124 Nina Meehan on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

NINA MEEHAN: Parenting Through Play

NINA MEEHAN: Parenting Through Play 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Nina Meehan inspires the broader community as a skilled theatre producer, award-winning director, and dedicated arts educator, with expertise in youth development and creativity!
Nina’s award-winning theatrical work for young people as CEO and Founder of Bay Area Children’s Theatre has reached more than 1 million kids and adults and has toured nationally and internationally.

Nina speaks and writes frequently about creative play, arts education, nonprofit management, and theatre for young audiences (TYA) and is the host of the Creative Parenting Podcast. She is also the proud Mama of three kids and a nature lover!

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123 Lori & Kirsten Schmidtke on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta.psd

LORI & KIRSTEN SCHMIDTKE: Redefining Everyday Jewelry

LORI & KIRSTEN SCHMIDTKE: Redefining Everyday Jewelry 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

As you all know, my passion is storytelling and it’s been the common denominator in my work in media so it’s no wonder that I look for stories wherever I go. Did you ever think that a piece of jewelry could tell a story? I am so pleased to announce my partnership with a demi-fine jewelry brand, Klas Squared. We have a very special surprise for you at the end.

But for now, I want to shine a light on the founders of the brand, a mother-daughter duo – Lori and Kirsten Schmidtke, and share their story.

About Lori Schmidtke

Lori Schmidtke is the founder and lead designer of Klas squared. With a career in fashion design spanning over three decades, Lori’s creative brilliance is the passion behind the brand’s designs and aesthetic. Her artistic vision combined with a focus on quality is evident in the modern minimalism and clean composition of each piece. Lori designs and handcrafts Klas squared jewelry in her home studio in London, Canada.

Designing for Klas squared is all consuming for the designer. Lori thrives on the process of sourcing materials based on colour, shape and texture and finding new and modern ways to create jewelry for the everyday, powerful woman:

“I see everything through a lens: colour, shape, and composition. Whether it’s admiring nature, fashion, contemporary art or travel, I’m always envisioning it as a piece of jewelry”.

About Kirsten Schmidtke

Kirsten Schmidtke leads the business, branding, and content strategy for Klas squared. With a successful background in business and creativity in her DNA, she was motivated to join forces with Lori for an opportunity to make a mark and leave an impact. She is drawn to the colour, detail and composition of fashion, falling in love with its ability to transform your mood, your energy, and your confidence.

Kirsten’s talent in the art of styling, curating a look, and creating a brand aesthetic, led her to the centre of Klas squared’s campaigns modeling the newest designs. Although much of her time is spent analyzing numbers, driving business strategy, and writing copy, her love for the creative process is equally as important, and fulfilling.

“I don’t get to make all of the decisions [at work], but I do get to decide what I wear. I believe fashion has the ability to transform your energy, and accessories have the power to take it a step further: to express your personality, your beliefs, and what you stand for.”

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122 Elisa Donovan on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

ELISA DONOVAN: Overcoming Hardship & Weathering the Storm

ELISA DONOVAN: Overcoming Hardship & Weathering the Storm 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Today’s show isn’t just WHATEVER. It’s kind of a big deal and if you don’t feel like listening, AS IF. It’s going to be bewildering, leaving you bewitched. OK, I’ll stop with innendos, but I am fully fanning out because today, I have Elisa Donovan with me on “That’s Total Mom Sense.”

For over 20 years, Elisa Donovan has been a major part of pop culture. She began her film career when she played the role Amber in the iconic comedy Clueless. She later starred in the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210, playing bad girl Ginger LaMonica. She then went on to reprise her role of Amber for three seasons on the television series of Clueless. During which time she shot the Paramount/SNL Films comedy, A Night At The Roxbury. Then for three seasons Elisa played Morgan Cavanaugh on the monster hit series Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

Elisa was also the star and co-producer of the NBC comedy web series In Gayle We Trust, created and written by Brent Forrester (The Office), which was an unprecedented success for the network, garnering over 35MM views. Elisa was voted Reader Favorite as a Celebrity Mom Blogger for people.com and was hand selected by Sheryl Sandberg to be the voice for her #1 bestsellers Lean In and Option B. The audiobook for Lean In was also #1 on the charts and was submitted for a Grammy nomination.

