Jai Jai Hooray: Make Cultural Learning Irresistible With a Set of 10 Flashcards About Hindu Deities

Jai Jai Hooray
[Photo Credit: Pooja Dhar of PR Photography]

by Runway&Rattles Follow @sheenad29

There is no better joy than finding new and exciting tools in the market that teach our kids more about our South Asian culture and religion. We do what we can on our own—take them to temple occasionally, celebrate Hindu holidays, recite prayers to them daily, at home-cooked food and speak the language. But sometimes, we feel like the kids just go through the motions because we want them to, however, many of them don’t stop to understand who they are praying to or what the story behind each deity is. 

Insert Jai Jai Hooray. We recently fell in love with Jai Jai Hooray’s new 10-set flashcard collection and couldn’t be happier to share our experience with our friends at Brown Girl Magazine. Of course, each group of children reacted so differently, being in different age groups and growing up with different ways of learning from their parents. Overall, it was beautiful to witness what they all had to say about the cards and the sort of conversations that followed.

Jai Jai Hooray’s flashcards are a set of 9 religious deities in the Hindu religion. Each card has a vibrant, kid-friendly picture on one side, which is an immediate attention grabber in and of itself.  The back of the card consists of the SAY-SEE-LEARN framework, which enables anyone to be a teacher or student. The cards come with a special intent to help the child engage and learn more about their religion and the background of the Gods that they see and pray to regularly. 

jai jai hooray[Photo Credit: Pooja Dhar of PR Photography]

If you ask us, these cards are a no-brainer – they’re affordable ($15), durable, and enjoyable for all ages. Purchase a set of your own here and watch your kids flourish with every passing card.


jai jai hooray

One of the harder things Sheena experiences with raising her boys in this generation is their lack of religious knowledge. She is always looking for something they (and she) can relate to when teaching them whatever she can. Growing up, Mommy Vaid was constantly teaching us as much as she could about our religion, deities, Indian traditions, and Hindu prayers. She very much wanted us to know as much as we could—even if she wasn’t directly teaching us, she made sure we were picking it up in the background.  She made us sit with her during morning prayers, asked us to repeat after her, and as we got older, encouraged us to do the pujas we listened to her do.

Back then it was easier to learn and focus because we didn’t have iPads, cell phones and laptops to run back to so we sat with mom patiently as she tried to impart our culture on us. Luckily enough, Sheena’s in-laws and parents have been able to pass some of that knowledge on to their kids as well. Even with all of their help, she still feels it’s up to her to expose the boys to our religion and culture with current methods that will be able to hold their attention. She tries to teach them both the Jain and Hindu religions so they value both equally. 

Hindu Deities: SAY

As for the Jain Gods, the boys attend school at their local temple and learn a lot about the Jain religion, their traditions, and the unique stories of the deities. She loves how intrigued they are by everything they learn there. As for the Hindu Gods, she doesn’t find herself as qualified to teach them on her own, so she depends on activities like these Jai Jai Hooray flashcards, books and her mom for the exposure. 

The flashcards were a hit with the boys—they loved learning about the many Hindu Gods, what they stand for, who they can relate them to, and create their own version in their minds to remember who is who. They knew most of them by name as they are all in their home temple, but they enjoyed practicing the pronunciations and putting a familiar face to the name.

jai jai hooray

Hindu Deities: SEE

Sheena’s boys are VERY visual, whether it be books, cards, TV or computer screens. They learn more from the visual and not the verbal, and that’s why they loved these cards so much. The bright colors, detailed pictures, and huge variety caught their attention instantly (which is already a hard task in itself)! They were able to relate the pictures of the different Gods to the statues they see in our home temple. It was a true pleasure for Sheena to see how much they already knew and how excited they were to learn more. They loved showing each other the “cool” parts of the pictures as well.

If they saw an image they didn’t recognize, they would ask Sheena if this God was in their temple and that immense interest made the cards an instant hit for Sheena.

