We had the good fortune of connecting with Avni Gandhi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Avni, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My journey sort of started from my teaching roots. When I began thinking about having kids, I realized that the educational resources available for my own kids to learn about our native language (Gujarati) and our cultural heritage were either non-existent or poorly made. I initially started by authoring a book that introduces kids to the Gujarati alphabet in a poetic way. Getting that first book published became an “aha” moment that motivated me to do more. Being creative, I started making things on my own for my kids. I kept trying to improve things and slowly my friends and family started telling me that the stuff I was making was amazing and could be helpful to others so I decided to start selling it. I thought to myself that if I could use my passion for being creative and crafty to help other families in their cultural journey, why not? Plus owning my own business gave me the flexibility to always be available for my kids, while still having a space of my own where I could work and do something productive. 

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Of course! “Bhaasha” is the Sanskrit word for “language”. My company started out of a desire to provide the next generation with educational resources to connect with their mother language. Most people don’t know but India is home to the most diverse collection of languages in the world. People from nearly every state speak their own language. While most of us today primarily communicate in English, I think that there is a tremendous value in preserving our beautiful languages. They are a gateway into our glorious heritage. The question for me has always been: how do you inspire the next generation that is born and raised in the Western world to connect with this heritage? I am proud of the fact that through Bhaasha Basics I have created a little something that I hope will help other families in this journey. We offer the widest range of South Asian language-learning materials today with offerings in nine different languages! Creating so much material has not been easy (or cheap), but if it helps even a few kids develop a connection with their culture, I’ll feel like it was all worth it! Business-wise, one thing that I learned quickly was that it takes a LOT of money upfront to start a business. This is especially true when you are selling physical products. You can’t sell something until you have enough products to actually sell, and that requires you to have the products manufactured. Manufacturing is cheap when you order a million pieces, but when you’re starting up, you are praying that you find even a handful of people who want to buy your product. This means that you have to pay a high price to secure a small quantity of inventory that you then hope to sell. Point is that there is a HUGE upfront expense to starting a business. I was able to find a very creative way around this problem – manufacture the products myself! I taught myself how to design and manufacture my own products so that the only expense is my time. I cannot express how important this was in helping me launch my business successfully and I am very proud of the fact that I get to hand-make each product that is ordered on my website.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one! We moved to Dallas from Southern California so we haven’t fully explored everything here, but I have to say that the food here is far better than what we had in SoCal. DFW is probably home to the BEST Indian restaurants in the US – the variety and the sheer number of options is tremendous, and we definitely have found a few favorites in Desi District (Irving, TX) and Fun Pizza (The Colony, TX). Our favorite place to hang out is probably Klyde Warren Park, although The Sound has grown on us quite a bit as well!   

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my kids who are the sole inspiration and motivation behind Bhaasha Basics. This whole thing started out of a desire to provide for my kids – a desire to give them the best opportunity to learn about their language and culture. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would have had these fun ideas that ultimately became the products I sell. I also have to give credit to my husband who supports me behind the scenes in every which way possible and also to the amazing “mompreneurs” who encourage me, promote me and push me onwards. We live in an incredible time where so many moms are able to channel their skills and energy into doing something meaningful that is their own, and I absolutely feed off of their energy!

Website: www.bhaashabasics.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bhaashabasics/

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