Our story starts with the little South Asian girl that grew up in the United States. Growing up, when she wore Indian clothes, she felt distant from her western self, and in western clothes, she felt her identity was incomplete. She was embarassed to speak her native language in public, straightened her natural hair to feel "pretty," and desired nothing more than to feel accepted. To her, being a South Asian American meant that she’d have to choose between South Asian or American.
We, along with millions of other first-gen children are those little girls.
From turmeric lattes to “Henna tattoos,” to yoga, our traditions and cultures have been tokenized, appropriated, and manipulated. With at Mantra and Co. are reclaiming our culture, our way, with our narrative. Our team comprises of college students hailing generationally from different parts of South Asia. As first-generation children, each of us understands the pressure of assimilation and have had our own battles in accepting our identities as first-generation, South Asian American children.
Through our apparel and accessories, we hope to replace embarrassment with pride, fear with embracement and instill a sense of community within the first-generation community while making a tangible impact in South Asia. As such, a portion of our proceeds will help fund a non-profit hospital in Chennai, India, Premika Varadhan Clinic.
Our hope is that with Mantra and Co., that little girl will no longer have to choose between both of her identities.
nrithi subramanian, founder
A second-year college student based in Dallas, Nrithi founded Mantra and Co. in an effort to create representation through and tangible impact through art, while embracing her South Asian American identity.
yuktha sureshkumar, vice president of media
Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Yuktha has been a part of the team for three years and navigates all things media. With an artistic knack, Yuktha also serves as Mantra's designer.
simran khoja, vice president of marketing and outreach
Simran is a college student based in Dallas, Texas who plays a variety on roles in Mantra: from modeling, to photography, to outreach, Simran contributes in all areas.
zain dhatwani, communications chair
With a knack for all things Tik Tok, Zain speciallzes in content creation. With an appreciation for Bollywood, Zain seamlessly integrates Bollywood with mantra.
shifa karim, director of community outreach
Shifa adds to the Mantra team by integrating Mantra seamlessly into the broader South Asian community. Shifa works with different organizations to spread our brand and mission.
adeenah choksi, blog curator & writer
Adeenah brings her vivacious writing and personality into Mantra to create the Our Safe Space Blog, fostering a community with which people resonate.