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120 Anisha and Chitra Ramakrishna on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta 2


ANISHA & CHITRA RAMAKRISHNA: How to Make Your Mom Your BFF 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Today I’m joined by a mom and daughter duo I’m sure many of you know – Anisha Ramakrishna and her mother Chitra. They’re both hilariously funny and were the lynchpin of the Bravo reality series, Family Karma.

After climbing the ranks of the New York City fashion industry and reaching the peak of her career, Anisha Ramakrishna decided to pursue her dreams of starting her own size-inclusive clothing line. She left her life in the city, including breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, to move back home with her family and follow in their entrepreneurial footsteps. After the successful launch of her clothing line, she is focused on her personal life. You can catch her on the Bravo TV show Family Karma, which showcases the lives of 7 young Indian professionals and their families. Family Karma is the first tv show in American television history with an all-Indian cast.

Chitra Ramakrishna was born and raised in Mumbai. She spent much of her time raising her three children and working in a business she founded with her husband. She is Anisha’s mom and you can also catch her on Family Karma.

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116 Bhavna Shyamalan on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

BHAVNA SHYAMALAN: Trusting Your Sixth Sense and Helping Humanity

BHAVNA SHYAMALAN: Trusting Your Sixth Sense and Helping Humanity 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

We all know and love M. Night Shyamalan as a world renowned director, producer and actor who was labeled “the next Spielberg” by Newsweek in 2002. His films have grossed over $3 billion globally with cult classics like The Sixth Sense which received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, Signs, The Last Airbender, and The Unbreakable Series.

We may also be fans of Saleka, his daughter who is a singer songwriter and wrote an original song for his recent release, Old, with a voice smooth as silk reminiscent of old school R&B.

But today, I’m honored to interview M. Night’s wife, Bhavna Vaswani Shyamalan, who is the silent strength of the family and is the glue who is keeping it all together.

For more than 15 years, Bhavna Shyamalan, PhD, has served in her role as co-founder and vice-president of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation. The foundation focuses on discovering and supporting grassroots leaders around the world who are moving depressed communities out of poverty and oppression. These global leaders are empowering their communities by supporting social justice, equality, and access to basic needs such as food, water, and education.

A deep belief in human-dignity and freedom as a birthright, as well as in our joint responsibility to become participants in the fight for social equity and justice, have been Dr. Shyamalan’s driving force in creating and steering the efforts of the foundation. With an international upbringing and global perspective, Dr. Shyamalan has developed a keen awareness of the power of poverty to determine the life course of individuals, families, and communities by severely limiting opportunity and choice. The foundation leaders work to eliminate those barriers. More recently, Dr. Shyamalan has focused her foundation on helping the most disenfranchised communities; the forgotten and “disposable’ people entrapped and exploited by modern day slavery and human trafficking.

Although born in India, Bhavna was raised in Hong Kong before her family moved to the U.S. An immigrant herself, Dr. Shyamalan is keenly aware of the challenges posed to immigrants in any new country. Having travelled widely, however, her exposure to different people and cultures has not only reinforced her belief in the gift diversity brings, but also deepened her commitment to valuing each individual life.

Dr. Shyamalan oversees the foundation’s international grants, the implementation of its vision and mission, strategic growth, fundraising, and overall operations.
Additionally, DR. B (as she is known in the fitness world) is co-owner at Vibe Vault Fit, a boutique fitness & wellness studio in PA, and has been teaching Dance Fitness classes since 2011.

Dr.B’s believes working out can be inspired, and should address health and fitness in all aspects, including body, mind, spirit. In addition to teaching dance fitness classes, Dr. B also manages the “mind” and “spirit” side of Vibe Vault Fit, running workshops, and talking about how to uplift our lives through the Vibe Vault Fit podcasts and blogs. Her vision for Vibe Vault Fit is to promote a warm community, that will walk together toward a healthier, more fulfilling, and extraordinary life. Dr. B sees wellness, like happiness, as a mindset. Her goal is to help you make your own wellness a priority and claim the life that is waiting for you.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Shyamalan worked as a therapist in the counseling centers of Swarthmore College and St. Joseph’s University. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Developmental Psychology from Bryn Mawr College and her B.A. in psychology from New York University.

