belle, Iona D’souza professionally today works as a digital marketer and is a baker in her free time. She also manages a blog on food, fashion and travel. While she may be an ace baker, Iona is quite the fashionista too. Iona has a background in science and banking. With the success that she has made in the fashion field, you will never be able to tell that she has no formal education in the area. ‘’It’s always been a passion, it’s not something I have studied’’, she says but we bet you could never tell and we couldn’t either!
The chirpy rambler she is, Iona let us in on various aspects of her life. She told us about how she stumbled upon baking as a hobby and profession after she baked cupcakes for her boyfriend’s birthday. She also told us how a trip to Bali and the pictures that came with it, inspired her blog and also about how her mother, being from the media industry was wary of her studying fashion. But that hasn’t hindered her in any way to go after what she is passionate about.
Like many of us, Iona too resorts to her mom’s closet on her ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ days. She tells us more, take a look-see:
WM: Tell us a little something about your blog. How it started and why did it come about?
ID: So, it is something that started out in November 2016 and it’s called ‘Little Miss Muffin’. It was inspired after I returned from my first ever self-sponsored trip to Bali with friends. Planning it was something I enjoyed and of course fashion was a big part of it. From visiting the place to the pictures we clicked and those that I uploaded, I received a huge response from various people asking me about my outfits worn, the places I visited, the ‘photographer’ and the compositions of my pictures so, I decided to put an end to all the questioning and write about it on a platform everyone could view. I always wanted to start a blog however, I was always contemplating its direction but this experience gave me a reason to start a blog so I could redirect people to it when they asked me about my trip. The blog has nothing to do with baking because I don’t think I will ever go down the recipe route, it is about food, fashion and travel.
WM: Tell us how you plan your blog posts, primarily the ones on fashion.
ID: It’s not about what I write, it’s about how I feel in the morning. There are days I wake up and feel terrible and I don’t want to dress up but then my instant feeling is that if you don’t look good you’re not going to feel good and that is how I approach everything including my blog. I write how I feel.
WM: Let’s talk fashion. Is there a reason behind fashion becoming a passion or was it just something that always interested you?
ID: I remember being inclined toward fashion since the third grade. My mom has always been an inspiration; she has always been this trendsetter for me. If I have to follow trends I will always follow her. She is very experimental in her personal style of dressing. A lot of times she picks out my outfits when we go shopping. I remember the first time I wore block heels because she picked up this white pair and told me they’d look great on me, I was weary but as all mothers are, she was right. She is a hoarder and has things that go back to the 1980s like ruffles, midi skirts and more, I would raid her cupboard, I still do. I would say safely that my mum is my inspiration when it comes to fashion, most definitely.
WM: Tell us a little about the baking that you do.
ID: It was my boyfriend’s birthday and I wanted to give him something personalised and that is how I started baking. It’s never just plain cakes, I always customise cakes and cupcakes. I love people calling me up after reading my Instagram handle which has the same name as my blog and asking if they could speak to ‘Little Miss Muffin’ to place an order.
WM: So, let’s connect the dots, fashion, social media marketing and baking! Does fashion become a common ground in all these three aspects of your life?
ID: Fashion and personalised fashion are the things that connect the dots for me. ‘Personalisation’ is important to me. When it comes to my job, it involves lots of personalised strategy for brands, ideation and creativity. I am also very creative with my baking. I’d say, the best way of putting it is that is a form of expression.When it comes to fashion at work, you are taken more seriously because face value is the first thing that speaks and it holds true for me too. I like dressing up for work. I have realised that I am taken more seriously, in fact I would usually wear a pencil skirt with a tucked in shirt and maybe throw in a blazer. I hate plain Jane things. I barely have plain things in my wardrobe; I have lots of prints and colours.
WM: Tell us the similarity between how you decorate when you’re baking and fashion. How does your baking reflect your personality and style.
ID: I am instantly inclined to things that are cute. For example, I will always have a flower in my baking, no matter what! Even if it is for a boy, I will find a place I can put a flower. The same thing that holds true with my dressing, look at me now, my choker has a flower on it and my ring does too. It’s my personality; I love cute and pretty things.
WM: Let’s talk about something you and we both love! Shopping! Tell us where we are most likely to see you shop.
ID: Okay, for the past three years I have made it a habit to think of what I need to shop before I take off. If I have to shop bottoms, watches or shoes, things that are re-usable, like price per wear. If I think it is worth investing in I’ll be seen shopping at high-end brands like Zara and H&M; but then it comes to blouses and basics, I think you need to have quantity over quality. So, things that I can keep wearing and get rid of, then I would probably be seen street shopping like West Parla and Colaba. Colaba is my go-to when it comes to accessories because I think jewellery is something you should bargain the most for, especially these oxidised pieces. I will mostly be seen shopping alone cause I love doing that and I take my time at it.
WM: Tell us how you decide on an outfit to go out.
ID: I skip all the basics. I want something that is bright, colourful and has texture to it. I love layering. I think layering is key.
WM: Define your style in three words.
ID: Retro, chic and girly.
WM: Our readers would love to know of your all-time favourite trend and why?
ID: Retro. Retro never dies. Whether it is retro music or retro fashion, they’re timeless. There is always someone trying to reinvent what has happened in the past. From chokers to ruffles, all is back and it is my all-time favourite for sure. In every outfit I wear, there is always some touch of retro.
WM: Do you believe in ‘trends’ ?
ID: It depends on what the trend is. For example, the ‘patch’ trend, I liked it but I didn’t want to be wearing what everyone was so I’d order the patches online and iron them on, myself. I do a lot of these things, I constantly reinvent! My mom and nana’s expertise in sewing and stitching helps, I’m lucky that way. So, yes I do like trends but I don’t want to only duplicate them.
WM: You have a full-time job, you bake and you blog. How do you do it all ?
ID: There are days I feel fatigued. I am constantly mentally active, so it does get tiring. However, I take my breaks. I sit in my pyjamas for a good forty-eight hours and give myself a break. You need to take that break to be inspired. If you are constantly on it, you are bound to get lost in it.
WM: Okay great! Inspire our readers and tell them how you persist on chasing your passion.
ID: In the day and age we live in, I think it is important to have a back-up plan and I would say the career I have is my back up plan but fashion is my passion, come what may! This inspiration comes from Priyanka Chopra, she always has a backup, be it singing, movies, television, etc. I am very fond of her in general. I want to do a lot of things. In the near future, I want to have a full-time career under my control and I am going to do what it takes right now for that dream to become a reality. You should be wise, don’t always let loose and I am someone who takes collective risks.