One of the best things about owning a small business is all the inspiring people you met along the way. I recently met the incredibly inspiring Dr Anushi who is on a mission to help children who fear needles and also vulnerable adults. I wanted to interview her and share her story with you.
Hi Anushi! Tell us a bit about yourself and why you started Misti-
I am Dr. Anushi – I am a senior research scientist based in a leading children’s hospital in Melbourne. The idea behind Misti needs to be credited to the 7-year-old version of Dr. Anushi. I grew up on a small island – Sri-Lanka where I went to school. Little Anushi was terrified of needles. My mother recalls taking me to the hospital to have me sedated for basic medicines. It seems this stressful life experience has shaped me to develop a pain-free method of delivering medicines later.
My parents ran a business selling vehicle parts so my childhood playground revolved around an interesting junkyard of vehicle parts all open for cool experiments– naturally, I was curious about all things technology and science, which helped her interpret the world – leading me to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering followed by a PhD.
My PhD work led to the discovery that led a path to develop a new technology using sound ways to convert medicines into mists – I founded Misti a few months ago to help translate this discovery into a product that could help children like myself who feared needles and also vulnerable adults.
Why did you decide to crowd-fund, and what are you hoping to achieve with your campaign-
I appreciate the power of community to drive impactful and meaningful change. The pharmaceutical industry is conservative for very good reasons. Strong backing from the community not only helps validate the need for technology but also provides the necessary funding to produce the first prototype to progress our technology.
Do you have any tips for our community on how to juggle being a mum and running a business-
I come from a lineage of strong women who ran schools, businesses and combinations thereof. My grandma of 6 children was a hardworking school principal in remote Sri-Lanka. My mother of 3 runs one of the most successful private educational institutions. I remember the daily fights they battled to feed the children, help them become respected humans and also succeed in their careers at the same time. They chased their dreams unapologetically! It is naturally engraved in me –every time I doubt my capabilities – I think of them. What would Grandma or Mum say? The answer is always – JUST keep going!
During my PhD – I gave birth to my son, who is now 10 years old. I worked on Misti’s mission in my post-doc career while caring for my children as the primary career. And now have 2 children in primary school, and I am a doner mum to a boy who is a year old (I have donated my eggs – story for another day). I have received incredible support from family to date – at times when I doubted – they believed in me.
My top tip is it is never ever too late to chase your dreams. You may prioritise different things (kids or a traditional career) at various times in your life. That does not mean it’s NEVER to hone in on your passion.
It took me 10 years to venture into business – perhaps it’s a little too long, but everyone is on their own journey. Craft what works best for you! And it’s OK to fail – you will learn and grow- not starting is probably worst. I asked myself “If not YOU – then WHO?”. “If not NOW – then WHEN?” – the rest is history 😉
How can we support you-
We really appreciate it if you could pledge for #missionmisti to support our mission - https://www.liftwomen.com/projects/support-misti-mission-of-protecting-children-from-preventable-infections/
If you are in a position to contribute, there are several rewards. For backers who support us with $30, we will thank you with our limited edition Misti fridge magnet. For $100 pledges, we will gift a combo of Misti tote bag and Misti fridge magnet. Supporters who contribute $300 will receive our thankyou gift set which includes Misti T-shirt, fridge magnet and tote bag.
Especially, backers who support us with $500 or more will receive an exclusive invitation to Misti lunch event and come to know Misti team and our mission at a deeper level.
We are also open to co-branding if you are an enterprise. Up to 15,000 Misti devices are offered for co-branding opportunities to businesses that support us with $5000 and $10,000 pledges.
If you can help spread the word and the impact of our work – this would also go a long way!