Lifestyle

103 Lisa Ray on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

LISA RAY: Close to the Bone and Stories From the Heart

LISA RAY: Close to the Bone and Stories From the Heart 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

One of India’s first supermodels. Actor. Cancer survivor. Mother of twins through surrogacy. Woman of no fixed address.

Today I am honored to interview cross cultural phenomenon Lisa Ray.

She is an internationally acclaimed performer, philanthropist and star with a reputation for taking on challenging issue-oriented films. Raised in Canada by an Indian father and Polish mother, Ray was discovered while on vacation in India and went on to become not only one of the most successful cover models and celebrities in India but also an acclaimed, award-winning actress who starred in Canada’s Oscar nominated film, Water, amongst other prestigious credits. Named one of the ‘Ten most beautiful Indian women of the millenium’ by a Times of India poll, Ray cemented her profile as an iconic figure in India before leaving for drama school in London and opportunities around the world.

Along the way, Ray found time along the way to host her own entertainment show in India, filmed a landmark music video for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and became the enduring brand ambassador for Rado Watches.

In 2009, Ray attended the Toronto International Film Festival in support of her work in two films. The event marked an important public announcement, in which Ray chose to share her diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma with media and the public. The outpouring of support was immediate and overwhelming. She also started a blog (‘The Yellow Diaries’) to share her cancer experiences. Her forthrightness and humour in navigating a difficult illness have earned her the attention and respect of people from all corners of the world, as well as ‘The Voice Achievers Award, 2009’ and ‘The Hope Award, 2010’. Ray went on to help raise funds for the establishment of the first research chair for Multiple Myeloma at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Ray’s philanthropic interests range from taking part in the on-air drive for SickKids Hospital to Ambassador of Plan Canada’s ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign, a global movement that supports the rights of girls around the world.

In 2019, Lisa released her memoirs Close to The Bone. “An unflinching, deeply moving account of her nomadic existence: her entry into the Indian entertainment industry at sixteen; her relationship with her Bengali father and Polish mother; life on the movie sets and her brush with the Oscars; her battle with eating disorders; being diagnosed with multiple myeloma at thirty-seven; her spiritual quest; lovers and traitors, mentors and dream-makers; and the heartaches and triumphs along the way. It is also about Lisa’s quest for love. Funny, charming, and gut-wrenchingly honest all at once, Close to the Bone is Lisa Ray’s brave and inspiring story of a life lived on her terms.”

Lisa and her husband Jason Dehni have two lovely daughters, Sufi and Soleil.

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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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97 Sheetal Sheth on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

097: Sheetal Sheth — Breaking Barriers in Communities, Film, and Life

097: Sheetal Sheth — Breaking Barriers in Communities, Film, and Life 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Sheetal Sheth is an acclaimed actress, producer, author, and activist. She is known for her provocative performances in a wide range of memorable roles on film and television. She has starred in over 20 feature films and many TV shows and is a favorite in the independent film world, having won five best actress awards on the film festival circuit. She has earned a loyal, international following. Sheetal began her career at a time when few South Asians were making their living as actors. Despite being told she’d have to change her name to work, her successful career has trail-blazed paths for other women of color across media. Sheetal supports marginalized communities not only through her own pioneering work as an actor, but by also appearing at workshops and panels and speaking directly to issues facing those communities. She is known as an outspoken advocate and has delivered talks and keynotes at festivals and charity galas.

She’s had op-eds published on CNN, The Daily Beast, and Thrive Global. She served in President Clinton’s AmeriCorps and is currently on the advisory board of Equality Now and an ambassador for CA First Partner, Jennifer Newsom’s, The Representation Project. Her first children’s book, Always Anjali was published in 2018 to wide acclaim. It won the 2019 Purple Dragonfly Storybook Grand Prize (voted on by teachers and librarians) and is set to be a series, the first and only in this age group featuring an Indian American hero.

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88 Arjun and Tara Coomaraswamy on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

088: Arjun and Tara — When Music Runs in the Family

088: Arjun and Tara — When Music Runs in the Family 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Hi everyone. I want to start by telling you that I am so excited for this special interview because it’s like none I have done before. My guest today is a mega superstar who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing on numerous occasions in the US, Canada, and now on Zoom, and he is being joined by his one and only mom. This show is called That’s Total Mom sense for a reason. I think this his first interview with his mom so it’s going to fun for all of us.

So the artist I’m talking about is Arjun Coomeraswamy – or just Arjun.

