Kidsstoppress will feature a series of successful entrepreneurs in the parenting and childcare segment- the ones who have worked hard to establish a brand that is helping parents in #SimplifyingParenting and living their dreams.
How do they do it? What is their inspiration? What prompts them to cater to the littlest of their customers in a way that creates an impact? We ask them all of this- that will help inspire fellow moms to think big and follow their footsteps into the world of business and passion. Scroll down to read more about these successful mompreneurs in our exclusive #MomBoss series.
Click here to read our other #MomBoss featuring successful mompreneurs.
This week, Vrushali Barbare- the founder of Enlit Kids- one of Pune's most popular children's bookstoree and runner-up of the Best Bookstore & Library- Pune category in KSP Awards, tells us her story of what it takes to be a successful mompreneur.
One common point of discussion among today's parents revolves around making them smarter than what we were a generation ago! And to aid that, we must surround them with the best learning aids and platforms that challenge, inspire and motivate the young minds. When Vrushali, an engineer by profession who was always passionate about reading, took up a Masters in Social Work and worked on multiple assignments related to children, the idea to set up something on her own to effectively aid kids' development was born. Her husband Amol Barbare, with a vast experience in the IT industry, echoed her views and felt the need to raise the standards of kids' education and development in India. He quit his cushy IT job and the duo set off to start Enlit Kids- that grew from strength to strength- from being a bookstore to a learning club for kids in Pune.
"The few years we spent in the U.S made us realise the role that children's libraries and programmes played in developing their reading habits, expression and essential skills. We wanted to bring our learnings back to India and the idea of ENLIghTening kids was born!", say the duo. From a single bookstore back in 2010, Enlit Kids has now spread its wings to housing over 50,000 books (both Indian and International authors), toys and other learning aids for kids in their two branches across Pune and a learning club that closely works with schools and NGOs to make the next-gen smarter!
Why books? Isn't that a tough market?
And when we question them about the inspiration to go big, pat comes the reply. "My kids have always been the biggest inspiration in my entrepreneurial journey. In a bid to raise them as book-lovers and to minimise their screen time, we brainstormed and the idea of a children's developmental centre and learning club was born. Parenting and business are both a learning process, right?", they ask and we nod in agreement. Echoing Kidsstoppress' sentiments of #SimplifyingParenting, Vrushali explains how technology has turned out to be a key factor in influencing the young minds- through TV programmes, or games or apps, and this is where equipping them with the right skills and knowledge through books plays a crucial factor today. Enlit Kids aims to do just that with their workshops, activity-based programmes and events for kids. With the online space opening its wide doors for books and toys, Vrushali is quick to admit that it did prove to be a challenge and obstacle for traditional retail stores like theirs. "That's when we had to rethink our business strategies. With the change in technology and recent trends, the market and competition keep evolving and we need to constantly come up with differentiators and unique ideas", she quips in. Aspiring entrepreneurs- are you listening?
As a mom who struggles to juggle between work and parenting, I am torn to ask Vrushali which takes a higher priority among the two for an entrepreneur. She is quick to tell us, "Motherhood has always been my top priority. Since my work aligns with parenting and child development, it was easy for me to balance the two, of course with the support of my family and friends". A common voice we hear among mompreneurs. We ask her for the top 3 hacks, she considers essential to sail through the mompreneur journey and she replies, "Openness, Continuous Learning and Patience- are the key things to success in parenting and entrepreneurship that are both demanding and full-time!" And love and passion, she says are pivotal- be it when building a brand or raising a child.
"Good service and quality products ensure we get repeat customers and referrals", explains Vrushali and that, we are sure is the key to any brand's success ratio and what sets them apart from competitions. If you are a mom who is reading this and is passionate about a start-up, Vrushali explains how customer focus, the right strategy and tons of efforts should be on top of your to-do list. "Start a business only if you have a proper reason and passion to run the same", she warns at the same time. Among the rise in the start-ups mushrooming across the country, either to jump in the start-up bandwagon or just as a secondary venture, especially in the parenting and kids market, the percentage of ones without a clear vision and goal fizzle out within a year, as we have observed.
We love asking successful moms about #HowSheDoesIt, their success stories and whether women can have it all. Vrushali breaks it down beautifully for us. "Get organized. Planning plays a major role when it comes to multitasking. Don’t hesitate to take help from trusted partners. Stay updated with the latest technology and skills and lastly take out some time for yourself to avoid burn out".
With the rise in awareness and usage of technology among today's parents, Vrushali and Amol explain how a parenting platform like Kidsstoppress helps parents seek info, tips, tricks as well as the much-needed inspiration and motivation from fellow parents sailing in the same ship. "A KSP Award at these times goes a long way in recognising our brand and is like a pat on our back", they tell us, beaming with pride. We are glad!
What Enlit Kids does:
- Started in 2010 by Vrushali Barbare and Amol Barbare
- Based in Pune.
- Have carved a name for themselves among parents and kids as the one-stop destination for all things learning and development- from books to toys, services and workshops for kids.