Founder at Little Aana
Teach them what is right and teach them when they are young. When it comes to raising children, this is the motto everyone should live by. The formative years of a child is very important in their overall development. Keeping them engaged in the right way goes a long way in personality development. In this pursuit, Neeta Rathi started “Little Aana” where she creates handmade products which will engage children in their early years.
Here is an excerpt from an interview:
What is the concept of “Little Aana” and how did it start?
It has been two years since I started “Little Aana”. My daughter, Aana, was 18 months old and I wanted to keep her engaged for long hours. I researched a lot for activities but I did not find anything that was different. They were all conceptually similar. So I designed my own set of activities and was surprised to find her actually engaging with it. I compiled all of these activities and made them into a book which is actually the “Quiet Book”, our signature product. I was also looking for work at that moment because I had quit when Aana was born. I thought why not just go ahead with this and that is how “Little Aana” was conceived.
What is your inspiration for the products?
My daughter. Almost all of my products are tried and tested on her. If she is engaging with them positively then I will go ahead with putting those products on the catalogue. She sort of approves the products.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to putting a product on the floor?
The number one thing is to ensure the quality of the product. There should not be any hidden faults which you feel the customers will not find. For example, when I made the “Education Clock”, I wanted to launch it during my first exhibition. So time was limited despite knowing that the product could use some improvements. Now I have fixed these flaws, like changing the needles from metal to plastic to make it more durable. But you should take your time with your products to ensure the best quality is delivered.
Then you have to make sure that there is enough quantity. We also have to put in place a good customer service.
What is the toughest decision you had to take with respect to “Little Aana”?
I think starting “Little Aana” itself was the toughest decision. At that time I did not receive support from everyone. In fact, only my husband supported me. My parents, my in-laws, nobody really understood why I wanted to do this. They thought it was just an interest that I was taking very seriously. It was extremely difficult to convince them that this was a passion that I saw a lot of scope in. But I feel such people are a blessing in disguise. Their comments push you to work harder. They will keep telling that it will not work out which just pushes you to prove them wrong. People who always see positive things sometimes do not motivate you enough to create better things. Hence I feel the lack of support is required to really succeed. You also need to understand that it is just their opinion and opinions can be changed. My father, who did not really support me initially, was extremely proud after seeing my work and actually took me to some factories to understand production. My in-laws gave me space to work. They will come around once you prove yourself. Sometimes they may be right but that does not mean you should stop trying. Even though they all had valid points, I still had my gut feeling which told me to try because otherwise I would have regretted it. Believe in yourself and then go ahead.
Visit Neeta’s Little Aana on Facebook and Instagram pages to get connected. Also visit their website.
Listen to our conversation to know more about Neeta’s journey of believing herself and making her belief a success.