He is a London-based singer, songwriter and music producer. He has become known for his fusion of contemporary Western and Eastern sounds, combining soulful R&B with elements of South Asian music. This formula has made him a huge hit with Asian youth across the globe. As a pioneer in the Hindi/R&B Fusion genre, Arjun has set the standard for other young Asian artists now following in his footsteps.

He is a multi-instrumentalist, capable of playing the guitar, piano, bass, drums and flute, on top of singing and beat-boxing.

He is currently the most viewed UK Asian artist on YouTube, with approx one billion views, and has a strong social media presence with over 1.5 million Facebook fans and half a million Instagram followers.

He was signed to India’s biggest record label T-Series. ‘I’ll Be Waiting’, his first single released on the T-Series channel and racked up over 65 million views, charted at #1 in the iTunes India Chart and spent over 40 weeks in the UK BBC Asian Download Chart.

He signed with Island Records, a branch of Universal Music, in September 2016 and released his first single in 2017, his second single Vaadi in 2018 and his debut album “Closer to Home” that same year, which reached No 1 on the Itunes R&B chart in 24 hours.

He has a truly international fan-base, and as a result has had the opportunity to perform for fans all over the world to crowds of up to 200,000, in countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, US, Canada, India, Sri Lanka, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Suriname, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

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86 Ali Levine on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta.jpg

086: Ali Levine — Taking Risks + Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

086: Ali Levine — Taking Risks + Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Today I’m excited to feature a guest who is a known risk-taker and prides herself on living by her own terms. Ali Levine.

Celebrity stylist and motherhood/fashion/lifestyle expert Ali Levine believes that no matter where you roam, from the laundry room to the red carpet, authenticity is your superpower and “confidence is your best accessory.” Raised in the high-velocity fashion culture of New York City, a natural gift for style led Levine to opportunities working with international designers like Coach, Talbots, and the opening of New York’s flagship Target location. A transition to television/film took her to Hollywood, where she founded the Ali Levine Design headquarters, quickly establishing herself as LA’s “it” girl of celebrity styling with a star-studded portfolio that includes top names like Jesse McCartney, Arianny Celeste, Holly Robinson Peete, Joey King, Gretchen Rossi, Lisa Vanderpump and more. She rose to reality stardom with her Bravo show Stipped, which had exposed couple’s relationships wilee stripping them of everything they own – clothing, furniture, money, coveted possessions, to uncover what truly matters most.

After the arrival of her first child, daughter Amelia Rei, Levine wholeheartedly embraced the role of mompreneur/mommy influencer. She is now a mama of two and shares her real raw truth of motherhood. She is a sought-after motherhood style/lifestyle expert covered by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and LA Times, with design ideas featured on national network television and in print/online media outlets such as Real Simple, PopSugar, and FabFitFun. She is also one of Yahoo’s “Top Influencers to Watch and Follow in 2020.” The Ali Levine blog – which shares the unfiltered moment-to-moment evolution that is #MomLife, along with everyday style inspiration – earned a spot among the top 100 personal stylist blogs and has been named one of the top 40 LA fashion blogs. On the “Everything with Ali Levine” podcast, the New York hotshot-turned-Hollywood style maven delivers a real, raw look at her own motherhood journey amid the treasures she’s uncovered in the universal search for authenticity, spiritual wholeness, and happiness.

Follow along at AliLevine.com and on Instagram @AliLevineDesign. Discover true-life inspirational interviews with some of Levine’s fellow A-list moms in the 5-star rated “Everything with Ali Levine” podcast on iTunes.

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70 Shannon Murray-Doffo on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

070: Shannon Murray-Doffo — Kids Apparel That Sparks Imagination

070: Shannon Murray-Doffo — Kids Apparel That Sparks Imagination 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Imagine if children’s apparel was so much more than just clothes. What if it were experiential and allowed kids to use their imagination and bring things to life.

My guest has been there and is doing it as we speak.

Shannon Murray-Doffo, is an award winning serial entrepreneur, marketing expert, and business strategist. Shannon spent over 13 years helping Fortune 10 companies strategize, build, and implement their marketing campaigns, culminating in launching her own brand in 2019, Living Loudly.

Living Loudly serves parents as a children’s clothing and lifestyle brand, helping parents realize they’re not alone and bringing a little more joy to the parenting experience.

Whether parents are picking out super-soft, eco-friendly apparel with their kids and cuddling up with a story, or taking one of her online workshops to get real support with their relationships, self-care, or parenting, Living Loudly puts connection at the heart of the business so parents (and their kiddos) can have a few more laughs and a few less bribes.

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