Hindu Deities: LEARN

Now that all three boys are reading fluently, Sheena absolutely loved hearing them read the descriptions to her out loud. It insured to her that they were actually reading (and not just skimming) the cards and understanding what each one said. She loved that they would summarize each card after reading it and sometimes even come up with their own version of the description. Their imagination was running wild with 1000 questions for mommy after each card (and she tried her very best to answer all of them). She loved that they showed that much interest and already sees them reading them again to remind themselves of what they learned.  She also felt that the number of cards was perfect as any more would have lost their interest and at least one of them would have left the group conversation before the end. They all not only stuck around to go through all the cards but truly enjoyed learning through them!


jai jai hooray

Nina has tried to find ways to teach the girls about “jai jai” in different ways other than preaching. She tries to have them sit in front of their small temple at home for just a few minutes a day and sing a song or two if they can concentrate that long in their morning excitement. Nina had taught the girls the names of all the Gods in their home temple, but never really explained the role of each one. So the arrival of these cards was literally just what she needed.  And the girls loved the Jai Jai Hooray cards instantly! 

Hindu Deities: Say

Naya immediately started trying to pronounce the names of all the deities after looking at their pictures. She was able to use the phonetic pronunciation on the back of the card to say each one just right. This really made her proud—as Nina shouted, “THAT’S RIGHT!” It was probably one of the first times they were saying the names properly without mommy having to correct them. Naya tried to read all the words on each card and because the language is simple, it was achievable for her, which made her and mommy both pretty proud. Niva was not so much into the saying part. She turned the cards over to see the names at the top, and then immediately went back to the pictures. She was more infatuated with the images on the front of the card. Nesa showed her excitement the only way she knows how—plenty of squeals admiring the pictures.

jai jai hooray

Hindu Deities: See

Naya pointed out several cards and asked things like, “Why is he sitting on a lion?” and “Why is he a monkey?” She was captivated by the colors and the imagery. Nesa was enamored with the cards and just kept turning them round and round in awe of the colors. It was very heartwarming to see her little baby light up when looking at the cards. Nina loved the visuals themselves propelled the girls into asking more questions than they would have to see the images in a book. They liked holding their own card and learning everything about the God they were holding. The fact that the illustrations are geared towards children made them appealing to the age group and kept them interested, which is a very tough task these days!

jai jai hooray

Hindu Deities: Learn

What a great tool to getting these girls into learning more details about the different Hindu gods. Naya and Niva intently listened to what each God’s purpose was and Naya was quick to ask questions like “What is a loyal devotee?” This expanded the conversation into what it means to be loyal and what it means to be a devotee. Each question led to more conversation about topics that the family rarely gets to talk about. The girls and Nina talked about overcoming obstacles and how some Gods help to make sure we do well in school and other Gods help bring prosperity to the family. The explanations on the cards are really basic and touch to the essence of the belief of God, allowing the kids to really explore and take the conversation in whatever direction they please.

This box set is really very well done and Nina felt that it was a great tool in getting the girls engaged in the world of Hindu Gods. The girls asked if they could place the cards in our temple at home and Nina immediately fell in love with that idea. What a lovely gesture to be able to say, let us pick up that card and remind ourselves who we are praying to.


jai jai hooray

Hindu Deities: Say

Diav has grown up with Dipti and Sachin showing him flashcards all day, every day. They knew from early on that Diav picked up on this method really well and so took advantage and taught him everything he knows in flashcard form. He is also very big into singing and knows tons of religious songs that his grandparents have taught him through his two years. Diav absolutely loved going through the Jai Jai Hooray flashcards! He’s familiar with most of their names as they’ve come up with songs here and there, but more than anything else, he loved pointing to the familiar objects on the cards and screaming “elephant is Ganesh” and “Hanuman is the monkey!” When he came upon an unfamiliar face, he waited for mommy to give him a hint, “who holds all the coins?” and excitedly screamed “Laxmi!”

Hindu Deities: See

The colorful box itself was enough to grab’s Diav’s attention! He took one look and couldn’t wait to open it up and see what was inside! And when he did, he couldn’t be more thrilled with the pictures! He loved that the cards had one familiar aspect to it, whether it was a mouse or a snake, he knew something on each card. This made it easy for him to associate the familiar items with the name of the God that mommy was telling him. He knew that Ganesh is an elephant and that Durga sits on a lion! The vibrant colors immediately captivated him and he ended up staring at most of the pictures for some time!

