"Workplaces need to provide equitable healthcare and normalise paternity leave"
Dr Manvi Goyal rediscovered her love for art while decorating her daughter's nursery, and she also wanted to pass on Indian cultural values to her through art and crafts. That's how Little Canvas was born. Dr Manvi talks to us about how Moms can do it all.
NN: How does The Little Canvas cater to or support Moms?
Dr Manvi: When you become a new parent, whether you are prepared or not, you also become a teacher. Parents in India and outside have a tough time finding culturally specific toys, books, and activities for their children – ones that reflect their everyday lives, connect them to their ethnic roots and identity as well as pass on the values that they grew up with. But now we have Little Canvas.
Little Canvas is an award-winning, young start-up that makes fun, unique, one-of-a-kind, do-it-yourself activity products that focus on the rich and diverse Indian culture and heritage.
Our parents and grandparents instilled the very appreciation for our rich Indian culture that we strive to pass on to future generations through our fun and educational Indian festivals' theme activity art and craft boxes, accessories, and products. The gift of knowledge may last a day, but the gift of wonder lasts forever.
NN: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started The Little Canvas.
Dr Manvi: Little Canvas was founded by me in 2018. I'm a mom to a little one who is my Chief Inspiration Officer. I am a passionate doer who dons multiple hats: a doting parent, a doctor, a supply chain enthusiast, and a proud Indian. I love to paint and am an avid traveller.
During my parenting journey, I picked up my paint brushes and colours after a decade as I wanted to do up my daughter's nursery, and like all doting parents, I wanted to set up a home for my daughter that was a reflection of us as "parents", the values we wanted to instil in our little one, and oh yes, the wings we wanted to give her that would let her carve her niche and soar high. But it was a struggle. I rekindled my first love for art and craft, and that's how Little Canvas was born.
NN: What is stopping moms from coming back to work and how can society/businesses bridge the gap?
Dr Manvi: Working mothers live with the constant guilt of not being available for their little ones and make every effort to balance work and home. Being a mother is one of the hardest yet most fulfilling jobs, and when coupled with a full-fledged professional life, a working mom has a daunting task to accomplish. Managing the kids, taking care of the family, and juggling the responsibilities of the home along with a career, work commitments, and deadlines put a lot of pressure on the working mom.
Workplaces can help mothers in the following ways to ensure they pursue their careers with lots of zeal and passion
Ensuring flexible work schedules
Identifying opportunities to promote equitable healthcare
Closing gender wage gaps
Normalizing male parental leave
Providing mental health support for employees
NN: Do you feel mothers bring some additional 'mom' experience to any workplace?
Dr Manvi: Yes, absolutely! Mothers are multi-taskers, juggling kids, home, and work all the time with ease. A mother is more patient, and compassionate. Her skills such as emotional intelligence, loyalty, good communication skills, organisational skills, interpersonal skills, independence, and ability to prioritise and problem-solve, make mothers the best employees, colleagues, and bosses.
At the Nüshu Network, we're celebrating mothers all through May. We are bringing you some awe-inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs who are moms themselves or serve moms as customers or employ moms in their startups. These are their stories of zeal and resilience.