This week’s Meet a Mom feature is Dr. Manju Dawkins, a physician and local Redondo Beach mom of two. Dr. Dawkins is the founder of Thimble™, a new healthcare brand that is pioneering the needle care market with innovative solutions and products designed to improve experiences with needle procedures (like injections, vaccinations, and blood draws).
Read more about this the special mom’s motivation behind Thimble, her daily routine, and her favorite local South Bay spots!
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two girls – 8 & 12
What are your favorite local things to do with your kids?
We love to grab some burritos from Brothers and head to the beach. With hats, rashguards, and sunblock, of course. There’s no better place to practice handstands than in the sand! And the dolphins always swing by- it is magical. We also like to hike in Palos Verdes or whale watch at Point Vincente. I’m also a member at South Coast Botanical Gardens- I always feel refreshed after a visit. The South Bay offers so many gems.
What do you like about living in the South Bay and why did you decide to raise your family here?
I grew up on the East Coast so I truly treasure the lack of humidity here. My husband, who grew up in this area, sold it easily on this point alone. It is comfortable all year- round. I don’t think I will ever take seeing the Pacific Ocean for granted- we live in paradise! Sometimes I wonder if vacationing somewhere else even makes sense.
I also love the South Bay because it is super family friendly- it feels like everyone has the same goal of raising their kids in a safe, peaceful place.
Tell us about your new business, Thimble.
Most kids hate needles. And now, about a quarter of adults have needle phobia. Naturally this is causing people to put off or even avoid needles altogether. But this, of course, has consequences. At Thimble, we want to make injections and blood draws a little more comfortable. We believe that by bringing more compassion and care in, people will feel empowered to get the healthcare they need. And this means we’ll all be healthier for it.
Thimble™ is pioneering the needle care market with innovative solutions and products designed to improve experiences with needle procedures (like injections, vaccinations, blood draws). We are launching a first of its kind, convenient patch that provides relief after needle procedures now at thimblehealth.com! The Recover patch has tumeric and arnica to reduce soreness, bruising, and swelling at the injection site, without the potential side effects that oral pain medications can cause. Ever feel like you can’t lift your arms after getting an injection? Hopefully you won’t again!
What is your inspiration behind this business?
I was familiar with needle pain as a physician, but when I brought my daughter in for her vaccinations, the look of fear and betrayal on her face hit hard. After that, I used prescription numbing creams and my training in dermatology to administer them properly, but even then, it was far from a perfect solution. For my children, patients, and fellow practitioners, untreated pain was accepted as part of the care process. I was struck by how widespread needle fear was in adults and children—and just how few options there were to address it. It’s an issue that impacts millions, yet the solutions were limited and inaccessible to most people.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
As an LA transplant from the east coast, I feel so fortunate that we’ve found a sense of community here in the South Bay. This community and specifically our neighbors have been incredibly encouraging in building this business and even offered their expertise and built it alongside us. Our neighborhood is a welcome respite at the end of the day and gives us the sense of calm and clarity to keep going.
The local healthcare community has also been a huge support. I am always speaking to nurses, doctors, phlebotomists, pharmacists, etc. and every day I gain new insights about how we can improve and how we can help. This is so important to me, because my goal is to help patients AND the people who take care of them.
Thimble is a solution literally built by the community.
How do you juggle work and motherhood?
With varying degrees of success ;). It is difficult and at times I have definitely felt like I was failing at all of it. But through the experience of entrepreneurship, I have learned to have grace for myself. Things never go perfectly. I try to do the best that I can and I have to be okay with whatever that looks like. And I’ve learned that what that looks like is different for every mom- we’re all just doing our best and finding our way and comparison is futile.
As moms, we are known to be excellent multi-taskers. But I have actually tried to move away from multitasking. I try to focus on one thing at a time and give it my full attention. When I am with my kids, I intend to be fully with them in mind and heart. When I am with patients, my goal is to be completely focused on the person in front of me. And when I am working on Thimble, I try to be fully present there. I am finding that by concentrating on one thing at a time, I’m able to get more done in less time. And more importantly, I am enjoying each of these aspects of life more.
What does a typical weekday look like for you?
Every day is a little different. I tryto start my days off with a bit of yoga and meditation. And if I can see the ocean in the morning, my days tend to go better. Then it is usually meetings, meetings, and more meetings. And then emails, emails, and more emails. I am doing a lot of grant writing these days too. I love meeting with my team-everyone has such impressive backgrounds in different fields and I am always learning something new.
On the days I see patients, I like to get started early. I feel so lucky because we’ve just moved to a new office- and we can see the ocean from the windows! I make sure to step outside, even if just for a few minutes during my break.. I used to try to power through, but I find that a small break really refreshes me.
I have a bad habit of working well into the night. Sometimes I have a hard time turning it off, so I hope I can learn to be better about having a hard stop. My family is so understanding.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
“Focus on the abundance”- another South Bay mom.
It’s easy to feel bad about all the things we don’t have or haven’t done. But that simple statement was such an important reminder to treasure all the wonderful things around me that I do have. And living in the South Bay, I have A LOT to be thankful for.
Let’s Talk Local! What is your favorite:
Family Restaurant: Barsha in Hermosa or Carlos Jr. Tendon Tempura in Torrance
Date Night Restaurant:Baran’s or Fishing with Dynamite
Brunch Spot: Brother’s Burritos
Shop: Gum tree for gifts
Workout: Walks on the beach, Yoga with Down Dog app, shooting hoops
For more information on Thimble please visit ThimbleHealth.com