Meet Yuliya Charamnykh: Founder of WHEN and WHERE
Imagine this: seamlessly going from Pilates to running around with the kids, or even going to work – all wearing the same sustainable and stylish pieces! This is the incredible mission behind the luxe and sustainable athleisure brand, WHEN and WHERE.
Created by Westchester mom Yuliya Charamnykh, during the pandemic as a response to the impact of fast fashion, WHEN and WHERE offers a multi-tasking wardrobe capsule featuring stylish leggings, bike shorts, bras, vests, jackets, and more that women can wear at any time, at any place, and all day long.
The brand is committed to slowing down the process of fast fashion, featuring pieces that last while also encouraging people to own less. This includes products that use fewer materials, partnerships with ethical suppliers, biodegradable packaging, and products that are made and fulfilled in New York.
Read on to learn more about this innovative line and its founder Yuliya.
Westchester Family: How did the idea for WHEN and WHERE come about?
Yuliya Charamnykh: Always being ambitious and career-oriented, I never thought I would become a full-time mom. As life I got busy, I abandoned my professional dreams to raise my three children. And while being ‘mostly’ happy with my choice, deep down I longed for my old identity that was separate from being a mom.
When pandemic hit and we were all isolated, spending long hours with our families and, of course, ourselves, I had the moment of realization that a few years from now when the kids go off to college and move out, where will I be and how my days would look like? I got scared!
This is when my mind started shifting where I thought about where I saw myself, and how I want my life to be.
As I started to workout more and take care of my body, I found myself in the same routine every morning. This included looking at my closet in hopes to find an outfit that would transition from my workout to my other activities throughout the day, an outfit that would make me feel elegant and put-together no matter where my day takes me next. This is when I decided that this my chance to give it a shot and create something that I have been looking for as a customer but couldn’t find on the market.
Westchester Family: What were some difficulties in starting a brand during the pandemic?
Yuliya Charamnykh: First, the whole idea starting a brand without any prior experience was so surreal but I went all-in blindly, simply following my gut and any common sense along the way. I started with a simple outreach to my local friends asking them if they had any contacts in the fashion industry. To my biggest surprised, I received a significant number of referrals in fashion, marketing, sustainability, etc.
I was extremely impressed how everyone was so open-minded and willing to share whatever knowledge they had to help me learn and understand what steps had to be done in order to not only create, but launch this fashion brand.
I can’t really define what exact difficulties I was facing in starting my brand, as everything was challenging at first, such as placing my first fabric order, finding a designer, creating samples, communicating with a manufacturer on a first production, or creating the website and then launching the brand. I have been doing everything for the first time, so everything I do is completely unknown. I am a one-person shop and a mom of three, I do face challenges daily but I try to take them as a part of my learning curve.
Westchester Family: Why was sustainability important to you in your line?
Yuliya Charamnykh: From the early days, I knew I was creating a brand that I would love to run and cherish for years, like my baby. I actually joke that this business is my baby number 4.
Since my children are very conscious about the environment as well as recycling and composting, I knew I had to start right and define sustainability as a core of the brand. The whole concept of the brand is the response to the effects fast fashion has on our planet.
As the brand, we are committed to slowing down, producing pieces that last, creating space for owning less by introducing a capsule collection to your closet. We are doing it all by using fewer materials, partnering with ethical suppliers, manufacturing local, actually the whole line is made in New York, and fulfillment process is that we pack our orders in biodegradable packaging where all tags, wrapping tissue – everything can go into compost. We also proudly contribute to 1% of the Planet, where 1% of our sales go to support environmental non-profit organizations.
Westchester Family: Tell us who the WHEN and WHERE woman is.
Yuliya Charamnykh: The ideal woman is someone who is in her 30s-50s, busy and active, who wants to start her day happy and not overthinking of what to put on in the morning that would make her feel confident and put-tougher at any time of the day . She doesn’t want to feel stressed or overwhelmed by choosing an outfit that would take her through the day in comfort and style.
She can be a busy lady who lives in the city, whose workout routine is an essential element of her day-to-day life or she can be a stay-at-home mom who wants to fit a workout into her busy schedule between drop off and pick ups. They either go to their local gym, fitness center, yoga or pilates studio, or workout out of the house via various fitness platforms. They are both mindful, caring, and respectful of others as well as the environment.
Westchester Family: Tell us more about the pieces in your line.
Yuliya Charamnykh: The collection includes modern must-have performance sets of tops and bottoms accompanied by sophisticated and elegant signature pieces that complete every outfit. No matter what your day has in store for you, you will have one outfit that takes you from morning till night, so you feel confident and ready for any occasion.
Currently, we offer two styles of bras and three styles of leggings, including shorts. You can pair any of those two completer pieces: a vest and our cardigan. This set is actually what we call the completer.
All these pieces are transitional and offered in neutral colors, which gives you flexibility easily to mix and match with the rest of the collection or pair with whatever you already have in your existing wardrobe.
Westchester Family: What are some of your favorite things to do in Westchester.
Yuliya Charamnykh: I have been living in Westchester for almost 15 years and I love it here. I always enjoy a walk or bike ride with the kids on the Bronx River Parkway. There is a cool hiking trail in Cranberry Lake Preserve that’s our favorite any time of the year. As far as food, we love Fantasy Cuisine for their dumplings or Kumo Sushi for their best rolls in town — if not the county!
Westchester Family: What’s next for WHEN and WHERE?
Yuliya Charamnykh: Since it’s only been a year since my launch, there’s still a lot to accomplish! I definitely see a big potential to grow this brand organically, as this type of clothing is what we – women mostly wear. I am looking to expand my ambassador program, such as women and stay-at-home moms who are looking for a side hustle. This is a great opportunity for them to make some dollars while wearing and spreading the word about what makes them feel good.
WHEN and WHERE Details:
Get WHEN and WHERE online here, or locally at Scarsdale Pilates. They will also getting the line in other fitness studios in NY, NJ and CT.