Two sisters from Howard County, Maryland who wanted to wear clothes that honored their South Asian roots couldn’t find much so they created their own. Now they have a booming business.
“I believe that clothes are a form of expression,” said Mina Khan, founder of Urban Desi. “I love dressing up; I love fashion…You can show your culture and ethnic roots through fashion.
She and her sister Warda launched their own clothing line, Urban Desi, paying homage to their South Asian heritage. They especially wanted to pay tribute to their grandfather, who left money to build a well in Bangladesh after his death.
“I just wish people would see, oh, this is all from South Asia,” Mina Khan said.
“I want to share my culture with everyone in the western world,” she said.
A sophomore at the University of Maryland, Mina started making all the clothes herself and shipping them to the local post office.
“We put a lot of effort into creating pieces that we want to wear, that we enjoy,” Warda said.
“When I started the brand, it was completely new to me, everything,” Mina said. “Like, business was new to me.”
They’ve come a long way over the past year, selling around 1,000 items so far.
They plan to offer skincare and makeup products soon and hope to have a pop-up store in the future.
“I’m very proud, especially because of the hard work that goes into it,” Mina said.
“I feel like we’re creating a really strong community,” Warda said.
Mina also plans to create a South Asian culture podcast called Urban Desi Unfolded.