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115 Eram Siddiqui on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta.jpg

ERAM SIDDIQUI: Embracing Her Roots and Paying it Forward

ERAM SIDDIQUI: Embracing Her Roots and Paying it Forward 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

As you all know, I am an organization aficionado. I am a minimalist and believe in buying things of good quality and store them in a way that’s functional and aesthetic.

That’s why I am LOVING the brand Hudson+Bleecker. They provide storage solutions for your daily needs from cosmetic bags to suitcase storage to garment bags. I became fast friends with the founder Eram Siddiqui and am excited to have her on this IG PODCAST LIVE today.

Eram Siddiqui brings over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience as Founder and CEO of Hudson+Bleecker, the premier travel and lifestyle accessories brand focused on thoughtfully designed and functional accessories for women on-the-go. Launched in 2011, Hudson+Bleecker is one of the fastest growing travel accessories brands for women in the country, with over 500 global retailers including Nordstrom and REVOLVE. Hudson+Bleecker has also been featured on QVC, Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times, The Today Show, Newsweek and has a following of notable beauty, travel and style influencers.

Eram started her career in Public Policy advising two female United States Senators on banking, finance and international trade and then moved on to providing legislative guidance to financial institutions. She loves to travel, hike, cook and spend time with her family as well as support not-for-profit and philanthropic causes. Eram is a Board Member of the Sundara Fund, is Founding Member of Imapct100NYC and supports The Floating Hospital with annual donations of hygiene kits to survivors of domestic violence and women living in NYC shelters. Eram received her B.A. at the University of California, Irvine in Political Science and International Studies. She lives in NYC with her husband, Anees (pronounced Uh-nees), her son Raif (pronounced Rayf) and daughter, Inara (In-ara)

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113 Avani Patel on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta.jpg

AVANI PATEL: Advocating for Black Women + WOC Through Media

AVANI PATEL: Advocating for Black Women + WOC Through Media 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Avani Patel is the Chief Operating Officer at ESSENCE. In this role, she leads the Technology, Finance, and Human Resources functions. A veteran of the technology & business consulting industry, her career spans product launch, management/operations and consulting across Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. She intends on fulfilling ESSENCE’s mission of serving Black Women deeply by a continued focus on the company’s digital landscape and business growth. Patel previously led technology at Sundial Brands/Unilever, as well as professional services at Verizon/Totality Corp.

Avani is also a PMP (Project Management Professional) and Six Sigma Black Belt. She recently completed the Women in Leadership Program at Oxford University. A true Jersey Girl by heart, Avani was born and raised in Sayreville, NJ and went on to attend Rutgers University.

Avani is an award-winning Indian folk-dance choreographer and former television host for a South Asian network. Coming from a large family, Patel learned to be organized and vocal from a young age; these are the skills that became the greatest asset to the launch of her career. She continues to lean on the skills and values inherited from her Gujarati family to help guide her, both personally and professionally. When not strategizing for ESSENCE, Avani travels the world with her children, Lucas, 15 & Lara, 14 with the hope that they will, one day, become model global citizens.

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Dr. Alpa Patel on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

DR. ALPA PATEL: Clean Beauty That Heals Your Skin From the Inside Out

DR. ALPA PATEL: Clean Beauty That Heals Your Skin From the Inside Out 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Dr. Alpa Patel is a pediatrician, who has retired from clinical practice, a biochemist, mother of 2, and now, CEO & CoFounder of Luvanya. After completing her Bachelors in Biochemistry, Alpa worked as a biochemist for a short time, learning to identify and separate chemicals in pharmaceutical waste for recycling, before going on to medical school and a pediatric residency. She and her husband, an Internal Medicine physician, settled in CT after marriage and started their family medical practice together. Unfortunately, during the 15 years she spent growing her medical practice and raising her two children, Alpa also dealt with rare, chronic medical conditions. After suffering for years with severe health issues, chronic illnesses, surgeries, and treatments, she was forced to close her pediatric practice over 4 years ago and move her family across the country.

