Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is the go-to expert for relationship, love, career and overall “getting your life together” advice. Through her fabulously branded blog, A Belle in Brooklyn, Demetria provides straight, no chaser advice and stories to help women grab their lives by the lapels and go for what they want. Here, she shares the story of her success and how important it is to tell your own story, on your own terms.
Twitter or Instagram handle: @abelleinbk
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Journalist, blogger and author, “Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love” (Books by Belle)
School:University of Maryland, College Park and NYU
Secretly Obsessed With: Interior design
On My Nightstand: Framed pictures of my husband
Last Thing You Read: “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell
How did you get started?
While I was attending graduate school for journalism, I landed an internship at Vibe magazine. It was my introduction to entertainment journalism. I met people there who, over a decade later, would become key advisers and instrumental in helping me succeed at my goals.
What key elements played into your success?
I’ve worked in publishing, magazines and books since 2000. I’ve edited some amazing authors and writers, and been edited by some of the best in the business. All of that experience was a great training ground to become an author and publisher.
I also surround myself with people who are on top of their game in their respective fields, and push me to be my best (and will pull me aside and say, “Hey, what’s going on?” when I’m not on it.) It’s imperative to have the guiding hand(s) of someone who has been where you are trying to go.
What’s the best piece of advice you received?
“You don’t have to be perfect, just be faster and better than the competition.” That was from my graduate school professor, who became my mentor.
What struggles did you face getting to this point?
I created my own publishing imprint, Books By Belle, for my second book, “Don’t Waste Your Pretty.” I wanted to have more control over my book (editing, release date, marketing, etc.) It was an arduous process with a very steep learning curve. However, with a lot of research and effort, I got it done.
Who was the biggest influence in your professional life?
Actually, my father. He’s a corporate guy and doesn’t always get my creative urges, but he knows strategy and has big ideas. He also has great corporate contacts. We brainstorm often about what I should be doing now, and next.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? When do you feel most successful?
The most successful I’ve ever felt was when the first boxes of “Don’t Waste Your Pretty” arrived and I held the book for the first time. I’d been working 16-18 hour days in the weeks before it was released, and the only thing that kept me going was envisioning the book in my hands. I cried in the driveway. I don’t read the comments section of most of [my] work because people can be so nasty these days. But I love when something I’ve written has sparked a good discussion. I don’t need people to agree with me, but I appreciate when something I’ve written can spark dialogue.
What advice would you give to girls looking to enter your industry/space?
Don’t be afraid to tell your truth, even if it makes people uncomfortable. You have a story, an opinion, a voice, a story that’s worth being heard.