Entrepreneurship

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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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

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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102 Michael Perry on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

MICHAEL PERRY: Making Parenting Easier

MICHAEL PERRY: Making Parenting Easier 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Imagine if parents had a project management app to help run the household and village. We all know there are so many balls in the air from ordering diapers to groceries to making fresh baby food to dropping kids off to soccer practice or ballet.

This app will restore the harmony at home. It’s called Maple and today I’m joined the mastermind behind it, Michael Perry.

Michael Perry is the Founder and CEO of Maple, a company focused on building a better world for all parents. Prior to founding Maple, Michael founded Kit, which he sold to Shopify in 2016 and where worked for over four years as an executive overseeing Marketing Technology. He has been included on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, recognized by Inc. Magazine for his contributions in the messaging space, and named one of the top marketing executives in the world by Business Insider. Michael Currently lives in California with his wife, son, and two bulldogs.

What I first noticed about you was your humility, your gratitude, and your passion for making an impact and truly leaving the world in a better place than when you found it.

I know those who work with you feel the same so I want to start with hearing from your team to kick things off.

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101 Neeta and Nishka Lulla on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta (3)

NEETA LULLA & NISHKA LULLA MEHRA: A Mother’s Bond, Life, and Legacy

NEETA LULLA & NISHKA LULLA MEHRA: A Mother’s Bond, Life, and Legacy 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

I am so thrilled to do this interview as it’s with a mother and daughter duo I am blessed to have as dear family friends and I’ve had the opportunity to witness their evolution and impact on the fashion and film industry on the global scale, first hand.

They are Neeta and Nishka Lulla.

Neeta Lulla symbolises elegance, romance and opulence. Her designs are a unique blend of feminine fragility and power. Using India’s rich cultural heritage of craftsmanship, embroidery techniques and textiles Neeta Lulla creates her representation of Indian Bridal and diffusion wear that draws style inspirations from Edwardian silhouettes and patterns yet remains deeply rooted in tradition and forms.

Neeta Lulla is one of the most celebrated and respected names in the Indian fashion industry today. Counted amongst India’s top bridal fashion designers she has created nothing short of a legacy in the fashion and film industry in a career spanning over 30 years.

Starting her journey at the young age of 16, Neeta Lulla finished her formal education in Dressmaking and Apparel construction from SNDT University after which she got her first job with the famous fashion choreographer Jeanne Naoroji. Crediting her time there having taught her about how a fashion show is designed she later returned to her alma mater SNDT as a lecturer and thoroughly enjoyed her experience teaching.

She was soon offered her first film project to style. Taking the opportunity head on Neeta Lulla impressed everyone with her creativity and skill and in no time became one of the most celebrated designers of Bollywood having worked with leading directors and actors of the industry.

In 2005 Neeta Lulla launched her flagship store in Mumbai, to cater to her growing global clientele. Bridal, trousseau consultancy and diffusion wear are the primary offerings of Neeta Lulla label.

In 2008 she became the first designer to launch her online retail platform and by 2009 she established her distribution network over 5 continents. With the growing demand for her designs she was proud to recently launch her second flagship store in DLF Emporio, Delhi in 2016. Whether it was incorporating Tanjore paintings in her designs to introducing pre stitched sarees in India in 2001 or Fibre Optics to her collection in 2017 she has always been on the forefront of curious exploration and experimentation. Hence, she also been named as the ‘Czarina of Indian Fashion’.

Neeta lives in Bombay with her husband Dr. Shyam Lulla, and they have two children, Siddharth and Nishka,.

Neeta’s daughter Nishka was born into fashion and it style and an eye for design is in her blood.

Nishka Lulla Mehra also graduated from SNDT College, Mumbai and is also a design consultant for the fashion brand ‘Provogue’ and for the shoe brand ‘Mochi’ in India. Her label ‘Nisshk’ launched in 2009 has a chic, vibrant and funky clothing line consisting of dresses, shorts, jump suits and skirts and the embellishments are catchy, innovative and versatile using unusual materials to create the perfect coordinated look. Her label also has a range of accessories like clutches, bags and watches.

A moment I had a chance to witness while working as a television anchor for CNN in India was Nishka’s debut at Lakme Fashion Week. She won a competition out of 100 GenNext designers to design an outfit and collection for Katrina Kaif, the brand ambassador for Barbie. When she sashayed down the ramp, it was a defining moment for Nishka and what was to come.

Nishka is settled in Bombay with her husband Dhruv Mehra and has a daughter, Miraya.

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100 Rachel Blumenthal on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

100: Rachel Blumenthal — Putting the Fun(ction) in Kids’ Fashion

100: Rachel Blumenthal — Putting the Fun(ction) in Kids’ Fashion 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

If you’re a mom, chances are you are part of the cult following that the children’s apparel brand, Rockets of Awesome, has garnered over the years. And if you don’t know, now you know.

Today I’m joined by its Founder/CEO Rachel Blumenthal, who’s a serial entrepreneur, fervent risk taker, and mother of two alongside her husband Neil Blumenthal, CEO of transformative and socially conscious lifestyle brand of eyewear, Warby Parker.

Together, they have an equal vested partnership in raising their two wonderful children, Griffin and Gemma.

Rachel began her career at Yves Saint Laurent, before launching her first entrepreneurial venture as designer and founder of the fashion jewelry brand Rachel Leigh. The brand was licensed to GlamHouse in 2011. Rachel then lent her hand to Warby Parker, which was cofounded by her husband Neil, before founding and acting as CEO of Cricket’s Circle, the trusted resource and editorial destination for everything baby and toddler. It was the insights and learnings from the Cricket’s Circle community, in addition to her own experience as a mother that inspired the idea for Rockets of Awesome.

The company’s credo is to simplify the lives of parents and celebrate real life with kids (meltdowns included). ROA prides itself on pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a modern kids clothing brand, giving you the ability to shop whenever and however you want—whether you want to stock up when it’s convenient for you, or Subscribe + Save big. They’ll always put the win-win (a.k.a., you AND your kids loving the clothes and experience) first in everything they do. And made up of a team of moms, dadsd, aunts, and uncles, they understand the preferences and pain points to a T. Graphic T.

I’m excited to dive into this colorful conversation.

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96 Bobbi Brown on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

096: Bobbi Brown — Motherhood, Makeup, and Making an Impact

096: Bobbi Brown — Motherhood, Makeup, and Making an Impact 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Things are not getting any easier as we forge ahead during these precarious times, but my guest today is a woman who chooses to lead her life with conviction and manage it all with finesse. She recently gave a commencement speech to the class of 2020 where she rallied, “Get over it, get over yourself and get out there!” And I think that slogan applies to adults and parents too, especially during these challenging times. We’ve got this and need to believe it.

Bobbi Brown is a beauty industry titan, world renowned makeup artist, best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and serial entrepreneur. As a professional makeup artist, Bobbi created 10 simple lipsticks that evolved into a global beauty empire. She has written nine beauty and wellness books and is a New York Times bestselling author. Since leaving her billion-dollar company Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in October 2016, she has launched Beauty Evolution, LLC and was certified as a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Bobbi is a serial entrepreneur at the core. Her latest endeavors include JONES ROAD BEAUTY, an edited collection of high-performance, multi-purpose essentials and EVOLUTION_18, a line of beauty-inspired wellness products. Driven by Bobbi’s insatiable curiosity for all things lifestyle, she also curates the editorial website, justBOBBI.com. In addition, she and her husband, Steven Plofker, lovingly reimagined The George, a 32-room design-inspired boutique hotel located in Montclair, N.J. They have 3 sons Dylan, Dakota, and Duke.

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