Once she realized that the treatments were doing more harm than good, and were also damaging her skin, she turned to researching botanicals, natural oils and ayurvedic ingredients to treat herself. By adopting a holistic lifestyle, using meditation, and nutrition Dr. Alpa regained the strength she needed. She used ayurvedic and plant based ingredients in both topical form to rejuvenate skin, as well as in homemade juices, to revive her health at the cellular level. By utilizing her biochemistry background, not only was she able to turn her skin back to life, but she was also able to formulate simple, safe skincare solutions for all of her family. That’s when she knew she had something to share with the world, and there came the birth of Luvanya, a 100% clean, vegan, non – toxic skincare brand, made for the health of your skin, which combines Science with Nature for the most visible and effective results! Other than her efforts with Luvanya, Dr Alpa enjoys painting, meditating, spending time with family and spending time in nature.

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  • A BILLION: A brand new app that allows you to discover and review vegan brands, businesses and products from around the world
109 Prerna Gupta on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

PRERNA GUPTA: Getting Hooked — When A.I. Meets Storytelling

PRERNA GUPTA: Getting Hooked — When A.I. Meets Storytelling 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

In the digital age, we have the ability to create and consume content, namely stories be it fiction or nonfiction, around the clock at our fingertips and since this way of life is all that Gen Z has ever known, it’s important to understand what sticks. What do teens enjoy as a pastime? How do they communicate? What resonates most?

One such app which is revolutionizing the art of storytelling is Hooked and the mastermind behind it is Prerna Gupta.

Prerna Gupta is a female founder who has launched entertainment apps reaching over a billion people. She is currently Founder & CEO of Hooked, a storytelling platform reaching 100 million Gen Z viewers worldwide. Hooked has been the #1 app on the App Store and Google Play in 25 countries and has won numerous design awards for its innovative chat fiction format. You can read more about what led Prerna to found a storytelling startup in this article she wrote for Vogue.

Hooked investors include Sound Ventures (Ashton Kutcher), The Chernin Group, WME/Endeavor, MACRO (Charles King), Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, Joe Montana, Anjula Acharia, Aasif Mandvi, Cyan Banister, Eric Ries, Cowboy Ventures, Founders Fund, SV Angel and Greylock, among many others.

Prerna has been named one of the Most Influential Women in Tech by Fast Company, and her writing has been featured in New York Times, Vogue, Forbes and TechCrunch, among others. Prerna graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University.

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104 Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta


SHAYNA FERM & TRACEY TEE: Band of Mothers 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Shayna Ferm started her acting career at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago and then spent 11 years in NYC doing film and theatre, and producing and performing music, stand-up and sketch comedy. After having a baby in the Big Apple and immediately becoming pregnant with her second child (whoops!), she and her family moved to her hometown of Denver, Colorado. Weeks after baby number two was born, and always in search of a creative project, she and her lifelong friend Tracey Tee launched The Pump and Dump Show, a much-needed “mom’s night out” event that quickly grew to a nationally touring production, written, produced and starring Shayna and Tracey. The pair toured for 5 years before replicating the show to star additional casts of new moms and co-founding their umbrella brand, Band of Mothers Media. Her current role in the company, outside of co-hosting the Band of Mothers Podcast, is as Chief Creative Officer for all the branches of the business as well as for the current touring productions.

Tracey Tee double majored in Theatre and English at Hillsdale College, and quickly moved to Los Angeles where she worked as an actor, trained in improv comedy with The Groundlings and used her comedic flair as a freelance writer and purveyor of art and handmade goods in LA’s burgeoning art scene. After 7 years in LA, Tracey and her husband moved back to her native home of Denver, CO to start a family. Not long after her daughter was born, she dove back into live comedy with her lifelong friend Shayna Ferm as they developed a “parentally incorrect” night out for moms, The Pump and Dump Show. What started in a bar as a creative outlet (and much needed night out) for both quickly grew to a nationally touring production, written, produced and starring Tracey and Shayna. The pair toured for 5 years before replicating the show to star additional casts of new moms and co-founding their umbrella brand, Band of Mothers Media, where Tracey is CEO. She lives with her husband of 19 years, their 10-year-old daughter and recently made the happy mistake of adopting a third dog. Thanks, COVID!

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