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Nadine's Story

Nadine's Story

Hey everyone! I just wanted to check in and send my love to you all.

Here in the UK we are about to go into week 6 of lockdown and I know there are a lot of people at home right now feeling worried and anxious about their jobs, businesses and livelihoods. Also boredom is most probably creeping in for a lot of people.

So, I thought I would reach out to you all and share my story, in the hope it may calm or hopefully inspire you to try something new in this time we have. 

8 years ago I was working for an events company. I liked it but I wouldn’t say that I LOVED it. Then one day the company closed down and I lost my job. 

Now at this point in my life, I was nearly 30 years old, and I had realised that I had two options:

I could go and get another job in the same industry

OR

I could just stop for a while, take time out and spend some time thinking about what I actually wanted to do with my life. 

When working in the events industry, I was always struggling with what to wear.  I didn't want what everyone else was wearing on the high street as I wanted to be different but I couldn't afford £2000-£3000 designer labels. So I just thought to myself...it can’t be that hard to make a dress! Now I didn’t tell anyone about my crazy idea at the time, as I had absolutely no experience or education in designing and I actually couldn’t even draw! 

I worked out I had enough savings to keep me going for about 4 months, so I decided to give it a go as I would only regret it if I didn’t at least try

So that afternoon, I went to Argos and bought a sewing machine. When I got home I had no idea how to even thread a sewing machine, so I started watching YouTube videos so that I could learn.

From this point, I spent the next 2 months sat in my bedroom with the sewing machine on my left and my laptop on my right watching YouTube, learning all the different stitch types and how to put a garment together. 

I decided not to tell anyone what I was doing or what my ideas were as I was worried that they would laugh or tell me that I couldn’t do it. 

I could see in my head what I wanted the dress to look like, but when I tried to draw it, it never looked the same. So my only option was to teach myself how to create the dresses I envisioned.

During this learning period in my bedroom I had found a pop-up shop where you could hire a rail for a month.  I needed 20 dresses to fill the rail so over the next month I set myself the target to create these 20 bespoke dresses in time for the pop-up. 

Now I will be honest with you, I only managed to create 18 dresses in time and what's worse is none of them had a zip (as I had not mastered zips yet!) BUT within a couple of weeks I had sold all of the dresses and I had already started creating more designs. 

I realised that people just wanted something different, unique and affordable. And I had such a passion and drive to create this and make women feel amazing about themselves wearing my designs.

So this is how MERABI started and I am so proud of where we are today.  I guess I just wanted to share this with you all, in case anyone else was feeling a little low or bored. Or incase anyone else had an idea or a dream, my advice would be:

Don’t be scared or afraid to try it. 

It doesn’t matter how OLD you are! Young or old! I was nearly thirty when I started.

You don’t need to have experience or a qualification. You need an idea, a passion and belief in yourself. 

Don’t ever let anyone put you off or tell you that you can’t do something. If you need to then just keep it as your project and your secret until you have your plan together. 

I hope this has helped! 

If anyone wants to talk through their ideas or dreams, it doesn’t have to be in fashion, then please do reach out over Instagram or email and I would love to help and support you in your dreams if I can. .
- Nadine xx


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