Hindu Deities: Learn

Being two years old, the learning part was slightly advanced for Diav. Dipti read all the learning parts to him but he was more interested in the picture and practicing the words than he was with the story that each card had attached to it. For him, it was about looking at the picture, finding the animal and associating the animal with the God. While he didn’t appreciate the learning part as much, his daddy and mommy were so into it! Dipti is Hindu while Sachin is Jain so they rarely talk about the back stories of their respective religions (they both also don’t know THAT much about them). But both loved reading the “learning” portion of the cards as it helped them understand the story behind the Gods that they pay their respects to every day! They were surprised with how much they didn’t know and appreciated that the cards kept it short and simple for the entire family.  

Diav is so fond of the cards and now his new morning and evening routines include going through the Jai Jai cards.

Help your kids discover the exciting world Hindu Gods and Goddesses through these amazingly handcrafted Jai Jai Hooray flashcards! We assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

The following sponsored product review is written by the sisters and founders of Runways & Rattles, Dipti Vaid Dedhia, Nina Raoji, and Sheena Dedhia. Each one shares an honest recount of how their children reacted to the set of 10 Jai Jai Hooray flashcards, which improve cultural learning. Photos are courtesy of the sisters.

Jai Jai Hooray is the first product of Umani Studio, founded by Rupa Parekh. Her mission is to create beautifully simple cultural learning tools that introduce India to new audiences with a modern flavor. Discover her first tool—Jai Jai Hooray mythology flashcards, illustrated by India-based artist, Ajinkya Bane. The SAY-SEE-LEARN framework enables anyone to be a teacher or student. Inside the handcrafted box, comes nine deities and one “design your own” character card.

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

Priya Guyadeen: The Indo Guyanese Comedian Paving the way for Caribbean Comics


“How could the British bring the Indians without the cows?” That’s one of the jokes you’re very likely to hear at comedian Priya Guyadeen’s show. In fact, the 53-year-old just wrapped up a set of shows with her troupe: Cougar Comedy Collective. The Guyanese-born comic spearheads the group of mostly women of “a certain age,” as she puts it.


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She says the group was formed in 2021 but she started dishing out jokes back in 2020 during the pandemic, over Zoom. She was always labeled the “funny one” in her family and decided to take her jokes to a virtual open mic, hosted by her friend, where she says failure was less daunting. 

[Read Related: Indo Caribbean Actress Saheli Khan Lands Role as Young Anna in Disney’s Musical ‘Frozen’]

Cut to 2023, and the comic was able to take her show on the road. Guyadeen and her fellow performers recently hit the East coast for a set of shows called “Cougars on the Loose!” The shows even featured two male comics. 

Guyadeen’s comedy routines touch on her Indo Guyanese background, highlighting stereotypes and a clash of cultures. In one of her jokes, she tells her audience that her Guyanese mom is bad with names when she introduces her white boyfriend, Randy, and he gets called Ramesh. 

Out in the Bay Area — where she spends her days now — she tries to connect the sparsely Caribbean population to her jokes. 

That includes talking about the 1978 Jonestown Massacre which had ties to San Francisco and ended in Guyana. She uses this as a reference point — trying to connect her audience to her background with historical context. She says this does come with its challenges, though. 

The single mom also practices clean jokes. Once she finishes up her daily routine with her eight-year-old son and day job as a project manager for a biotechnology company, she tries to find time to write her material. 

It’s a balancing act. I’m like the day job-Priya for a few hours or for a chunk of time. And then I’ve got to put on my comedian hat and do that for a period of time because with comedy, I’m not just performing. I’m also producing, managing the shows, booking talent, seeking venues. 

Though it’s not easy, she says she’s learning through it all — the business side of comedy and discipline. 

Guyadeen, who’s lived in Brazil and Canada, says her young son really contributes to her comedy. A lot of her material focuses on jokes for parents, and single parents like herself, because she feels:

[We live] in a society that doesn’t really create a support system for single parents.

Her nonprofit, Cougar Comedy Collective, was born out of all the great reception she received. She noticed a “niche market” of women in their 50s who loved to get dressed up and come out to the shows to hear jokes that related to their own lives that aren’t typically touched on. These were jokes about menopause, aging and being an empty nester. Guyadeen says her nonprofit,

…bring[s] talent together in our age group to celebrate this time of life; celebrate this particular juncture in a person’s life.

