Meet the enterprising woman behind Candy Cane Club, a children’s learning venture started in 2009. Vidhi Mehra specializes in providing curated set of toys, books, DIY kits to children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. With a degree in MBA marketing she spends most of the time time in play schools with preschoolers offering volunteer service.
Vidhi started her journey by designing board games first for her two children and then for all in that age group. Vidhi’s lakshya was simple – she wanted to create a happy environment for new age moms where there kids get schooling in memory building, emotional and creative skills, and limitless thinking. So that, working mothers faithfully leave their babies in the club and don’t regret later.
Vidhi who believes in the sweet concept of happiness, learning through interaction and bringing up future geniuses, talked to me about her venture, the Candy Cane Club and how she chose this path to make a difference.
Tell us about the Candy Cane Club. How did you come up with an idea like that?
I basically started Candy Cane Club out of my own needs. When my kids were born and they were really small, I really did not know what to do them. By the time they were hitting the age of one-one and a half, I used to play with them in a usual baby care center. I have given them a very basic exposure to a whole lot of things; not to expensive but a simple play station. Until someone pointed out that why don’t you play some puzzles with your child. And, then I realized that my kid was capable of doing far more than what I could actually imagine him to do. There was a little disconnection; I couldn’t understand my kid’s exposure level. Although, I spend most of the time with my him. Then, I got enthusiastic about it, that I really need to do some work for my child which every mother needs to think about. I started shopping toys for my kid. For me those toys were the most expensive ones on the rack, or the best ones on the rack, because I wanted the best for my baby. Every mother does. But soon enough my second child was born and I had to start taking care of the budget since then. Then I found myself searching for the best deal for these toys, which give you discounts, buy 2 get the third one free, things like that. I ended up collecting these toys and books and I was actually spending time in trying to figure out what to get for my kids rather than doing something with them. But sooner, I found out that still these toys were not bringing happiness in their lives.
I had created a work life balance; I chose to work from home and followed up a routine of my work time when my kids were busy in school.
They were bored very easily. They wanted my attention, my caring. Exactly, in that point I discovered that there is no magic toy in this world, nothing that you can go out and buy which will keep your kids busy. Parents are the magic toys. Parent is true inspiration for a child when they are between ages of 4-5. Teachers or relatives has nothing to do with it. They want their parents around them all the time. That’s where Candy Cane Club came into existence. We have a simple motto. How to bring smile on your kid’s face, how to smile with them, we’re aiming to mothers to know that.
As a female entrepreneur, what are the difficulties you faced when you first thought of starting something on your own?
Frankly, I did not face too many difficulties. In fact, I had extreme amount of encouragements from all the directions. Especially, I had created a work life balance; I chose to work from home and followed up a routine of my work time when my kids were busy in school. So, from the home front I got equal percentage of motivation because of that. When I went out and met people from the corporate world, they seemed to give me same amount of support. Because, everyone understands. If they see a desire person to achieve something in life, they will support you always. I launched this in Mumbai, and really the society was helpful too.
In the beginning, what or who mostly motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
The biggest motivation for me has been my children. The day we launched Candy Cane, my kids sat with me, drew whatever posters needed and till this date nothing has changed. My kids are important part of this family. They keep asking me about Candy Cane’s future. This keeps me helping me a lot. I am very happy today seeing smile on my kid’s face for what I have done. And, I aim to bring the same amount of smile on the faces of every possible kid in India.
What do you think the particular strengths women can bring in work place that perhaps men lack?
What women can bring in work place is the extra sort of motivation. When men work, they know that they have to work. But, when a woman works, she knows that she is overcoming so many problems at home, needs to hit the right balance between work and home. She does’t have so much time as men do. I’m speaking from my experience; my Candy Cane team members create the perfect balance in their life. We are extremely motivated to prove ourselves. We make sure that the time we are not spending with our child, we spend it with Candy Cane’s kids. My team members are more motivated than any men I have seen around me. So, money is not the biggest factor, what you do with your life is the greatest one.
My team members are more motivated than any men I have seen around me. So, money is not the biggest factor, what you do with your life is the greatest one.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement is all the smiles that we keep bringing on the faces of these toddlers here. We are doing our best here in Mumbai and Pune and aiming to open the market to the rest of the states. Looking forward to bringing more smiles.
What does a day-in-the-life of Vidhi Mehra consist of?
My day starts with my kids. Talking to them, spending time with them in the morning before they head of to the school. And then, linking and associating with more moms like me all around the country who face similar problems and we help them solving their problems. I make sure that there is a happy, relaxed kind of parenting environment happens in our society.
What’s the single most important reason for your success?
I only care about the smiles on kids’ faces here. Anything that Candy Cane does, if that is not enough to make a child happy, I won’t be happy either.
How does Candy Cane Club is empowering women?
We’re an all women team; there is no room for men here. We are so motivated towards our work and we keep motivating each other. There is so creativity coming out from women front in our country, I’m so glad that I’m a small part of that.
What’s Candy Cane Club’s future? Did you meet your aim or yet to come?
The goal is being met every single day as we progress. Going global is also one of our agendas, and we’ll succeed in it.
One piece of advice for a small-business women…
A simple advice from my side- work is important but don’t forget that your family is more important than anything. So, hit the right home & work balance and there is absolutely no looking back.