Say goodbye to toxic chemicals and hello to eco-friendly dinnerware the whole family will love.
Cincy Chic: What is your plastic-free, stainless steel dinnerware line called?
Manasa Mantravadi, Founder of Ahimsa: Ahimsa (ah·HIM·suh). It is an ancient Sanskrit term meaning “avoiding harm” and “universal love.”
Cincy Chic: What is the inspiration behind Ahimsa?
Mantravadi: In India, stainless steel dishes have been used for generations. When my children were born, my mother replaced the plastic dinnerware I mistakenly bought for my children with traditional steel dinnerware that I myself used as a child. She was concerned with leaching of chemicals in the plastic with heat. Well, in 2018, The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report on how families can limit their children’s exposure to harmful chemicals, and recommended using glass and stainless steel when possible. This made for the biggest “I told you so” moment in the history of motherhood! Since I had used stainless steel as a child and was only using stainless steel for my own children, I was shocked at the lack of options for parents to follow those recommendations by the AAP. I was also concerned about the effect on the environment as I watched my friends constantly discard and replace stained, melted, and frayed plastic dinnerware.
Cincy Chic: Can you tell us about the journey from pediatrician and how it got you to where you are today?
Mantravadi: Ahimsa stemmed from a text message chain with 5 other pediatrician moms who have remained my closest of friends since our residency days. Everyone was baffled on next steps for their own children after the release of that AAP statement. Medicine prepares you to be a lifelong learner, so I was well prepared to embark on this journey to learn about how to devise a solution. I read non-stop about the health related to food-grade stainless steel and the science of allowing metal to take on color without additional chemicals or paint. I wanted to incorporate my experience in counseling children and parents about healthy eating habits into our products; specifically what I learned as my time as an endocrine fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital! Once I figured out those large pieces of the puzzle, I turned around and saw a mountain of pieces I had to navigate through to create an actual business.
Cincy Chic: What makes Ahimsa unique?
Mantravadi: We are the world’s first line of colorful stainless steel dinnerware for children. By sharing something tried-and-true from my own roots in India, we aim to redefine mealtime by putting safe, durable, and beautiful steel on the American dining table. Our entire company is based on health and science because that is what I know. However, it is the real-life experience as a parent that drives our mission to be a practical, simple, and lasting solution. From product development to lab testing, every detail is intentional and meticulous as we want parents to be able to focus on the good stuff, like happy, healthy family dinners!
Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Mantravadi: We are just finishing our pre-launch phase and have had great customer feedback. We’ve listened and have since released separates! We will soon be offering round dinner plates and a cereal bowl with nesting spoon for our older kids. They don’t want their bowls to tip over either! For us, customers will always be at the core of improvements and innovation as we know mother (and father) knows best! Trust me. I listened to my mother … and Ahimsa was born.