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Daily Inspiration: Meet Vanita Tahim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanita Tahim.

Hi Vanita, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I am a wife, mom, fashion stylist/designer and social media influencer. I guess you can say my love for fashion and design started from a young age. When my grandparents migrated from India to England, most of the family had careers, as seamstresses, in factories. So, you might say it is in my blood. I remember I used to tell my grandmother how to make my Indian clothes or dresses. I would tell her what kind of designs and embellishments, and she would create these amazing pieces. I eventually started to sketch them for her to create (very badly I must admit). Fashion and style have always been a creative outlet for me. I have always loved fusing my Indian culture with my everyday style. When I got old enough, my grandmother taught me to sew and create patterns. I would say that was my start in fashion. During College, I began working with a local designer. I started out handling more administrative work and eventually assisted with designing and styling.

Soon after I signed to an agency as an Assistant Fashion Stylist (and had no idea what I was doing). I just knew that this was something I wanted to do. So, I just started learning as much as I could as quickly as possible while assisting eventually I became a Lead Stylist. I always dreamt of designing my own clothes and owning my own boutique, but it seemed so far-fetched. One year my husband and I just decided to go for it, and from there I created my online boutique. So, while still being a full-time stylist (and all the other hats that I wear), we started Vanita Tahim, an online boutique specializing in custom pieces for woman and men along with a design line built for the everyday Woman. With all of the experiences above, I just knew I had to build a brand. I started to create a more online presence, ultimately, as a social media “influencer”. I am nowhere near the following others may have but truly enjoy sharing my experiences and life while building that brand.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Having the opportunity to do what I love has been amazing but, no, it hasn’t been a smooth ride. The fashion industry is a fickle one to say the least and being a freelance stylist on top of that makes things even more difficult. There had been days, weeks and sometimes even months that I would not get booked. The industry has drastically changed over the past decade and all stylists have felt it. Then when we started our boutique, there was a lot of trial and error. Tons of failed samples and customer order errors, which ultimately led to switching manufacturers (multiple times). On top of this, fast-forward to 2020, when COVID-19 hit, everything fell apart. As a small business, we had to suddenly halt production. I felt at this point, I could focus more on social media. It is a whole new ball game, and I’m really trying to figure it out as I go. It is so fun to have this creative outlet and as much as I enjoy it, it does suck you in at times and can add more stress. I find myself constantly comparing myself to others and getting caught up in the numbers. Sometimes I have to remind myself of why I started this journey.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I started my online boutique really focusing on custom creations and designing Indian clothing for clients. Some of my favorite pieces to create are Indian fusion looks. This creative passion afforded me the opportunity to design and create all my sister’s wedding outfits. I’ve designed Bridal pieces for many Brides and members of the Bridal Parties as well. Custom Design is a huge part of my business but not the only part. I have created a line of designs that are exclusively sold at our boutique. Being able to see my designs/ideas come to life and being able to create unique pieces for my clients is what I truly enjoy. I love making them feel special while looking beautiful. As for my social media platforms, I share lots of affordable fashion finds, style tips, mom life, DIY’s and an inside look into my life!

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I believe you make your own luck in life; nothing in life comes easy, at least not to me. You have to work hard while putting your heart and soul into everything you do. Failure is ok, that is how you learn and how you grow in life and in business. I have had a lot of failures in my business, but I try to view them as experiences that I needed to learn from to ultimately get to where I want. I am sure I have more struggles ahead of me but that is what makes for a great story!

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