As Guyadeen continues her comedic journey, she says she hopes she’ll be a role model for other Caribbean women to follow their dreams despite their age. She also hopes to see more Caribbean people carving out their space in the entertainment industry.

Featured Image of Priya Guyadeen taken by Elisa Cicinelli Photography

By Dana Mathura

A natural-born skeptic, Dana is constantly questioning the world around her with an intense curiosity to know who, what, where, … Read more ›

5 Indo Caribbean Food Experts you Need to Know This Winter Season

trinidad curry
Curried Chicken with Roti Parata or Roti, popular Middle Eastern/Indian cuisine

It is officially that time of year—the holiday season. There’s nothing like Christmas and New Year’s in the West Indies. Between the pepperpot in Guyana and the palm trees decorated in lights in Trinidad, the home food, warm weather and laid-back ambiance makes us wish we could escape the cold and head back to the Caribbean. Most of us, however, cannot “take holiday” and find ourselves hungry for fresh dhal puri and doubles. But, thanks to these Indo-Caribbean food bloggers, we can bring the motherland to our kitchens.

1. Matthew’s Guyanese Cooking

From Diwali mithai specialties to curry chicken, Matthew is creating a name for himself as a young Guyanese food blogger. He makes a great effort to incorporate Hindu holidays and traditions on his Instagram account, in conjunction with the customary foods and sweets associated with these religious events. However, his expertise does not end there, with new and alternative recipes for classic dishes such as curry chicken and bhara, Matthew takes center stage sharing both traditional Guyanese dishes as well as specific religious dishes made for festivals. His most popular YouTube video, with 1.4 million views, features his grandmother and focuses on the best tips to make the softest Guyanese paratha roti. In addition, his YouTube account is home to many videos offering guidance to Indo Caribbean cooking. Find recipes at @mattews.guyanese.cooking

2. Trini Cooking with Natasha

Natasha Laggan of Trini Cooking with Natasha is wildly popular throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. With humble beginnings, Natasha credits her love of food to her family’s business. She speaks of the nostalgia home food provides her as she reminisces memories of her grandmother’s cooking and helping her mother make sandwiches early in the morning. Featured by Forbes, Natasha grew her Facebook following quickly throughout the pandemic by posting old YouTube videos. Today, she has more than 1 million followers on Facebook and over 200K followers on YouTube. She uses her passion for cooking and Trinidadian culture to bring easy-to-follow recipes to viewers. Her following has now reached the West Indian diaspora globally as she has also become a brand ambassador to two well-known food companies.  Follow the food expert @trinicookingwithnatasha.

[Read Related: 5 Indo-Caribbean Recipes for the Holiday Season you Have to Make]

3. Cooking with Ria

With over 100K followers on YouTube, Ria is quite the expert when it comes to making roti. Her dhal puri, sada roti and paratha roti tutorials have over 1M views! However, her expertise does not stop there. Of the 180 YouTube tutorials, her recipes vary from curry to other Trinidadian favorites like macaroni pie and pigtail soup. Just scrolling through her YouTube page makes your mouth water. From doubles to classic Trinidad bakes like pound cake and sweet bread, she provides precision and anecdotal commentary while guiding you through the familiarity of home food. Check out Ria’s page at @cookingwithria.


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4. Chef Devan

Known as Chef Devan, Devan Rajkumar embraces his Guyanese Canadian heritage by creating recipes combining flavors of both the East and West Indies. His love of food has allowed him to expand his role to judge in a popular Canadian cooking show: Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters. His cooking often blends the flavors of multiple cultures but also creates the classic recipes of his motherland. With a multitude of interests, Chef Dev uses his social media platform to connect with followers by sharing various aspects of his life that go beyond cooking. His most recent YouTube video provides a trailer for an upcoming video “Tastes Guyana” which shows him exploring Guyana from the inside, specifically deep parts of the inner country. To learn more about Chef Devan follow @chefdevan.


