Startup Story: Indiva brings India’s most prominent designers to Yorkville


Wendy Dias

Company name

144 Yorkville Avenue [Yorkville & Avenue Road]

What does your business do?
INDIVA on Yorkville Avenue is a world where high fashion and timelessness are synonymous with style. We have the most exquisite contemporary and traditional women’s couture fashions and accessories from India. INDIVA’s collections created by India’s most prominent designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Malhotra, Rohit Bal and JJ Valaya are inseparable from the modern sensibilities that combine India’s most intricate textile legacy with avant-garde designs in vibrant colours. Tastefully embroidered and embellished by skilled artisans, these collections epitomize the elegance of the woman much travelled. After roaring success and rave reviews in London, Paris and Milan, these great designers are now able to showcase their collections in North America for the first time, right here at INDIVA.

With the vision of bringing to North America the finest women’s fashions and accessories out of India, INDIVA was born. Since April 2007, INDIVA’s collections have dazzled over 5,000 clients from across the world.

What makes your business different? What is that you do that makes your business unique?
INDIVA is unique in that it is the only upmarket boutique outside of India to retail Indian designers. The couture and pret-a-porter collections at INDIVA are unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that are not available at any other retail store. So its all about being exclusive.

Why did you decide to start your own business?
My brother, David Anselm and I are business partners and owners of INDIVA. We were born in India but had immigrated to Canada more than 30 years ago. With India’s economy growing exponentially, we researched the market and discovered a niche in Indian fashion for the mainstream Canadian woman at the high end. The craftsmanship in creating the designs, is artistic, detailed and extremely beautiful. We decided to leverage our network of contacts to bring something new to Canada.

What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
Its taking control of all aspects of running a successful business – from finance to human resources to advertising, sales promotions, purchasing, supply, etc.

What’s the worst part of being and entrepreneur?
The many challenges of a new business especially in a very unstable economic climate in Canada and around the world. Its a tough economy for a retail business and more so for an unknown brand. The lack of financial assistance from the financial institutions (chartered banks, small business loans)has really been a struggle.

How long have you been in business?
2 Years

How did you raise the start-up cash?
Personally – by leveraging our personal wealth – fully secured.

Identify and discuss a few lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
That if you enjoy what you do, you will feel success, even in a difficult economic climate. Challenges will keep coming up, but its how you approach them that’s key to success. Being proactive (not reactive) is very important.

What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
If you think you’ve covered all possible bases, you have not… get ready for the unexpected! But believe in what you’re doing and stick to your principles. Do not compromise on what you believe is right, even if it means you lose a customer.

What are your goals and plans for the future?
To open up INDIVA in major cities across Canada, particularly Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal.

To find out more about Wendy and Indiva take a look at

Find a BizLaunch Seminar near you at


3 responses to “Startup Story: Indiva brings India’s most prominent designers to Yorkville

  1. Would be great if you notice of designer Harmeen.

  2. Unexpectedly I just purchased a dress from INDIVA in Yorkville. It is the perfect dress for my first cousin's wedding at the end of February. I LOVE all things INDIAN….having been there 12 times in a row. While my trips to India were to study YOGA they soon also were for the LOVE of INDIA. So for me the statement this dress makes is great…..And since my yoga school The Yoga Way is just up the street from the shop I can easily get there. ~ Heather Morton – Director/Founder of The Yoga Way (

  3. Sonia Francis

    Hi I saw your fashions on cityline love the fashions.beautifull designs/colours.i would love to visit your store.I am in need of a long dress for new years.I have also started a unigue gift shop.Visit me at post this link to your fans .Thanks.

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