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.”

Meet My Guest:


  • Coming soon…

Mom Haul:

Rafi Nova Marissa Goldstiein

078: Marissa Goldstein — Repairing the World Through Work, Travel + Parenting

078: Marissa Goldstein — Repairing the World Through Work, Travel + Parenting 1200 803 Chase Jennings

There are many heroes that have made a substantial impact during the global pandemic. Veterans of sustainable product manufacturing, Co-Founders Marissa and Adam Goldstein, who founded Rafi Nova named after their two sets of twins and travel partners: Raya, Efi, Noa, and Eyva, quickly pivoted their business to give back.

Known for their handcrafted bags, they began making 100% cotton face masks and donated 150,000 masks to frontline workers.

Rafi Nova is a social enterprise on a mission to create products that meet the ever-changing needs of families while connecting global communities. Founded as a fair-trade fashion brand to equip adventurous families with sustainably made travel bags, the company shifted focus to face masks to solve the urgent needs of families and communities.

Marissa Goldstein is a proud mother to two sets of twins and CEO leading sustainable fair-trade travel accessory brand, Rafi Nova. As an avid traveler, Marissa founded Rafi Nova to encourage families to travel while creating meaningful connections with global communities. While the pandemic shifted her company’s production to face masks it expanded the company’s ability to connect and protect communities and support social causes committed to inclusivity. Under Marissa’s leadership, Rafi Nova will have donated more than 150,000 masks to organizations in need and workers on the front line by the year’s end.

Prior to launching Rafi Nova, Marissa and her husband, Adam, worked in the sustainable product manufacturing industry. After earning an MBA at Babson University, Marissa and her family of four (at the time) split their time in Vietnam and Boston, MA. While in Vietnam in 2017, Marissa noticed a group of Hmong women were selling handmade clothes made from brightly colored textiles. Goldstein felt compelled to tell those people’s stories and incorporate it into her business.

Meet My Guest:


Mom Haul:

Promo Code:

  • RAFI NOVA: Receive 20% off on Rafi Nova products (kids + adult face masks, bags, etc.) using the promo code MOMSENSE20

044: Anjali Kumar — Legal Counsel, Business Strategy, and Spiritualism

044: Anjali Kumar — Legal Counsel, Business Strategy, and Spiritualism 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Anjali Kumar on That's Total Mom Sense Podcast with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

This episode is for the mompreneurs in the audience. So you have your newly launched brand and have taken it to market. You are seeing steady growth, are consistently posting compelling content on your company website and social media channels, and are engaging with your audience in an authentic way.

Last week, we talked about creating a buzz and establishing your brand credibility through Event Production with veteran Rachel Paige Goldstein.

Today, we are talking about all things legal related to your business. Enter author, attorney, advisor, speaker and idea acupuncturist, Anjali Kumar.

Anjali recently co-founded The Justice Dept, a women-led firm focusing on legal counsel and business strategy development for female entrepreneurs, executives, talent, and brands in technology, consumer product, entertainment, and fashion. Prior to that, she was the Founding Chief People Officer and General Counsel at Cheddar, and the Founding Head of Social Innovation and Founding General Counsel at Warby Parker. Anjali was Founding General Counsel at Acumen and Senior Counsel at Google. While at Google, Anjali curated and hosted the Google Speaker Series on campus in NYC bringing Googlers from around the globe face-to-face with today’s most prominent and innovative thought leaders including Anthony Bourdain, Questlove, and Jacques Pépin and hosted a YouTube interview series “Lunchtime at Google.”

Anjali has taught for several years as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University. She has served as an advisor to prominent technology companies, luxury fashion brands, consumer products, and non-profit organizations including Malala Fund and

In November 2017 she spoke at TEDWomen. Her “beautiful inspiring, and funny” talk “My Failed Mission To Find God – And What I Found Instead”, based on her book Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search For Something To Believe In (Hachette 2018), has been watched by over 3 million people around the world and translated into over twenty languages.

Tune In:

Meet My Guest:


Mom Haul:

043: Rachel Paige Goldstein — The Business of Event Planning & Production

043: Rachel Paige Goldstein — The Business of Event Planning & Production 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Rachel Paige Goldstein on That's Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

Sure it seems like we won’t be assembling for conferences, summits, or concerts anytime soon, but know that this is a blip in time. We will enjoy events and human connection again. I got a chance to interview Rachel Paige Goldstein prior to the pandemic.

An event production veteran with over 25 years of experience, Rachel is a Partner and Executive Vice President of Matter Unlimited. She is a masterful facilitator and connector of people, using her diverse background and perspective as a New York City native to cultivate experiences and opportunities for her clients. In her former role, as the Founder and CEO of Agent of Change Events, Rachel inspired global change by producing live events that created impact by leading strategic buzz strategy campaigns that celebrated today’s most influential voices. She curated dynamic panels and high-profile speaker engagements as well as led influencer outreach campaigns for a variety of mission-driven clients which have achieved over 1 billion social media imprints. The Agent of Change Events fundraising events reached over $70 million for various initiatives related to women’s rights, veterans’ issues, political advocacy, peace initiatives, social justice, and the arts. Additionally, Rachel uses her 300 hour yoga certification and mindfulness certifications to create dynamic wellness event experiences.

