Today's guest has been a passionate volunteer in the Hindu Youth community for over twenty years and is an accomplished academic with degrees from Northeastern University, Harvard University, and Simmons College. She has worked with multiple startups, helping them refine their brand identity and develop their marketing communications. She believes that we need diverse children's literature for a diverse world, and she's leveraging her unique set of skills and experiences to change the face of children's publishing through her book series, Bharat Babies. I am excited to introduce you to Sailaja Joshi!
Sailaja shares how Bharat Babies all began.
- In 2013, she was having a library-themed baby shower for her oldest daughter.
- She was super sad to find that there were no books that her daughter could identify culturally.
- If there were any, they were developmentally inappropriate or culturally insensitive.
- Her friend challenged her to do something to fill this gap.
- She left her PhD program and launched the publishing company with 1,000 of seed money.
Sailaja talks about her experience to entrepreneurship as a child.
- Her parents always provided for basic needs, but any “extras” were usually expected to be earned.
- She would make and sell shrinky dinks to classmates and teachers.
- Even then, she had a knack selling a product that people wanted and needed because it was handmade.
Sailaja shares how she decided to strategically spend the seed money.
- In her mom’s group, she posed her questions and asked for feedback on how to get started.
- Her friend Amy gave her a lesson on how to write a children’s book.
- Sailaja realized this project was not in her zone of genius, so she asked Amy to write it and they set out to find an illustrator.
- Sailaja secured the Prototype Fund set aside for business to use $1000 to try your idea and she used it to hire Tim, who has now illustrated 7 books in the collection.
Sailaja talks about what makes diversity in children’s lit so important.
- There are five times as many books about dogs and trucks as there are about people of color.
- Children of color need a seat at the table as well as a book on the bookshelf.
- Books help shape our existence and allow us to ask questions in safe ways.
- It also exposes kids to different realities and experiences.
Sailaja shares how having these books in hand has affected her own children.
- They don’t live in a world where they are unseen-it’s beautiful!
- These books are affecting kids of other cultures, bringing new awareness and a new vernacular.
- It’s extending awareness and helping people understand a culture is more than a holiday.
Sailaja defines “balance” in her home and family.
- She works a full-time job at a Fortune500 company where all her co-workers know about Bharat Babies and she is well supported.
- She also has a supportive husband who does bedtime and dinner and encourages her to travel.
- She involves her kids in business when they come to the conferences and man the booths or ring up customers.
Sailaja shares about her daughter’s current entrepreneurial ventures.
- She sells decorated cards.
- She’s also in a Little Authors club, which helps kids as little as 5 years old understand principles of writing a book.
- She loves writing and illustrating her own stories.
Sailaja shares what Bharat Babies has in store for the rest of 2019.
- They will be launching our 14th book later this year.
- They plan to release 3 new books next year.
- They are on the hunt for even more “angel investors” to help add even more titles to the collection.
Sailaja shares how you can begin curating a more diverse bookshelf.
- It’s important to know that some are covertly and others are overtly racist.
- The books we grew up with are not necessarily the books we are going to share with our kids.
- It’s up to you to start filling in the gap.
- Consider adding books that talk about a single-parent family, a lesbian family, etc.
- Some helpful Instagram feeds are the Conscious Kid or Here We Read
- On read-aloud day at your kids’ school, bring a book that features a diverse character.
Meet Sailaja Joshi
Growing up, Sailaja was a voracious reader. From Leo the Lop to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Amelia Bedelia, she loved every book she read. If you were to ask her today what her favorite book is, she'd likely say either the Harry Potter series OR The Tao of Pooh. It really depends on the day.
Sailaja has been a passionate volunteer in the Hindu Youth community for over twenty years and is an accomplished academic with degrees from Northeastern University, Harvard University, and Simmons College. She has also worked with multiple startups, helping them to refine their brand identity and develop their marketing communications. Her unique set of skills and experience help to her to drive Bharat Babies forward. Her ambition is to have Bharat Babies be an active participant in the field of multicultural children’s literature, moving forward with the belief that we need diverse kids lit for a diverse world. When she's not working to change the face of children's publishing, she can be founded hanging with her two adorable children at the park or at circus class (really, that's a thing).
Find Sailaja Joshi
Let's Have some FUN!
If you know you need to improve your marketing, but don't know exactly where to start… or you just love buzzfeed-like quizzes… then you need to check out THIS QUIZ! It'll reveal exactly what you need to take your marketing to the next level PLUS start an epic dance party!
About The Host
Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for nearly a decade. After leaving her corporate job at Facebook in 2017 to be a more present mom to her 4 daughters, she founded EIEIO Marketing; a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-first businesses.
Through highly targeted, results-driven, Facebook Ads she's delivered results for her clients that include: doubling their lead volume, generating 62% more sales than the in-house team, attaining a 16x return on ad spend, and reducing the cost per lead by 99%!
After helping her daughter launch her first business, Storytime With Kiki, at the age of 10, Meg began hosting the FamilyPreneur Podcast: an interview-style podcast for parent entrepreneurs, raising entrepreneurial children.