Montrose mother creates ethnically diverse toys to celebrate diversity

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Rupa Parekh line of toys mean inclusion for children who don't always see toys that reflect their culture. (KTRK)

If you're like a lot of parents, you know playtime is about a lot more than just having fun. It's about learning and sharing experiences.

"It goes back to this idea that if we want more diversity in our boardrooms or our government or in movie casts, it starts from youth, from when they're toddlers," explained Rupa Parekh. "To become exposed to characters and words that are different is important."

Parekh has spent years working in business, technology, and design. But her latest idea came from another, perhaps more important background.

"I'm Indian American and my husband is Turkish American," she explained. "We're big travelers. When we had kids, we were so surprised that when we looked for multicultural toys and games, we couldn't find much."

So working on nights and weekends, Parekh started her own toy company.

A year later, she has two products, each focused on Indian and Hindu mythology.

"We have customers in eight different countries around the world. We're sending them to Denmark, to Trinidad, to Detroit," she said. "What it's telling us is that families are searching for these types of tools. It's also really cool that 35 percent of our customers are not Indian and are not connected to India."

If you'd like more information, visit Parekh's website.

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