Lightbulb Moments banner

The Innovation Hub’s Lightbulb Moments blog presents: Ariana Golshani

Startup: Golshani Atelier  | Hub program: Launch

Ariana headshot

About Ariana and her startup, Golshani Atelier

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ariana Golshani, a 4th year finance student and the founder of Golshani Atelier, a high-end custom clothing retail service. “I found that there wasn’t a space where women have the power to take part in the designing of their ideal garment”. She started Golshani Atelier to provide a space for women to feel comfortable in what they’re looking for and where they can receive quality advice.

What inspired you to start this company?

One of the main factors that led to Ariana starting her business was her friend group at the time, who were all very into fashion. She also worked in fashion at a luxury high-end lifestyle clothing store called The Serpentine in Toronto, where she learned a lot about luxury fashion and got to know the behind-the-scenes of the industry. “It just happened – my friends knew the trade and they weren’t finding what they were looking for so I wanted to help bring their ideas to life”.

As for post-graduation, Ariana wants to work in the private sector and gain more experience within her field of finance. However, she remains very hopeful about her business and said “whatever happens, happens… if this takes off, I’ll reassess and make Golshani Atelier my priority”. Ultimately, she hopes to secure funding and investors so that she could balance both.

Ariana’s Lightbulb Moment:

Lightbulb Moment stickerAriana’s lightbulb moment happened during a photoshoot where one of the models reached out to her to create the perfect gown for a specific event. “We went through the design process together and once I saw how happy she was because the dress was made to her liking and her family also enjoyed the whole experience of shopping for fabric, seeing the different textures and how I could make different materials drape on her body, and we finished the gown in a reasonable timeline, so they were all impressed with the final product. That’s when I had my lightbulb moment, where I thought this could be something”

Although initially a passion project she planned to do on the side, Ariana said her first real moment of believing in her business happened at the Nest pitch night this past summer. The reaction from the audience and feedback from both the judges and other mentors present for her pitch, including Tony Bailetti, the Director of Carleton’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) master’s program, Eduardo Bailetti, the Business Development Officer of the TIM program, and David Mosley, the Founder of the Baypointe Group Inc. and an Innovation Hub mentor, who all contributed to Ariana fully believing in herself and her business idea. “They were asking a lot of questions and that really made me think. I thought, if they’re taking the time to press me about this, then they see something, and if they see something maybe I should too”.

Who has been your biggest support system for you in your entrepreneurial journey?

One of Ariana’s biggest support systems is her friends and many other people she’s spoken to about entrepreneurship. Another support was Roland Few, an Instructor of Entrepreneurship in Carleton’s Sprott School of Business. Ariana had him as a professor last year and was able to have insightful one-on-one conversations that helped her with Golshani Atelier. “John has been very helpful, the Launch program facilitators Jonathan and Julie, [Monika], Mitch, and Jess. It’s a nice ecosystem at the Hub, there’s good vibes”.

Do you feel more confident in your role as an entrepreneur because of your experience with the Innovation Hub?

“For sure. It helped me gain confidence in myself to see this through and helped me hone in on my own skills in terms of selling [my business idea]”. Through her participation in the Launch program, Ariana was able to form connections and learn from her fellow program participants. “It was nice to meet with other student entrepreneurs and see if there’s a way to help each other. The first few workshops were sit-downs where we got to hear everyone’s entrepreneurial journeys and see the stories of other people at the Hub”.

What would you say to a student who is interested in one of our programs?

“Just try, why not” *laughs* “Seriously! If you don’t try, you’ll never know”. Ariana expressed that the Innovation Hub is where she learned the most information about entrepreneurship. As opposed to a traditional classroom setting, she said “It feels more personal” and loved getting to connect with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Carleton University Innovation Hub logoWritten by Monika Hutchings, Communications Coordinator at the Innovation Hub. If you would like your story to be edited, updated, or removed please email