In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Avani Modi Sarkar, co-founder and chief creative thinker of Modi Toys, a children’s toys and books brand rooted in Hindu faith and South Asian culture. Sarkar discusses the inspiration behind launching Modi Toys when she couldn’t find cultural or religious toys for her daughter (0:45), the brand’s mission to connect South Asian children to their heritage (2:43), and how her toys and books are impacting children’s families as well (7:52). She shares how she founded Modi Toys without a background in retail (10:58), the process behind establishing the brand and creating its first few products (12:05), and what the company’s digital marketing strategy looks like currently (14:50).

In addition, Sarkar discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic gave her a push to work full time on scaling Modi Toys (18:24), how other women with side hustles can prepare to bet on themselves (20:44), and how her kids help to create new product ideas (23:22). She shares how she stays energized and focused on building the Modi Toys brand while being a working mom (28:58), the Modi Mentorship initiative she launched during the COVID-19 pandemic (31:55), and the one key piece of advice she would share with other entrepreneurs (32:43).

Avani Modi Sarkar is the co-founder of Modi Toys, an award-winning children’s brand of toys and books, rooted in South Asian culture and Hindu faith. After welcoming her first child, she set out on a mission to spark curiosity in children about their roots. This year, Avani has been featured on the Forbes Next 1000 list, on “Good Morning America,” and recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year finalist for New Jersey. In addition to authoring and publishing four children’s books as part of the Modi Toys collection, she’s also a contributing writer for Parents and The Bump. Avani is a Rutgers alumni and resides in New Jersey with her husband and children.

Date: August 17, 2021

Credits: Avani Modi Sarkar

Duration: 38:04