My husband and I have moved homes a few times since we got married. From India to the UAE and then Canada. During that time we’ve had two kids, changed jobs and travelled to more cities than I can count. But it was only in the last couple years when I started blogging that I discovered the world.
One would think blogging is a lonely past time. A mom in her sweats sitting at the dining table typing away furiously. And you would be right for the most part. Except for the people I’ve met through blogging. The people who have inspired and invigorated me from all corners of the world. Those who are making a difference in their own life and those of others around them.
One such person is Sailaja N. Joshi, a Harvard educated mother who realised that it was up to her to change the story
A few years ago Sailaja was trying to find books to start off her new born baby’s first library. An American with her roots in India, Sailaja was looking for books that told the stories of India’s rich heritage. What she found were books that were either culturally or developmentally inappropriate, or just simply wrong. She did what many of us rarely do. She took matters into her own hands and started a children’s publishing company – Bharat Babies.
Sailaja lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two kids. She is the CEO of Bharat Babies, a company that is producing diverse books for young kids. Books that are bridging the connection between India and the rest of the world.
I had the pleasure of meeting her a few weeks ago and am delighted to share her story with you.
Interview with Sailaja N Joshi, Founder, Bharat Babies
Maple and Marigold (M+M): Tell us a little bit about yourself. What has your professional journey been in getting here?
Sailaja N Joshi (SNJ): I guess at my heart I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Even at a young age I was hosting yard sales, creating crafting businesses and lemonade stands. I think I always knew some part of me want to incorporate my passion for learning along side my love of business. Bharat Babies didn’t become a reality though until I started my journey as a mother. It happened when I was pregnant with my daughter Ojovati and was creating a list of books for my library-themed baby shower. I was feeling frustrated with the selection of books, and I didn’t like what was out there. So I decided to change the story!
M+M: How did becoming a mother impact your journey?
SNJ: Being a mother has had a profound impact on not only my business, but also how I view my mission as a CEO. I strive to be transparent about the state of the company and look to employ mothers who are seeking to improve their skillset. Motherhood has made me a kinder, more compassionate CEO, and even more driven.
M+M: How is parenting divided in your home?
SNJ: It can really depend day-to-day or month-to-month. Sometimes I have back-to-back shows on the weekend so my husband, Neel takes care of both kids the whole day. Other weeks he’ll be traveling for a week so I’ll be managing the kids. We both have demanding jobs and do our best to support each other as much as possible. But if I were to pick an activity to do, it would be cooking! I love creating yummy foods in the kitchen for our family and Neel can often be found in our garage building something for our kids!
M+M: With your busy lifestyle, what are the things you like to do together as a family?
SNJ: We LOVE to hang out outdoors whenever possible! This summer was incredibly hectic for us but we’re looking forward to an awesome fall filled with lots of visits to farms and of course, apple picking!
M+M: Tell us a bit about Bharat Babies.
SNJ: Bharat Babies was founded in 2014 with one simple purpose – to produce developmentally children’s books that are inspired by the stories of India with a message for all. Our stories not only tell the stories of India, but feature diverse characters with unique backgrounds that mirror the reality of today.
M+M: What is your vision for your company, Bharat Babies?
SNJ: So much! I’m hoping that going forward this year we’ll be able to produce two more illustrated books along with an exciting new series which explores the diversity and richness of India in a very new way. Further down the line we also would like to expand and include more education focused content and provide a more diverse selection of books for older kids.