Anika is the creative force behind Anika’s DIY Life - a website, youtube and social media channel focussed on beginner DIYers and woodworkers to inspire and empower them. We interviewed her because we love how she has combined her hobby and passion to help break gender and cultural barriers and stereotypes and inspired others to do so too. She is mom to 11-year old Mishka ad 7-year old Vihaan. You can follow her work @anikasdiylife.
S: Who is Anika?
A: I am a wife, mom, woodworker, DIYer, ex-scientist and engineer who loves solving problems. My foray into woodworking started when I picked up a power drill in 2011 to figure out a project for my daughter and the rest is history.
S: Tell us what a day in your life looks like.
A: I like to plan my day the night before or early in the morning –– If the kids are off to school, I create an hourly agenda for myself and if they are schooling from home, I keep it at the three things I need to get done that day. I also keep a list of quick tasks that I can finish during the day, in case I get any additional time.
I am usually the first to wake up, and I try to get an hour for myself early in the morning; later I usually go for a walk or run, either alone or with my kids.
Sometimes I’ll pick a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday, if there is a project I need to finish, and my kids also join alongside to paint or design. I make sure to take at least one day off and decompress.
S: How do you replenish your energy?
A: Nothing replenishes my energy like working with my hands – be it a side project or a project with the kids – and I do not take any pictures or videos.
In case I have a creative block, I step away, take a break, go for a walk or watch TV and come back with fresh eyes.
I am a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and dancing also helps replenish my energy.
S: I wish I had my child’s...
S: My work is my...
A: Empowerment. Being able to create something from nothing and being able to inspire others is very fulfilling.
S: What’s your advice to mothers embarking on new ventures?
A: Find your why - why do you want to do it and why is it important for you? Also, do not compare yourself to others as everyone has their own journey.