When 31 year-old Mansi Zaveri had her first child four years ago, she realised there was a dearth of resources for first-time parents. “There were no websites that dealt with issues that first-time parents face. Apart from basic things such as nappies and toys, I wanted to know about places across the city I could take my daughter to. Which parks are suitable? Which restaurants are child-friendly?
No one offered that kind of information. When I looked up Sanjay Gandhi National Park on the Internet, for instance, I found a review on a travel portal. But that was completely irrelevant to me. It didn’t talk about what it would be like to a take a child along,” says Zaveri, who headed the marketing team of an international fashion label until she quit last June. That’s when the first-time parent decided to became a first-time writer.
By August, her website Kids Stop Press (.com) was launched. She and her husband, Nakul, shared the link on their Facebook pages. That’s how the word spread. “I was anxious in the beginning. I was worried about how people would judge my articles. I’d get excited every time an article was ‘liked’. I would tell my husband, ‘I got 20 likes this month.’” Today, the website gets a cool 1,000 visitors a day. “A stranger walked up to me at a school once,” adds Zaveri happily, “She told me she’d been reading my blog and was enjoying it. I felt like a celebrity.”
Describing her blogsite as a one-stop guide for parents, Zaveri tells us about the wide range of topics she covers. “I review items that most other mainstream media will not give a second glance to,” she says, adding that she currently has over 200 items that still need to be reviewed. Most recently, the blog reviewed the latest park within Shivaji Park. “There’s a dearth of open spaces in the city, so we were thrilled to know about this new park,” says Zaveri. They have also reviewed different brands of milk, Hello Panda biscuits (“a great way of getting your child to eat the cream and the biscuit,” says Zaveri), Chocos Milky Way Moon & Stars, and so on in the past.
The blog, heavily inspired by Brown Paper Bag, High Heel Confidential and a few others, covers a range of topics — food, travel, activities, books and shopping. Apart from reviews of products and services, Zaveri often writes articles commenting on issues relevant to parents or something that has been in the news. “I was lucky to have my sister giving me tips about breastfeeding. But most mothers don’t have that. I decided to write an article on breastfeeding and it was widely appreciated,” says Zaveri.
A few months ago, she also did a piece on child obesity in India. Her articles are usually a combination of thorough research and first-person observations. “I may not have prior writing experience and don’t have the ability to play with words, but I know exactly what a mother wants to read and what she wants to know,” Zaveri says confidently.