Rachel was a strategic advisor of the inaugural Women’s March on Washington and is a senior advisor at the Milken Institute. She is the co-founder and executive producer of the annual Dot2Dot Summit, a movement to convene powerful young leaders to inspire and challenge their generation to take ownership and action. Rachel proudly sits on the Advisory Board of the Rise of Broken Women and the Holistic Life Foundation.

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Meet My Guest:

Mom Haul:

042: Cynthia Steffe — Designing Your Life On Your Terms

042: Cynthia Steffe — Designing Your Life On Your Terms 1024 512 Chase Jennings

042 Cynthia Steffe on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

We are so lucky to be living in this day and age. Start-ups have become so ubiquitous that literally anyone can take an idea and build an entire company around it and have investors scale it to attain mass market. Men and women now have the freedom to work remotely and give priority to their children, the elderly, or their health without compromising productivity.

Twenty years ago, things weren’t as easy. 9-5 was the norm and if you were adventurous enough to start your own business, you had to show up on the job around the clock.

Today’s guest is a famed fashion designer Cynthia Steffe who not only took risks with her collections, she made bold moves to be a dedicated mom when she built a childcare facility right in her showroom.

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Meet My Guest:

Mom Haul:

041: Kate Anderson — Crowdfunding to Scale Your Business

041: Kate Anderson — Crowdfunding to Scale Your Business 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Kate Anderson on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

As the adage goes, “it takes money to make money.” For female entrepreneurs, that money can be elusive when starting a business or trying to grow one.

According to a Forbes article by Kerry Hannon, author of “Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life,” her friend Linda Abraham — a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and start-up board member told her the biggest hurdle for female entrepreneurs: “Raising capital. I am sorry to say that, but it’s true.”

Hannon interviewed several women in the early stages of starting ventures and each said that having enough seed money in the bank is what is slowing them down. A few said they considered launching a crowdfunding campaign — raising cash online through a campaign and inviting people to help them. But they were nervous about taking this non-traditional approach.

On today’s show, I am joined by Kate Anderson of iFundWomen, a popular crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs.

Kate Anderson is a leader in generating change and gender equality within the private fundraising space. As co-founder and Operations Director of iFundWomen, she has driven millions of dollars into the hands of female founders. iFundWomen’s flexible crowdfunding platform combines a pay-it-forward model, expert startup coaching, professional video production, and a private community for its entrepreneurs, all with the goal of helping female entrepreneurs launch and grow better businesses. Kate lives in Boston with her husband and their three kids, Maggie, JR and Audrey.

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Meet My Guest:

Mom Haul:

039: Jana Blankenship — Wild Beauty – Why Plant-based is the Way to Go

039: Jana Blankenship — Wild Beauty – Why Plant-based is the Way to Go 1024 512 Chase Jennings

39 Jana Blankenship - Featured

Jana Blankenship authored a book called Wild Beauty and is here to tell us all about it. She is the founder of Captain Blankenship.

Founded in 2009, Captain Blankenship is a green beauty company based in New York’s Hudson River Valley that makes haircare, skincare, bodycare products and scents with organic ingredients. Social responsibility and sustainability of ingredients and packaging are at the heart of the company, which is a B Corp, Leaping Bunny Certified and part of 1% for the Planet. Captain Blankenship was born out of Jana Blankenship’s desire to create organic beauty products that create a direct link with nature. From its birth in Jana’s kitchen, the company has grown into a full product line sold at The Detox Market, Credo Beauty, Anthropologie, Follain, CAP Beauty, and over 300 stores nationally and internationally. Captain Blankenship also launched a gender-neutral skincare and grooming line called Sailor by Captain Blankenship in 2018 that is available in Target stores nationwide. Jana is the author of Wild Beauty, a holistic primer for green beauty rich in practical wisdom, anecdotes and 45 DIY recipes for natural perfumes, skincare, hair care, body care, teas and tonics. She lives in Gardiner, NY with her husband, two children, dog and cat.

She’s a mom of two kiddos, Mila (6) and Caspian (4). She’s a passionate educator about plant based beauty and says, “It’s been a wild ride running a growing business alongside two growing kids, but I am loving the joyful chaos of it all.”

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Meet My Guest:



Mom Haul:

31 Reshma Saujani on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda Gupta - Featured girls who code

031: Reshma Saujani — Teaching Our Girls to Be Brave, Not Perfect

031: Reshma Saujani — Teaching Our Girls to Be Brave, Not Perfect 1024 512 Chase Jennings

In 2019, women earn .79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Though we can attribute the gender pay gap to several factors including occupational segregation, bias against working mothers, and circumstances like racial bias, disability, and access to education, there’s no denying numbers and that we still have a lot of work to do to create an even playing field.

On today’s episode, I am thrilled to have a woman and mother who has been an advocate for closing the gender gap throughout her career.

