In the realm of fashion, there are trailblazers who dare to challenge norms and weave their dreams into reality. Timbrel Chyatee, the founder of fashion brand CHYATEE, is one such entrepreneur. She not only has transformed her life but touched the lives of artisans in India.
Her remarkable journey from a small apartment studio in India to a Lancaster-based global brand showcases the power of determination, cultural appreciation, and sustainability.
Rediscovering a vibrant cultural tapestry
Growing up in an Indian American household in Lancaster, Timbrel witnessed the vibrant tapestry of sarees, lehengas, and other rich textiles that traditionally adorn Indian culture. It wasn’t until she ventured to India after college, volunteering at an orphanage and teaching English, that she rekindled her connection with fabrics and textiles.
Immersed in the diverse beauty of India, Timbrel saw her passion for design begin to flourish. In 2018, after returning to Lancaster, she decided to take the leap and launch a brand: CHYATEE.
Her vision was clear from the start: Create a sustainable fashion brand that not only celebrates India’s rich heritage but resonates with a global audience. Each item produced by CHYATEE is meticulously designed by Timbrel in Lancaster and then assembled by her team of skilled craftswomen and craftsmen in India.
Timbrel’s brand encompasses bespoke high-end wear, such as wedding gowns and suits, as well as everyday apparel, tailored to cater to a diverse clientele. While many brands focus exclusively on Indian or non-Indian markets, Timbrel’s approach is different.
CHYATEE embraces diversity, welcoming customers from various backgrounds and cultures, including Indian, American, black, and Latin communities.
A global connection
Timbrel’s deep connection to her team in India is at the heart of CHYATEE’s success. With 22 talented individuals in India, including block printers, hand dyers, tailors, and master craftspeople, the brand thrives through collaboration and community.
Every few months, Timbrel returns to India to work with her team. She ensures fair wages and empowerment in the Indian community where she once volunteered. By championing gender equality and economic uplifting, Timbrel exemplifies the transformative power of entrepreneurship.
Running CHYATEE not only has made Timbrel more resilient and “tough as nails,” she says, but unapologetically vocal about her values and identity. Growing up in Lancaster County as an Indian American, she experienced discrimination. Through her brand, she has found the voice to stand up for what she believes.
“It’s made me really proud of where I’m from and who I am,” she says. “I hope that I can pave the way for other first-gen kids like me to know that anything’s possible if you really believe in it and dream it.”
Expanding the brand
Timbrel envisions CHYATEE opening multiple retail stores that preserve the essence of brick-and-mortar shopping. The tangible experience of trying on CHYATEE’s exquisite designs sets the brand apart from those only available online.
Timbrel’s dream is to continue expanding her brand while creating spaces where people can connect with the artistry and craftsmanship behind each piece.
“At the end of the day, I would not want to do anything else,” Timbrel says. “As the brand grows, it just makes me love it more. Any entrepreneur will say it’s not easy, but it’s fun.”