Darshana Vartak is the woman behind the Car-Paint-Tree concept and the brand's ethos. She is an alumnus of the University of Greenwich and an architect by profession. As a mom, she has a deep understanding of child development as well as knowledge of the many hurdles that have to be crossed by parents to raise their children to be wonderful people in the future.
“Being a mother of two boys, as lovely as it is, is a full-time job. Managing work, home and having a pandemic on top of it, it was getting difficult for me to keep them engaged.
Once when I was in the kitchen, my 3-year-old got locked in the bedroom. I was scared and petrified, my hands grew cold and my brain was in a state of panic. This was in the early days of the lockdown when carpenters were not available. My 7-year-old got me a tool box and told me to stop crying and to try opening the door. After a few minutes of struggling, we were able to open the door and I felt so relieved seeing my child again, despite him being locked in our own bedroom.
That was the day I realized that certain life skills are important for adults and kids alike. So, the next day, I disassembled a dining room chair and asked the kids to assemble it. They were engrossed in fixing it, and the teamwork and co-ordination between them, though an uncommon sight, was commendable. I discussed this with my family and after receiving a positive response from them, an idea popped in my head that I could make DIY wooden products for kids where they can assemble daily use items themselves, a fun way to amp up their cognitive and motor skills. That’s when I called Sagar.”
Sagar Jadhav is the brain behind Car-Paint-Tree's marketing and also its finance head. He is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and is pursuing his CFA charter. The young man is the designated favorite uncle for all his nephews and nieces. And he always makes sure to prioritize spending time with them when they visit instead of working for the brand.
“Being the youngest of 4 children, growing up has been a slightly different and perhaps a more joyous experience for me than most. With the two older sisters being twenty-somethings already by the time I was 6, I always had access to newer developments as they took me along with them to large shopping malls as well as to events like science fairs and craft workshops, where I made some very fond memories and met some friends that I would never see again, but whose faces I still remember as memories from the time we built cardboard planes or tried our tiny hands at unscrambling Rubik’s cubes together.
Two days after I turned 15, my sister gave birth to a baby boy with whom I now have a bond like no other. Interacting with him from the time he was a baby, then a toddler and to now when he is a second grader, I learnt how to get along with children, how they think at different ages, and what entertains and engages them. I have since had two more nephews. It’s always a treat to watch them interact with each other and to recognize patterns from my own childhood. Being everybody’s favorite uncle is a huge shoe to fill.”
Ace Growth Rings
Ace Growth Rings is a Mumbai-based assemble-it-yourself décor and furniture company founded in 2020 by siblings Darshana Vartak and Sagar Jadhav to create products and model kits of a quality and build that the nation hasn't seen before.
“We launched our first brand, AGR Car-Paint-Tree, in December 2020. It was a brand developed with children in mind. It focuses on being an educational offering for kids while also being a fun activity that they are truly excited to undertake; something they could learn from without being pushed or pressurized to do so. In test runs with samples, we realized how excited and eager children were to open the packages and assemble the models. We saw their proud faces, their new-found confidence and surprisingly, a drive to be tidy and organize their books and toys in our storage boxes, trolleys and cabinets. Despite the more technical benefits mentioned here, we at Car-Paint-Tree believe that the biggest one is awakening a love for creating in the child, a fuel for the drive to focus their efforts into making dreams come true in the future.” -Sagar