After 9 cities, 3 continents and twenty plus years of wear, my Triple 5 Soul denim jacket was falling apart. I'd asked a few people to patch it for me and the prices they quoted had a sister on Amazon buying her first machine!
Between the instruction manual, YouTube and my mom, I learned the parts of the machine, how to thread it and how to insert and wind a bobbin. My maiden attempt was pretty awful—the stitches were too loose, I'd sewn the fabric wrong side up, and eventually broke the machine. But not before successfully sewing my first pillow case for an old body pillow that my Boston Terrier Cody napped on.
That sparked an idea.
I only had 6 yards of fabric, but my enthusiasm made it feel like tons. I had broken my first machine from overuse, so I dove into practicing techniques like envelope closure and French seams on my mom’s spare machine before it too had to be replaced. Then I got bold and decided to try my hand at zippers. Then I got even bolder. Inspired by my mother’s 1980’s dining room table treatment, I began covering objects with colorful fabric and sealing them with resin. First a side table, then cork coasters and light switch plates.
A friend was vending at AfroPunk one summer and invited me to "test the market." I had two weeks to make enough product to sell over the two-day festival. I had no idea what I was doing but I threw myself into it, working day and night. On the first day of the festival I was so unprepared—I had no company name, logo or social media presence. Still, I returned home that night excited. I'd sold a couple of pillows and some coaster sets, and stayed up all night answering the questions customers had been asking all day:
Do you have a website?
Do you take credit cards?
Are you on Facebook?
But on the second day, I was asked a question that changed the entire trajectory of my business:
Do you sew with Mud Cloth?
At the time, I hadn't a clue where to get it but I eagerly said yes, exchanged emails and Nambili Home Décor was born. My first customer was ecstatic with the results and I discovered I could create items people loved!
Nambili Home Décor has since morphed into House of Nambili—blending your personal style with textiles from North West Africa & beyond. From pillows to scarves, hoodies to affirmation chalkboards, House Of Nambili creates cultural décor & accessories that connect you to the African Diaspora.