Mompreneur – Chithra Raj | From Campfire to Wildfire

One fine day, you wake up and realise that the day has finally arrived! It is time to kiss your little ones goodbye and send them off to their first day at school. Here’s the story of a mother’s dream for her daughter, which went on to touch and transform the lives of several thousand children.

Choosing the right school can be a daunting decision if you want to find one which offers the best of both worlds experience – Indian and American. This was the case for Chithra Raj, who was in search for that perfect preschool in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for her first daughter, Nivetha. Out of sheer determination and finding no answer to the burning question, she decided to dip her toes into the homeschooling business.

“To start a preschool in the United States, we had to obtain a state license which turned out to be a tedious process. By the time we got it, my daughter outgrew her preschool age” shares Chithra.

Finding other families in the community who decided to embrace the same alternative as hers, Chithra took her very first step into her entrepreneurial journey. Thus was born Arise ‘n’ Shine International at the basement of Mr and Mrs Raj’s home at Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2003.

Prioritizing, planning in advance and multi-tasking had created a happy and humming environment for her. And the evidence of God’s goodness in her life had made her journey easier.

After stepping into the Mompreneur shoes, there was another incredible journey waiting to commence. Just like every vacay, Chithra’s family was travelling to India this time as well. After successfully establishing their start-up, this visit was a blend of anxiety and excitement for them. But the teaching at some schools on this side of the Earth was like a cul-de-sac. Keen on passing the hybrid curriculum to India, the family packed their necessities to navigate to their very own Garden of Eden to revisit the nostalgia that never stopped being home.

The burden of the decision was high but it was the biggest opportunity in hand to bring a change into the education system. So they buckled up and launched their first Center in 2009 in India. Life slowly changed, aspirations grew and the crave to give more to the community elevated. Today Arise ‘n’ Shine has spread its wings at multiple locations touching the lives of several children across communities. These efforts have also been endorsed by Education World over the years. What started as a campfire in Ann Arbor is turning into a wildfire!

Enthusiastic moms who want to be Mompreneurs, here’s what Chithra, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Arise ‘n’ Shine has to say; “Invest time with your children in their early years with love and attention so they grow with certain discipline and become independent overtime to help you start your journey.”

Isn’t it amazing how a large organization has such a humble story of starting up! So to feel good, you don’t have to be a Superstar. Just be yourself. Embrace who you are. Figure out what drives you and shine within your capacity. That’s when you find joy in your journey.

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