MADISON, Wis. - Physician by day, business owner by night, Ronak Mehta is one of six finalists in the country up for an Amazon Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award.
Amazon Storefronts has nearly 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses, and Mehta's caught the company's eye.
Mehta has a lot of heart, which she pours into her day job as a physician at UW-Health.
"I think it's incredibly meaningful," she said. "No two days are the same."
She carries it home to her side gig, where she has more than just heart.
"There's definitely days where it can be a bit overwhelming," Mehta said.
Mehta followed her gut, put her mind to it and came out with a full body of work, now listed on Amazon. Her line of more than a dozen plush organs are called Nerdbugs.
With names like 'Who put the cuter-us- in Uterus,' We Be-Lung Together' and 'Urine for a Treat,' it's clear Mehta loves puns.
"This one actually might be my favorite pun: This is the gallbladder. 'Who you gonna gall? Stone busters,'" she said.
The idea that came from a children's book Mehta wrote years ago.
"At first I really thought, like, 'Am I the only one that's actually going to think this is neat? It'd kind of dorky or cheesy," she said, but they've caught on.
More than quirky plushes, they're a lighthearted way to teach about organs and uplift those whose real bodies aren't in such high spirits.
"Sometimes these gifts can be kind of heavy," Mehta said. "I've had kids get these organs gifted to them, whether they have newly diagnosed diabetes or have had a kidney transplant, and it's just kind of neat to be able to be a part of their stories, from people from all over the world."
Regardless of organ, it's a labor of love.
"To be able to brighten up their day when they're going through something super tough, it's really inspiring," Mehta said.
Voting for Amazon's Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award goes until Friday. To vote, click here.
More information about Nerdbugs can be found here.
Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.
Common council prepares to vote on Madison budget, discusses public safety amendments
Reedsburg city officials approve ordinance that bans vaping in public places
- Reedsburg city officials approve ordinance that bans vaping in public places
- UnityPoint Health no longer planning to merge with Sanford Health
- Trial underway for one of three men accused of killing 20-year-old in Fitchburg
- Assembly declares evergreen is Christmas tree
- Homeowner frustrated that man who burglarized his home continues to be let out of jail
- Assembly recognizes National Bible Week, drawing criticism from Freedom From Religion Foundation