Why We Are Here
Masala My Life inspires Americans to celebrate their South Asian connections. We recognize the constant duality and the thrilling intersection of cultures. We live the blend. We know life is better with masala.
Masala My Life will tell our story. This is the story of wearing jeans in the morning and changing into full Bharat Natyam outfit and makeup in the afternoon. This is the story of having to answer the question “where are you really from” on the same day that listening to the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a baseball game brings you to tears.
Our story is funny, poignant, inspiring, frustrating – but it’s ours.
It’s graduating with a degree in journalism and then explaining that you do indeed speak English. It’s sneaking out for “secret hamburgers” during Hindu festivals. It’s loving Taco Tuesday as much as chana masala. It’s knowing how to make a mimosa and a samosa. It's spending time explaining or straddling two or more cultures.
This lifestyle is built on living a duality – and celebrating it. And owning it.
Masala My Life, while especially relevant to South Asian Americans, stretches far beyond that community. This could be a longtime Catholic enjoying daily yoga or a New York City businessman enjoying chicken tikka masala for lunch. South Asian culture has entered the United States on many levels – food, language, art, health and well-being, and more. Masala My Life recognizes and provides an avenue to express an authentic appreciation of the cultural cross-over.
South Asians come from different countries, practice different religions, and speak different languages, but there are threads that connect us all as we live in the United States. Masala My Life is built on and cherishes those threads.
- Our vision is to help solidify the South Asian American identity as truly American.
- We give to the South Asian American Digital Archive to support their efforts to preserve the rich history of South Asians in North America.
- We want to fill the gaps in the market that allow identity to be expressed authentically, whether it's wearing a modern Ganesh bracelet or sending a Happy Diwali gift box.
- We feature links to books by South Asian American writers because those books matter so much in the creation of cultural identity and representation and joy.
- We know family comes first for so many, and we are creating a brand that helps connect families — with inter-generational appeal and ways to deepen ties.
- We are a female-owned, family business.
- We support community fundraising, with a number of days set aside to raise money close to home. Our focus is on nonprofits with an emphasis on human services.
- We proudly feature South Asian American makers and companies, such as Scrumptious Wicks, 1968&co, and Anju Jewelry.
- We create products with care in the United States. All T-shirts, aprons, and tea towels are printed in North Carolina using ethically sourced materials.
- We use environmentally friendly packaging and limit waste. We use EcoEnclose packaging and other Made in the USA packaging that is made from recycled materials, recyclable, or both. We skip steps that just add waste — like tags on each item or boxes within boxes.
- We support broader efforts for social good. We feature products made in South Asia that are part of economic empowerment models such as the Aasha Project. We donate a portion of proceeds to the South Asian American Digital Archive and host community fundraising days.
Anu Mannar describes Masala My Life as both an overnight brainstorm and the inevitable result of decades of shopping, living, talking, and thinking about her experience as an Indian-American in the South. She created Masala My Life in early 2019, passionately believing that Americans with connections to South Asia should have ways to showcase their identity. The brand’s mission is truly heartfelt for Anu.