Founder's Story

Ibhana was founded in 2002 when Meena returned from a trip home to India with 100 pashmina shawls.  It was the year the pashmina became popular in America.  She sold all 100 in the first week to a local store, came home and designed her business card.  Next month she quit her job at Lockheed Martin and launched Ibhana.

Many trips to the Small Business Development Center in Rockville, the National Women's Business Center and Small Business Administration in Washington, DC, and with the help of her SCORE mentor AND with the constant support and encouragement from friends and customers-who-became-friends, Meena started her new journey into the world of entrepreneurship.  It was not going to be an easy path!

In 2004, Meena won the first STARTRIGHT Competition sponsored by Rockville Department of Economic Development for the Best business plan and months later Ibhana took new directions.  The product line expanded from shawls to become a full-fledged apparel and accessory retail endeavor.  Today Ibhana offers some of the best brands and designer clothing int he Washington Metropolitan area.  Designers include Canadian and American lines offered by Joseph Ribkoff, IC, Samuel Dong, Tianello and Papillon Blanc. 

Ibhana offers exquisite clothing, (dresses, pants, tunics, raincoats, fleece wear) and caters to customers sizes 2 through 20.  We focus on travel friendly clothing easy to care for.  

Signature Scarf Story:  
ibhana also designs scarves for corporate and non-profit organizations to help them with their fundraising and branding.  Over 40 commissioned scarves have been designed to date including prestigious organizations like The Washington Performing Arts Society for their 40th Anniversary, Adventist Healthcare, American Lung Association (a scarf and tie), the MMMF Fund (for their scholarship program), The Wellness Community (to support their missionf of education and hope for cancer survivors), Charity Works, National Women's Business Centeer (for their leadership conference), the Pierians (promoting a love and learning of art), etc.  Check out more on The Power of a Scarf.


History of the Paisley Shawl: Meena also presents a slide-show/lecture A History of the Paisley Shawl, followed by a demonstration on How to Accessorize with Shawls and Scarves.  [link the image History_PaisleyShawl.jpg to the underlined.]  

Fashion Shows: 
Meena presents and hosts fashion shows for different organizations to help you with your fund-raising.  

We also love to support local non-profits through fund-raising in-store events.  

You can contact Meena at ibhana1@gmail.com to host a fashion show or trunk show to help you with your fundraising.

Meena Tharmaratnam