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in tech and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. It has reached 185,000 girls in all 50 states, Canada, and the UK. In 2019, Girls Who Code was awarded Most Innovative Non-Profit by Fast Company.

Reshma is the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect and has a podcast with the same name and the New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than four million views and has sparked a worldwide conversation about how we’re raising our girls.

She began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, she visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code.

She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law. Her work on behalf of young women has earned her broad recognition on lists including: Fortune World’s Greatest Leaders; Fortune 40 Under 40; WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year; Forbes Most Powerful Women Changing the World; and Fast Company 100 Most Creative People, among others.

She lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and bulldog, Stanley.

Meet My Guest:


Show Notes:

  • 01:51: Introduction
  • 04:03: How Reshma and Kanika met 
  • 05:10: Background
  • 07:10: Changing your given name
  • 10:00: Using your life in the service of others
  • 12:30: Rejection, failure and recovery
  • 15:55: Women in technology
  • 20:20: Girls are change makers
  • 22:40: Learning to code
  • 27:55: Allowing boys to be vulnerable and emotional
  • 30:00: Pregnancy and APS
  • 39:40: Learning how to prioritize you
  • 40:50: Mom Sense moment
  • 41:11: Quote of the day: “Brave, not perfect”
  • 41:46: Mom Haul

Mom Haul:

029: Samantha Ettus — The Secrets to Living a Satisfying Life

029: Samantha Ettus — The Secrets to Living a Satisfying Life 1024 512 Chase Jennings

29 Samantha Ettus on That's Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda Gupta

I often compare life to a pie and how many pieces of the pie are dedicated to our various priorities be it our family, relationships, our work life, our homes, and our self-care and personal goals and so on.

Samantha Ettus wrote her fifth book on exactly that: The Pie Life: A Guilt Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction where she breaks down this metaphor to a granular level in such a compelling way. She is a bestselling American author, speaker, TV contributor and syndicated radio host, widely known as a work life balance expert and successful businesswoman,

Since earning her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard, Sam is a renowned speaker and host of a nationally syndicated call-in radio show and best-selling author of several books: The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do, The Experts’ Guide to Life at Home, The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster, and The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years. She writes a popular weekly work/life newsletter and penned a Washington Post Op-Ed that landed in the top 10 Op-eds in 2017.

As a dedicated champion of women, Sam has devoted her career to advocating and supporting women in the pursuit of their dreams. Thousands of women from C-level leaders to administrative assistants to moms returning to the workforce have benefitted from Sam’s unique guidance. In Sam’s quest to help women achieve financial independence, she launched Park Place Payments.

We delve into all of this and more – listen in!

Tune In:

Meet My Guest:


Show Notes:

  • 02:00 – Introduction
  • 04:45 – The better your life is, the better you are at being a better person
  • 06:30 – Setting specific goals for yourself
  • 10:00 – Kids and productivity
  • 12:50 – Behind The New Way to Get Happy, Samantha’s TEDx talk
  • 17:00 – How to inspire our kids to fulfill their potential
  • 22:30 – Building communities
  • 24:00 – Competitors
  • 27:00 – Client-focused solution
  • 32:30 – Taking pride in your work
  • 33:00 – “Mom built”
  • 38:20 – Growing up
  • 48:00 – Early stages of child development
  • 53:30 – Mom sense moment
  • 55:00 – Quote to live by: “Don’t live life in the past lane”
  • 55:45 – Mom Haul: Bandolier phone strap and Travel Esteem Steamer

Mom Haul:

024: Corey Spiegel — Meet Your New Board of Directors for Your Personal Life

024: Corey Spiegel — Meet Your New Board of Directors for Your Personal Life 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Walt Disney once said,

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”

Many of us run our own businesses or are part of the entrepreneurial world and understand how important it is to us to have a trustworthy, dynamic, connected board of directors. My guest today believes that we could all use a board when it comes to our personal and mom life too.

Corey Spiegel is a married mom with two teenagers, born and raised in New Jersey and now living in California with her high school sweetheart for over 20 years. Her company, Light House is a fresh, new community of like-minded women who get together to share, advise, inspire and help each other navigate life in a judgement free zone. The connections are genuine, the conversations are real and the brainstorming vibrant. They feature a curated list of topics that resonate with today’s modern woman and provide interactive classes. Sometimes a more objective audience works better than a dearest confidant.

Corey worked as a senior executive working in the entertainment industry for brands like Playboy, National Geographic, Warner Bros., Extra, Ellen, Rotten Tomatoes and TMZ to name a few, overseeing digital sales, product integrations, social media and brand partnerships. She learned a ton at these companies but after so many years in the trenches, it was time to start her own business in a space that combined her skillset with her passion points outside of advertising. This led her to create Light House.

Tune In:

Meet My Guest:


Show Notes:

  • 02:00 – Introduction
  • 03:40 – What it was like growing up
  • 05:20 – First-time mom experience
  • 07:33 – Reason behind building Lighthouse
  • 09:35 – Lighthouse events
  • 12:40 – Corey’s ‘Mom Sense’ moment
  • 14:00 – Daily mantra — “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
  • 14:45 – The importance of exercise