Today we’d like to introduce you to Jyoti Chand.
Jyoti, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in West Covina, CA, 20 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. I am first-generation American, my parents were born in Burma and India. While growing up, I always had big LA dreams. I remember hearing that “everyone in LA thinks they’re one step away from fame” and I truly lived my life that way. In early adolescence, I dragged my parents to modeling events and open calls. After college, I finally found some footing in the industry doing stand up comedy at all the local spots, Comedy Store, Improv, Haha, Flappers. But then I left LA for an even bigger dream. I left LA because I found the man I wanted to spend my life with and have a family with. Being a mother was by far the biggest dream I’ve ever had. Being South Asian, marriage is practically a requirement (only slightly joking) so at 25, I left LA and all those dreams of entertainment behind. Or so I thought.
While pregnant with my second child in 2018, I started sharing about motherhood on Instagram under the handle Mamajotes. I only had about 500 followers at the time, but my audience started to grow. In 2019, I incorporated Mamjotes, LLC and started to really develop my brand and who I am as an Instagram entertainer and personality. Mamajotes is “Your Cool Mom Friend”. I am a real mom sharing more than just the highlights of motherhood, marriage and life. I have a talkshow called Kickin’ It With Mamajotes where I bring the fun out of people. From funny videos to serious inspiration, I’m sharing it all. I co-founded a community with Zabina Bhasin (@zabina_bhasin), Owner of InKidz Co, called happyHER Foundation (@happyherfoundation) where we bring women together to elevate each other. happyHER is all about collaboration over competition.
Mamajotes has become a brand that is more than just me. It’s my family, my culture, my marriage, and my life all in one place. It’s a place where women can come to laugh and not take life so seriously. I am grateful for the community I’m creating at Mamajotes and can’t wait to take it to the next level!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not. There’s a lot of mom guilt that likes to settle in right when you want to do something for yourself. I’ve received a lot of feedback, especially in the beginning, about this not being the right time.
“Wait until the kids are older.”
“Cherish them now, this can wait.”
But it couldn’t. After a lifetime of trying to find exactly what I wanted to do and my path as an entertainer, I finally found it and it was the exact right time for me. So I tuned out the naysayers, put the mommy guilt aside and with the support of my husband, I continued to build Mamajotes. It’s hard to be a full-time mom without a caretaker or nanny. My kids are currently 1 & 3 and they require a lot out of me, but I find the pockets of time I need in order to create content, write, take photos, edit and do all that it takes to have a successful influencer brand on Instagram.
Another thing I struggled with for the longest time was confidence, which is a big factor of my success today. I didn’t truly find my confidence and self-love until after I became a mother and with that confidence arose Mamajotes. I don’t regret leaving LA and the path that I had started with stand up comedy because I truly feel that this was the way it was supposed to be. My kids and my family make me better and make my brand what it is today.
Please tell us about Mamajotes.
Mamajotes is unique because my community can laugh while being inspired all at once. There’s something special about being able to talk about something serious without the extreme weight of it. I’m trying to break stigmas for the South Asian culture since there’s a lot of topics such as infertility, sex, and mental health that we were raised to keep hush hush. I think this goes across a lot of cultures, but I love to open those conversations. Mamajotes is a safe place to speak your mind and laugh. Mamajotes is literally everyone’s cool mom friend!! I’ve stayed up late nights chatting with other moms and I’ve even cried with other moms. I know first hand how lonely motherhood can get so I make it my mission to be there and show up for the mamas!
Another important part of Mamajotes is teaching moms the acts of self-care. It’s so important as a mom to take time for yourself, whether that means a skincare regimen or a shower, we cannot lose our sense of self. It’s hard to fit in sometimes, but I show moms that it’s possible. I am also an advocate for safe and clean living and an educator, consultant and director for Beautycounter.
Currently, I am working on transitioning Kickin’ It with Mamajotes to a pre recorded and professionally edited IGTV and Youtube talk show. I am also writing a book telling my story because there are so many pieces I have yet to share that have brought me here today.
I currently live in Lemont, IL and it’s crazy to think that I had to leave LA to pursue those “LA” dreams!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I couldn’t have done this without my family. Mostly, my husband. I couldn’t do this without him. He’s a physician all week and full-time dad all weekend while I work in my home office. He’s never doubted me and continues to support me every single day in numerous ways. Secondly, my two older brothers and my sister in law, Jasmine, are my biggest supporters. They have helped with content ideas and supported me from day one. My eldest brother, Mahesh, has practically been Mamajotes’ manager this entire time! I’m also grateful for my parents because they’ve opened their minds a lot and have become comfortable with me sharing openly about topics that could be considered shameful in our culture especially for a married woman! They’ve allowed me to be unapologetically myself and supported me even when they didn’t agree.
I honestly have a village of friends, influencers, people I’ve never met in real life supporting me. I couldn’t do this without every single one of them. Like I said, Mamajotes is more than me, it’s all of us!
instagram.com/Reshmaphotography (for the 2 photos with the kids)