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A post shared by Devan Rajkumar (@chefdevan)

5. Taste of Trinbago

Reshmi is the chef behind the growing blog, Taste of Trinbago. A Trinidadian native who now resides in Texas, she uses her love of food and Trinidadian culture to share hacks, tips and easy recipes with West Indians throughout the globe. She finds a way to simplify traditional West Indian meals, that we once watched our elders make with curiosity.  From holiday specialties like black cake to Diwali delicacies, Reshmi has brought vegetarian and non-veg recipes to followers in an extremely accessible way. She even posts recipe cards on her IG highlights for followers who may need written instructions. Her IG profile is a mix of various West Indian foods while also sharing bits of her life and even her secrets to baby food. Follow her @tasteoftrinbago.


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These are just five Indo Caribbean food bloggers sharing their secrets to easy cooking. The once very daunting recipes and food instructions our parents gave have been simplified by most of these bloggers through video, voice over and modernized recipes. We no longer have to estimate a “dash, pinch or tuk” of any masala. We are just days away from Christmas and this is the perfect time to find the best-suited recipe to make that paratha for Santa.

Featured Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Subrina Singh

Subrina Singh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian & Asian American Studies from Stony Brook University and a Master’s Degree … Read more ›

In Conversation with Neha Samdaria Founder and CEO of Aam: A New Type of Fashion Label


Neha Samdaria is the founder and CEO of Aam, a new type of fashion label. Aam’s mission is to change the way womxn with the hourglass and pear-shaped body types shop for clothing. The word Aam means ordinary in Hindi. The community consists predominantly of womxn of colour with naturally curvier hips. Aam has a low return rate of 3%. The team at Aam has built sizing charts and tested them over a 10-month period. The clothing was made with sustainable materials in ethical factories. If you are struggling to find clothes that fit appropriately check out Aam today. Continue reading to learn more about Neha Samadria’s company Aam!

[Read Related: Indra Nooyi Talks ‘My Life in Full’ and her Journey to Becoming PepsiCo’s CEO]


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[Read Related: In Conversation With Illustrator Anoosha Syed]

What were your personal struggles with shopping for clothing that fit and how did these experiences inspire you to start a company?

I have what you would call a “pear shaped” body, meaning my hips and thighs are wider than my upper half. I’m 1-2 sizes bigger on the bottom than on the top and for years, I’ve struggled to find clothes – especially pants – that fit me correctly. Too tight on the hips? Size up. Too loose on the waist? Wear a belt. My entire life, I felt alone in my struggle. Eventually, the pant shopping experience became so unpleasant that I started avoiding them entirely – choosing to opt for dresses, skirts and stretchy leggings instead.

When I arrived at Stanford Business School in 2016, I learned that I was far from alone in my experience. 1 in 4 American women – predominantly women of color – shared my struggles. And when I dug deeper to understand why, I uncovered the bias-riddled foundation of size charts in the United States. When I learned that the fit issue was systemic and rooted in bad data, I felt inspired to do something.

You’ve had a range of experiences working in consulting, marketing, as well as completing an MBA program. How have these range of experiences helped you start a company?

On a practical level, acquiring a range of skills helps with the various hats you have to wear as a CEO. On a daily basis, I am a strategist, marketer, fulfiller, accountant and designer. But the biggest thing I feel I’ve gained is an approach to tackling new problems. One of the toughest things about being a solo Founder is that the buck stops with you. You have to have faith that even if a problem is brand new and well outside your area of expertise, you’ll be able to forge a path forward. My life before Aam gave me a lot of practice in that.

Have you faced adversity as a newcomer in this space?

The biggest adversity we’ve faced is in marketing and sales. As a bootstrapped e-commerce business with no outside investment, it’s been tough to compete with large retailers with big marketing budgets. How do you get noticed as a small brand? Through trial and error we’ve found success in niche influencers who are excited by the problem we’re solving and are keen to support, in-person markets and events, and organic, word of mouth referral. We’re also beginning to partner with marketplaces and small retailers, to expand our brand reach.

Who are some mentors and leaders you look up to and what characteristics do they possess that you sought to emulate while starting your own company?

My biggest mentors are bootstrapped entrepreneurs who built up their businesses brick by brick. My father is one such example, and I have a handful of folks in my circle who have done the same. I find their grit and scrappiness inspiring; most of them don’t have a professional degree and gained their business acumen on the field.

