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Interview with Shaleen Subbaiah and Varsha Venkatesh Co-founders and Partners‘Tvishi’

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Fashion Forward

Tvishi is an exclusive, handpicked, curated and created designer wear store that is the brain child of two enterprising city women.

Tvishi is an unusual name. But has a lovely meaning. It means ray of light, energy and brilliance. Meet Shaleen Subbaiah and Varsha Venkatesh Co-founders and Partners of ‘tvishi’ a new designer store in Bengaluru. Varsha was born and raised in Bangalore and was always inspired by her father who is into Government Service. Shaleen was born and raised in Coorg by her maternal grandparents and she moved to Bangalore for her high school and resided with her aunt and completed her law from Bangalore University. The common connection with them was fashion.

Fashion Matters

Shaleen admits that fashion is in her genes. “During my early childhood I always admired my aunt who was a beautiful woman. She was an author and a film artist. I always admired her sense of style. She designed her clothes and as a child I always accompanied her to the tailors. Perhaps I was unaware that fashion struck me in those days itself. I was so passionate about my start up Panache The boutique. I put in my heart and soul into it and today it is an established and well known boutique in Bangalore.” Varsha has been a model and designer so this naturally drew her to fashion. Varsha was Shaleen’s client since 2010 at Panache and even worked as an intern with her for a few months. Her regular visits to the store got them talking leading to setting up the designer store tvishi. The store has exclusive handpicked curated and created designer wear by tvishi and has been positioned as the coolest one-stop destination for mid-priced to premium designer wear. The tvishi brand blends the essence of India with a touch of the West and tvishi’s designs radiate elegance and class and appeal to everyone whether it is teens who are discovering fashion to independent women who know what they want. Sarees, Ethnic, Indo western and accessories for formal, casual, party, festive and bridal wear occasions are displayed at the store.

Women on Top

While Varsha is always inspired by her father she always had a passion for books on Indian History. For Shaleen her aunt (who is no more now) was her biggest inspiration when she was a child. “I feel every day is an inspiration. I get inspired by so many things every day. The colours, the fabrics, every other app which helps you make your life easy these days.  Rather than inspiration I would say dreaming, visualising and executing things at the right time in the right positive way makes things work,” admits Shaleen. Being young women entrepreneurs they admit that there is always stiff competition. “There are defying social expectations, women are not taken seriously, balancing business and family life  is also a challenge and the thought of coping fear of failure always arises.  But we don’t want to let all this get to our head. We want to strive hard to overcome all these hurdles and prove to the society that women are here to stay,” says Varsha.

Contemporary Cues

Quiz them on what are some have haves in a women’s wardrobe they are clear that each woman is different and one woman’s ‘must have’ might not be another’s. Rather this depends on different age groups, the kind of work and many more aspects. “A must for all below forties according to us include denims with a decent semi casual top and a black dress. For Indian women above 40 we believe that a saree is a must have as is a comfortable kurta,” say the duo. And as far as apparel trends for 2019 are concerned they see comfortable long and short dresses becoming very common these days. “Skirts and Palazzos, Linen and handloom sarees highly trend. Floral and geometric patterns are trending,” say the duo. Their advice to women who want to be entrepreneurs is simple. “Stay focused and never be deterred by anyone or anything. Trust yourself and never try to rationalise your decision. Always think it is your idea of this business and you are solely responsible for the results. It is good to take advice but let not advice ruin your business. At the end you are responsible for your decisions. Be humble and empathetic,” aver the duo. Looking ahead the duo have big plans to take their brand forward. “Our future plans are to expand our foot print in the major towns in Karnataka in the next two years and in major cities in India in the next 4 years. But as of now we look to strengthen our position in Bangalore and make tvishi the much talked about brand. We want to brand every customer who enters our tvishi store a tvishi woman.”

This story first appeared in Spunky Indian June 2019 issue here:

6 thoughts on “Interview with Shaleen Subbaiah and Varsha Venkatesh Co-founders and Partners‘Tvishi’

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