We were both first year students at the University of Toronto, waiting outside anxiously for our first Chemistry midterm to start. We started talking about the midterm and quickly became instant friends. Who would have thought that a simple conversation outside an exam hall would eventually turn into a lifelong friendship and an eventual business partnership!
Fast-forward 7 years, we had both graduated from our undergraduate degrees in life sciences and went on to complete our respective postgraduate certificates. Having just entered the workforce as new graduates, we realized that it’s about time we put our undergraduate pact to action. During our time at UofT, we had always talked about launching a startup business of our own. We have always had a passion for fashion, so we decided that we wanted to create a place where we could transform both our own vision and our customers’ fashion ideas into reality. At first we were both weary, as neither one of us have a business background. However, we had two minds to bounce ideas off of and two sets of skills to leverage, and because of this, we were off to a good start. So we wrote out a business plan and this was how Ovni Couture was born.
We wanted to start a brand, focused on South Asian clientele, where we could elevate and empower women through fashion. We believe that what you wear is a reflection of who you are. We are building a brand where people can decide everything – from the type of outfit they are looking for to the design of the fabric being used to make it. We want our customers to have full creative freedom over what they are choosing to wear.
With the evolution of e-commerce in this digital age, our aim is to allow our customers to be able to create their designs, pick their fabric and have their outfit made to size, all from the comfort of their home. Currently, we operate mainly in the GTA but we have a few customers from outside Ontario. Our long-term goal is to expand outside of Canada, bringing our designs to clients all over the world.
Here is a closer look at some of Ovni Couture‘s designs:
When we first created this piece for a customer, we had no idea it would turn into one of our most popular outfits. This outfit has been recreated in several colors and paired with various blouse designs. This rich royal blue brocade skirt along with a raw silk blouse is a timeless piece that is a must have.
This green dhoti style outfit is definitely one of our most unique pieces. It was created to bring our vision to life. It is one of those outfits that has a touch of tradition with a modern flare and will definitely turn heads at any event!
Coming to the close of our first year of business, we want to share some of our lessons with you:
- Always follow your dreams. If you set your mind to something and work hard, anything is possible.
- It’s not about making money, but helping our customers achieve their fashion goals. And this is exactly what we aim to achieve. We’ve spent countless hours with some of our customers to create their dream outfit.
- There is no foolproof formula, mistakes are inevitable. As we grow with each month, we also have experienced a few step backs. But from every struggle, we’ve learned and continue to identify ways to improve our business.
It has been a great and rewarding venture so far, but the real work is just getting started!