I also admire kind and supportive leaders; team culture is one of the most difficult things to nail, and you have to be intentional from the beginning. I had a wonderful boss at my first job out of college. He knew how to nurture the strengths of his direct reports and wasn’t afraid to task them with challenging, meaningful work. Crucially, he was always there as our safety net in case we had questions or needed help along the way. I’ve tried to build the same type of ethos within Aam.

Do you see Aam as a strong contender in the fashion industry helping a wide variety of individuals?

I do! We’re one of the only brands catering to pear and hourglass shapes, perhaps because the fit issue is so fundamental and expensive to fix (see Q7). But beyond this, we’re one of the only brands that focuses on fit – period. The entire industry – from runways to fast fashion brands – is focused largely on design, when poor fit is actually the #1 driver of returns. Aam’s return rate is just 3%, vs. an e-commerce industry standard of ~30%. We can make the industry more customer-centric and less wasteful by investing in the early steps of proper sizing and fit testing.

In terms of helping a “wide variety” of individuals, Aam is a niche brand that is committed to helping the 1 in 4 women with curvy hips and thighs. I don’t plan to expand to other shapes at this time because I believe that in order to add value, you can’t be all things to all people. Our community has been underserved for almost 100 years and we’re here for them.

What made you decide to name the company Aam?

“Aam” means “ordinary” in Hindi, my native tongue. The company’s approach to design – starting with the consumer, and designing entirely for her – runs counter to the industry. My goal with this business is to make this consumer-centric approach to design more “ordinary,” giving power back to the women who wear our clothes, and elevating their voices on a global stage.

What is the process of rethinking fit standards?

Modern size charts are based largely off of a 1939 study that surveyed 15,000 women across the U.S. This study was flawed for several reasons including: 1) it relied on bust measurements, assuming women are proportional throughout and 2) it excluded women who were not Caucasian from the final results, thereby underrepresenting body shapes that are more commonly found among women of color.

At Aam, we’ve rebuilt a fresh dataset of 314 women across the U.S. who have pear and hourglass shapes, and are using this dataset to inform all of our collections. By fixing bad data, we’re addressing the root cause of poor fit and rethinking fit standards.

[Read Related: Tech Leader Asha Easton is Pioneering an Innovative Future, Inclusive of All]


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[Read Related: Saree, not Sorry! In Conversation With Sasha Revankar, Founder of the ‘One Minute Saree’]

Where do you feel the fashion industry can improve?

There are big opportunities for improvement in supply chain, fit and inclusion.

On the supply chain side, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to ethics and sustainability. There are great auditing standards out there (SEDEX, OEKO-TEX, GOTS, for example), but only a small percentage of factories are certified. In 2021, as I was building out my supply chain in India, I visited factories that spanned the full gamut, from regularly-audited, responsible manufacturers to those who enforced 14+ hour daily shifts and refused even chairs for their workers to sit on. Brands are engaging in conversations about diversity and inclusion but it’s often on the consumer side; few are willing to be as transparent when it comes to their supply chains, where women of color are disproportionately exploited. As consumers, one easy thing we can all do is check the Ethics & Sustainability page of the brands we love. Do they talk about certified factories, third party audits and following sustainability standards? If not, we have the power to ask – why?

I’ve shared a bit above about the issues surrounding fit – it is the single biggest driver of returns, an issue that has been plaguing retailers for decades. It’s costly, harms the environment and (in the long term) hurts your brand. I believe that investing in better upstream processes – improved size charts and more rigorous fit testing – will lead to huge improvements down the line.

And finally, inclusion. One of my pet peeves is seeing brands design styles that are clearly intended for straight shapes and small sizes and then scale them up to mid and plus sizes claiming that they now design “for all bodies.” Putting ill-fitted pieces on models of different shapes and sizes doesn’t mean you understand or care about that customer. We should be asking ourselves – what does this customer really want? How is this garment going to make her feel? How can we design FOR her, first and foremost? This is being inclusive in a real way.

As a CEO of a company what is your daily routine?

My day starts the night prior, when I write down my priorities for the upcoming day. I use this great planner by Kindred Braverly that helps break down my activities into bite size segments. I’m not a morning person and part of my team is based in India (with a flipped schedule), so I usually start my date late around 9am.

