Ankita and Gayatri Mallika Bansal provide the comfort of a local hometown boutique all the way from India with their denim fashion brand, THERE!. Both sisters decided on denim because it doesn’t discriminate against age, weight, or skin tone. It is all-inclusive, much like the company, “Here, there, everywhere,” Gayatri explains the brand is for everyone, every season, every occasion.
The female entrepreneurs built global connections with consumers after they gained recognition from their appearance on the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking and added international shipping to their website. Ankita’s profile on the show positively affected the business, “We have been working our asses off the last two months, we’ve gone crazy! We’ve not taken a vacation,” she elaborated.
The sisters were first introduced to the world of fabric through their mother. “Past experiences hold a great importance to how THERE! came about. Having seen mom, as children, work with fabrics in her life. Going out, getting fabric, talking to us about it, and stitching it for us,” Ankita states with compassion. The pair began to take fabric home, on their own and created their own garments. “Sometimes in life, some decisions that you make, they’re just in the moment, you don’t think about it, you just do it!” Ankita exclaimed with a smile full of gratitude.
The strong, supportive bond of their sisterhood lends to their business and products. With Gayatri’s interest to start their own brand and Ankita’s prior experience in the fashion industry, the partnership was a seamless fit.
THERE! was established approximately 3 years ago with denim as it’s fabric of focus. “In the corporate world, in India at least, every Friday is considered to be a casual workday where everyone got so excited to wear their denim. Everyone dresses up in their jeans and their T-shirts to come into the office. That’s when I started thinking why is denim just casual wear? I am someone that wears it as formal attire,” Ankita described of her thought process. “If you check our website, how we style our products, how we create them, it gives you sense that you don’t only have to wear it to a casual Friday, you can wear it to a cocktail party,” she continued, “how you layer your clothes also makes a big difference.” THERE! is a great option for individuals that seek comfort, creativity, and class in their post-pandemic transition back to work, school, and “normalcy”.
A hot seller is their denim blazer and pant set which is maroon, reminiscent of the beautiful richness of red wine. Another popular item is the denim silk dress which is soft and feminine. I loved it so much, I purchased it myself! I was pleasantly surprised by how thin and comfortable the fabric is. A few of the founders’ favorites include: the breezy notched high low jacket with handmade embroidery; the cotton candy pink shirt which features nice cooling linen sleeves for a breathable wear; and the beige ruffles sleeve top and back slit pant set, “it has a slit in the back and bouncy accentuating sleeves that give you a curve to the body,” Gayatri described.
Each purchase comes with a handwritten note to provide that personal, family touch. “Ankita makes a point that every time someone places an order, for 90%-95% of the people, she will call them up to have a chat with them and ask for their measurements,” Gayatri explained. Some pieces are more flexible with body types. For example: the silk denim dress I ordered would not require measurements whereas a pant or suit set would. We all have different bust and hip measurements, you may have a smaller waist or larger bust. “If there is a product where there is a possibility the customer may have an issue, we must follow up,” Ankita adds.
The bespoke aspect of THERE! encourages sustainability as it prevents returns or a back and forth of international shipments. For the future of the brand, they would like to get their outreach to 100% once they are able to expand and hire more employees. Ankita and Gayatri are committed to high quality products and excellent customer service.
Together the pair are like ying and yang. A perfect balance of personalities, love, and support. Ankita is someone who is fearless when it comes to failure, “Don’t be scared of taking risks, without taking risks you’ll never know what the outcome could be.” She encourages other woman and upcoming entrepreneurs not to feel down about failures but to get back up and work harder. “If you feel like this is it for you and this will make all the difference in your life, go for it. If it doesn’t happen instantly it will happen over time. I have seen it happen with me!” she added.
With hard work, it is necessary to find a balance between work and relaxation. “I think it’s very important to give yourself those little joys and breaks while you’re working. Otherwise you exhaust yourself to a limit,” she continued. Gayatri, on the other hand, is a workaholic. “I love working,” she says, “I think your early twenties is the time people actually gain the maximum mileage out of their career.”
As for their love lives, Ankita and Gayatri welcome romantic relationships at their own time and pace. As we see on the show Indian Matchmaking, the women have supportive parents. “In our family, the way we were brought up, there is no pressure to get married” Gayatri revealed, “I think having a dialogue, having a conversation is very important in understanding both sides.” For now, the relationships they strengthen are with their beloved customers.