An Entrepreneur's Creative Idea After Struggling To Find Mother's Day Gifts Tailored For South Asians

Little Brown Book founder Shaminie Chandra speaks about her DIY Cricut creation that aims to "resonate deeply with brown mothers and their families".

South Asian Mother's Day gift

As the wedding and events industry continues to evolve, it’s up to relevant event vendors and businesses to adapt to the changing landscape. For Shaminie Chandra, this involves creative thinking that serves a gap in the market, especially for one of her core target demographics, South Asians. 

The Sydney-based entrepreneur founded Little Brown Book, a boutique event management company, in 2013. Over the past decade she has serviced clients for events as intimate as a small baby shower or birthday, as well as more extravagant soirees like weddings and large corporate events. 

This year, Shaminie has extended Little Brown Book’s offerings ahead of Mother’s Day, with a special hamper available for customers to order online. One of the most striking elements of this offering is its custom design on a wooden keepsake box, which the business describes as “perfect for storing jewellery, letters, spices and more”. 

Splashed across the lid of the box is a beautiful design of a brown mother, grandmother and child. Created by artist Uma Jeyaseelan using one of the most popular DIY tools on the market, a Cricut machine, this design makes for an inclusive gift especially for South Asian families. 

“As a South Asian woman, I completely understand the struggle of finding culturally specific Mother's Day gifts or cards. The mainstream offerings often lack representation and fail to resonate with the experiences of brown mothers,” Shaminie tells Draw Your Box. “That's why our business has been so crucial. We noticed this gap in the market firsthand and decided to do something about it.”

Shaminie and Little Brown Books colleague Shivayan

Shaminie and Little Brown Book colleague Shivayan. Image Source: Film Drop

South Asian Mother's Day gift

Image Source: Supplied/Little Brown Book

Shaminie and Uma have been working together since their first collaboration on Diwali candles four years ago. What makes this project particularly unique is their use of a Cricut machine to create characters and figures that will resonate with brown customers. Cricut machines are essentially “smart cutting machines that work with an easy-to-use app to help you design and personalise almost anything”, and in this case, Shaminie says “we use our Cricut machines to create customised designs featuring illustrations that reflect the beauty and uniqueness of South Asian culture”.

“This allows us to provide gifts that not only acknowledge the importance of cultural identity but also resonate deeply with brown mothers and their families.” 

This particular design shows a woman wearing a blue sari, and another wearing a pink blouse and orange printed skirt. Shaminie says she and Uma intentionally chose to depict both a mother and grandmother on the box, to ensure it would make for a perfect gift for either motherly figure in someone’s life. 

“For the clothing, we chose sarees with warm tones to match brown skin colours, aiming for a sense of familiarity and comfort,” she explains. “However, the most critical part was selecting the right shade of brown for the skin tone. We wanted it to be just right, reflecting the diversity of brown skin tones.” 

With Mother’s Day just a few sleeps away, Shaminie can confirm that this unique design has been so much of a hit that the Mother’s Day hampers have quickly sold out. But the positive response only means she and her team are motivated to keep releasing innovative products that celebrate South Asian culture. 

“Many customers have expressed how much they and their families appreciate seeing images that look like them in our packs,” she says. "It's incredibly heartwarming to hear how our products resonate with people and make them feel seen and represented.” 

ps Our founder Alicia recently attended Cricut's 'Make Mum’s Day High Tea Workshop' as a guest. The event, which was a collaboration with Salvos Stores, included a unique DIY upcycling workshop involving customising preloved teacups, as well as learning tips and tricks to creating a memorable tablescape for less with thrifted items for a Mother’s Day brunch. Plus, guests also took home bespoke lamingtons thanks to cult bakery Tokyo Lamington.

Check out a summary of the afternoon below:

@leeshiev High tea for Mother’s Day, with a twist thanks to Cricut 😍 #cricut #cricutprojects #mothersday #hightea #lamingtons #tokyolamington #teacup #craft ♬ original sound - alicia_vrajlal