Words: Indika Madapatha Sellahewa
Photos: Nirmala Dhananjaya
Location: Siri Weda Medura (Colonial Villa) on Harbour Road Mirissa
Two young entrepreneurs who grew up in an environment of painful childhoods and adolescence and broken family units, but achieved their true potential through sheer hard work, perseverance, and with the help of a few great people and real philanthropists who recognised their talents, didn’t turn them away, rather, mentored, guided and provided a helping hand financially to see their futures through…
Lakshari and Mark Wijeratne have created their own unique brand and concept in managing luxury boutique villas mainly in the Southern Coastal Belt in Sri Lanka as well as creating beautiful concepts from old, battered up homes and giving them a touch of class and luxury.
Lanka Woman met them at Siri Weda Medura luxury Boutique Villa in Mirissa, and spoke to them about their lives and how they work on their projects to bring new life into these properties.
Lakshari De Soyza, who manages accounts and staff at the villas, is an only child. Although she is a great grand niece of Sir Cyril De Soyza the famous philanthropist from her paternal side of the family, She was raised by her single mother after her parents separated when she was still very young.
Lakshari’s initial education began at Southlands College Galle and afterwards she moved to a Colombo and entered Girls’ High School in Mt. Lavinia. Her ambition was to become a doctor so she studied biology but didn’t qualify for university. When she met Mark and got married she decided to help him with his work. One day, she wants to continue where she left off in her studies and reach her goals.
Experiencing a real, traumatising childhood, Mark withstood the winds of change and challenges. He took on the responsibility of taking care of his mother and two siblings, although he was the youngest, at a very young age, and dusting off the sand and picking up the pieces after the generous support from his great grand uncles from his mother’s side of the family, continued his education which had come to a standstill.
Adverse personal circumstances cut short Marks traditional education, which he replaced with in-dustry specific training whilst working in luxury hotels to support himself and his mother. He was mentored and trained within a large hotel group before advanced training in a luxury villa in Sri Lanka’s South.
Excited to read more? Get Lanka Woman in Magzter for our latest Digital Issue!