Mike Goldfarb is the founder of the globally inspired apparel brand BHANTI. In 2018, Mike and his then-girlfriend Liz sold their possessions, bought backpacks, and embarked on a year-long trip around the world. Part of their intention was to immerse themselves in other cultures, volunteer along the way, and learn more about different spiritual practices. Along the journey, they got their yoga teacher certification in India, sat on several silent meditation retreats, studied Tibetan Buddhism, and most transformative of all, got engaged at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Throughout the trip, Mike sought out opportunities to give back to local communities. He taught English to disabled basket weavers in Rwanda, lived with a Tibetan host family, and volunteered at their refugee settlement in Nepal. He also taught young monks English in the hometown of the Dalai Lama and performed daily "karma yoga" (a.k.a. dishwashing) at a Buddhist meditation center in the Himalayas.
Mike’s travels inspired him to create BHANTI, a brand that captures the spirit of traveling and transformation for our everyday lives. He chose the name BHANTI because in Pali, the language that the Buddha spoke, it means spiritual friend. A spiritual friend is a concept that doesn’t exist in English. Having encountered many cultures and walks of life during his journey, Mike realized that at the end of the day people are more similar than different. Most people want to be happy, have good relationships, and have meaning in their life. To Mike, being a spiritual friend meant recognizing that universal connection between people and understanding that service to others is the key to our wellbeing. As part of its social mission, BHANTI donates a portion of profits to community initiatives in the regions where its goods are made.
Mike understood that for many seekers coming home after a transformational experience the transition back can be an adjustment. Part of the mission for BHANTI was to create a wearable totem to reconnect with one’s inner truth that never goes away. For Mike, that truth was knowing,
"Once you’re on the path, even when you think you’ve come off, you’re still on it."