Meet the Maker
Hi! My name is Tanya and I am a Game of Thrones fanatic, carb enthusiast, a wife to an amazing husband, and a mother to two of the most adorable (and crazy) kiddos on this planet.
One thing that just about all kids love is seeing their name on their possessions. Whether it’s in a book, on a shirt or on the wall, they love seeing their name in writing. I suppose it gives them a sense of ownership – I certainly remember the first time I saw my name on a piece of mail – it was exhilarating!
To be certain, there are many personalization businesses out there, but not many have designs that offer cultural/religious themes and even fewer that showcase genuine diversity or shine light on social justice issues. I was hoping to bridge this gap, and the communities of others, by incorporating these elements that people hold dear to their hearts and wish to instill in their children’s upbringing and within their home.
I present to you our first three signature designs – all which hold a very special place to me. Below, I outline their significance.
I started off with a design of the Hindu God, Ganesh – remover of obstacles, who typically is worshipped by Hindus at the beginning of prayers and all new endeavours in life. After many back and forths with our illustrator I am proud to release our Little Ganesh design.
I walked a fine line as I tried to find a balance between something that is cute and heartwarming, but also genuine and authentic. Within the adorable Little Ganesh design, you will find Ganesh (attributed by His elephant head, broken tusk, and arms holding a lotus, an axe, and of course, a bowl of laddoos), His mouse (which is also His transport), a lotus, and a kalasha kudam (a coconut atop a pot, typically in the centre presentation of a Hindu ritual). As He is the blesser of new beginnings, I thought Little Ganesh would be the perfect choice for the first design.
My children have both English and Hindu names (Lucas Arjunan & Olivia Meenakshi), but the ones that we use at home are the Tamil ones. One of the most common questions I’ve gotten since our children were born is how we went about picking their names. This is one of my favourite questions to ask new parents as well – I love hearing the thought process to picking something so significant for a person. I wanted them to have strong names, so both of our children were given traditional Tamil names based on Hindu warriors (yes, Madurai Meenakshi is one of the few warrior goddesses).
Backtrack to when Arjuna was born, there were nights where he was absolutely inconsolable. I would try nursing him, rocking him, walking with him and (tragically, for him) singing a plethora of songs. The only one that worked on him was “You are My Sunshine”. After that, I would buy anything and everything that had a sun or the reference of “You Are My Sunshine” on it. And the name stuck, he is my sunshine, and the first portion of the company name.
Anyone who knows the language knows that Tamil is heart-wrenchingly poetic. One of my favourite terms is “விண்மீன்” (vinmeen – translating to “fish of the sky” aka, a star). The concept that the sky is a vast ocean and each star is a little fish is such beautiful imagery to me. This was another reason to name our daughter MEENakshi – she is my star. And together, they are My Sun & Stars.
(...also bonus points that “Sun & Stars” is a Game of Thrones reference and a term frequently used by Daenarys Targaryen. But let it be known that as much as I love the Targaryen dynasty, Game of Thrones, and the “A Song of Ice & Fire” series, I SWEAR that wasn’t the reason behind the name lol)
"Karthikai" or Gloriosa Lily has been proclaimed the official national flower of Eelam Tamils. The lily has the spectrum of colors contained in the Tamil Eelam national flag. In November, the month of Tamil Heroes’ Day celebrations, this flower ubiquitously spreads, sprouts new shoots and blooms throughout the North Eastern part of Sri Lanka. A portion of the proceeds from this design will go to a non-profit in Tamil Eelam.
One of my favourite features available with this business is that you will have the option of customizing the name on your blanket in a language that isn’t English! I would be happy to work with you and try our best to have the most represented version of yourself on one of our blankets.
My goal is to not stop at South Asians or Hindus but branch out to other cultures, creeds, and underrepresented groups. Of course, I will have classic, popular themes we know and love, but I’m really looking to provide options that are seldom available in this market. I am truly grateful for each and every order that comes through this site and I can’t wait for you to receive your Her Sun & Stars Co. package.