spinthrift market: house of nambili deserves your attention

April 10, 2020
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With businesses suffering major blows due to mass shutdown and less customers who are able to support during this time, there are so many companies at risk. Our Spinthrift Market series will feature different exceptional Black businesses in need of some love. If you are able to please consider buying from these businesses who we hope can survive this difficult time. Good luck to all the companies working hard to push through!

We begin this series by speaking to niCo Robinson of House of Nambili, who in addition to wowing us with beautiful designs has made the choice to donate a mask to an essential worker with every purchase.

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What is the goal of your business?
When I was twelve years-old, if I had an idea I went with it! I didn’t question or overthink it, I just moved. It was at that age I believed most in myself & my abilities.Then puberty hit and I started caring more about what other people thought versus what felt right for me. I named my first business; a photography company, Forever12 as a reminder to keep that unabashed, ‘I can do anything!’ energy.

In turn, ‘nambili’ means twelve in Zulu. House of Nambili is not just about bold colorful prints that resonate with the creative spirit—it’s about James Baldwin’s idea that if you ‘know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.’ The ultimate goal of House of Nambili is to remind everyone of African descent that we come from GREATNESS!

How has COVID-19 affected you/your business?
Quarantining left me with a lot of time to further endulge my creative talents. I saw a mask pattern on the @joann_stores Instagram page and decided to make a couple for myself and my husband to wear when shopping for supplies. I posted a photo of us from the @houseofnambili account and people began to ask if they were for sale.

I honestly hadn’t thought of it, but the moment I announced that they were available I received over 25 orders, including one for a child and one from a healthcare worker requesting pockets for a filter. With those customers in mind I spent a day redesigning the mask—making it more form fitting and including a filter slot. I liked the redesign so much, I had my husband take photos to post and it took off!

To protect people in my community, I decided it would be a great idea to donate a mask to a healthcare or essential worker for every order I received.

How would you like to see your business grow in the next few years?
I would love for House of Nambili to grow into a cultural hub; connecting BKNY to the Continent through servicing communities within and linked to the African Diaspora. The production of the masks I’ve been donating to essential workers is funded by the proceeds of my sales. Similarly, I want to be able to use more of my profits to help those in need—girl entrepreneurs, victims of domestic violence, foster children, and artisans on the Continent to name a few.

I would also love to see product placement in television and film.

Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.