First, I workout, so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something early in the day. Then, I grab breakfast, coffee and start work around 10:30. I start with the highest priority items on my list, which can range anywhere from sales and marketing to strategic planning and design. I work in 1hr increments with 10-15 mins of break in between. During these breaks, I’ll step outside, hydrate or crank up some music and just free dance. I try to get away from a screen, so I can return to my work with fresh eyes.

I then have a hard stop from 7-9pm to spend time with my husband, and then I’ll usually squeeze in an additional hour or two of work with my India team, before heading to bed.

Early in my Founder journey, I started tracking productivity patterns during my week. For example, I’m usually less productive on Mondays than I am later in the week. So I try to schedule more interesting, strategic work early in the week in order to stay motivated. I also work a half day on Sundays, to take some of the pressure off of the following week.

As there are many companies interested in fast fashion, how does your company differ in terms of sustainable materials and ethical factories?

Responsible production is one of our brand pillars, so we think about it in each step of the process. All of our suppliers must be third-party certified for ethical working conditions from one of the leading, global certification programs (more info here).

Additionally, we use sustainable fabrics in all of our collections. For example, we work with organic cotton (vs. regular cotton), which saves water and is made without toxic pesticides. We work with new fabrics, like lyocell, that can emulate the handfeel and durability of less sustainable fibers without the environmental footprint. In our most recent collection, we introduced premium deadstock wool, which is fabric that was produced in excess by brands and would have otherwise gone to waste. We also ensure that all of our dyes are free of Azo compounds (several of which are carcinogenic) via rigorous testing.

On the production side, we rely on a combination of third-party audits as well as personal, first-party checks. I’ve spent days in each of our factories, observing the working conditions and interacting with the team.

On the packaging side, we spent a great deal of time thinking about how to recycle and reuse. Each Aam pant comes inside a reusable cotton cover, inspired by the beautiful saree covers you see in southern India. This cotton cover is placed inside a fully recyclable box, with a simple packing slip and card. There’s no excess paper, bubble wrap, or cardboard.

I’m proud of where we are in terms of ethics and sustainability – and I think we can still do better!

[Read Related: Shark Tank’s Krystal Persaud of Grouphug Solar is Breaking Barriers for Women of Color in Technology]

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We would love to hear some testimonials from previous customers.

“I have paid hundreds of dollars for ‘custom fit pants’ from various brands, and none of them fit quite as well as this pant did straight out of the box.” – The Flex Waist Pant, Size S

“This pant is amazing!! It is so lightweight and breathable… the material is so soft and silky, it feels like you’re wearing PJs but they look like elegant chic work/business pants.” – The Wide Leg Pant, Size M

“Never have I ever been able to easily pull a pair of pants over my thighs. I have ALWAYS had to jump to pull my pants up comfortably. These pants are amazing.” – The Crop Pant, Size L

“I can tell these are Aam pants instantly from how they taper at the waist. No other pants do that.” – The Limited Edition Wool Wide Leg Pant, Size S

Where do you see the company expanding in terms of different types of clothing offered?

I see bottoms as the biggest area of need, so we’ll first expand to other types of bottoms or clothes with bottoms: skirts, dresses, jumpsuits, potentially underwear and swim. Then, we’ll start expanding into other categories.

What is the toughest part of running your own company?

Staying motivated and showing up every day – even the bad days. As a Founder, there’s no one to answer to, no fixed schedule, and progress can sometimes feel very slow. There are weeks where I feel frustrated because I keep missing targets. Other weeks, we get a string of wins. It’s important to detach myself from both types of outcomes (wins and losses) and take neither very personally. This helps me commit instead to the process and just focus on the next small step forward.

But, easier said than done!

Lastly, what do you hope individuals take away from this interview with Brown Girl Magazine?

I’ve read Brown Girl Magazine for years and am so honored to be featured. I hope folks reading this feel inspired to tackle whatever problem – small or large – that they understand innately. Personal experience is a powerful motivator and difficult for others to replicate.


Photo Courtesy of Yogini Patel

By Arun S.

Arun fell in love with music at a young age by way of his middle school music teacher Mr. D. … Read more ›