My Triple 5 Soul denim jacket. After 9 cities, 3 continents & 20+ years of wear, it was falling apart. I'd asked a few people if they'd patch it for me & the prices they were asking 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 make a bobbin. My maiden attempt on my jacket 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 making my first pillow case! It was for an old body pillow that my dog Cody used to nap on.
That sparked an idea.
I had tons of fabric! In hindsight, it was only 6 yards, but I started practicing - envelope closure, French seams, etc. - on a machine my mom had but wasn't using. Then I got bold and decided to try my hand at zippers. By this time, I'd also been using the fabric to experiment with another passion of mine, resin. My mom painted our dining room table black then covered it with resin back in the 80s and I thought it'd be cool to cover stuff with these colorful fabrics & seal them with resin. First was 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 stuff sell over the two day festival. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but threw myself into it - working day and night. The first day of the festival, I was so unprepared - I had no company name, logo or social media presence. That night, I went home excited - I'd sold a couple of pillows and some coaster sets. I stayed up all night answering the questions customers had been asking all day:
Are you online?
Do you take credit cards?
Are you on Facebook?
On the second day of the festival, a customer saw what I had to offer and changed the trajectory of my business with one question:
Do you sew with Mud Cloth?
At the time, I hadn't a clue where to get it from but I eagerly said yes, exchanged emails and Nambili Home Décor was born. My first customer was ecstatic with the turn out 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.