It was just two years ago! Two years ago we were returning to the United States after an amazing visit to our previous home: Dakar, Senegal. I will never forget, Sis (Christen)'s reaction to the fabric market. As a little girl, she would go with me to the markets, pick out her fabric and work on her design for a new dress or ensemble. Even then she had her very own style and taste. Watching her as an adult, I could see her eyes quickly taking in the colors and styles, her mind already working on designs, and her excitement building. Little did we know then that this trip would lead to Threads by Nomad.
Many things since then have surprised and/or blessed me.
I love working with my daughter. We were already close and share many similar traits. We have learned that while we are alike in many ways, we are not the same. Each of us has our own strengths and capabilities. It has been a surprise and a blessing to see how we complement each other so beautifully. We are even closer than we were on that return trip to Senegal if that is possible.
I am continually amazed and thrilled with the talent of our head tailor, Haydar Alnajafi. Thus far there has been absolutely nothing that I have put in front of him that he has not been able to create. Better than that is the camaraderie and friendship we have developed. We have become family to each other. He calls me his “big sister.” There have been so many times, especially after I fell in February, that I have completely depended on him to carry the work at the studio.
I am humbled and oh-so-blessed by our clients. It is humbling to realize we have created something that is loved and appreciated. It is helpful and a blessing that, when we have not gotten something just right, you, our clients, give us the opportunity to get it perfect. I smile and offer words of gratitude for not only every new client, but each time I see that someone has come to us for the second, third or fourth time. It has been especially gratifying for clients to come to us and ask, “I would really like to have this made. Can you do this?” So far, we have been able, every time, to give a resounding, “Yes!” From fur scarves, to neckties, to pillows, to dog beds, and more our clients have given us the opportunity to stretch ourselves and create.
I have learned so much from the community surrounding us, not only a physical community but our online community. A book that meant a lot to me this past year was “The Business Boutique” by Christy Wright. One of the things she says in the book, “In business it is not about you or me, it is about you and me.” Yes, business is competitive, but there is room for all of us. We are community as we encourage and help one another. Never was that so evident as we weathered and bounced back after Hurricane Harvey. So many of you in our community had our backs. Just about the time we think we are not certain how to move forward or how to handle something, someone comes alongside us and says, “Let me help.” Our hearts are warm and full of gratitude and love for each of you.
I look forward to every twist and turn in the road such as an unexpected opportunity to work with the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in welcoming our first intern this next semester. We didn’t call it business with a purpose as we started out. We just knew we wanted this business to make a difference for our clients and for those we employ. We now have four who work for us either by the hour or by contract in Houston. They are from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan. We didn’t know we would have connections all over the world as we developed our product line. Now we have people we support in Bali, Togo, Kyrgyzstan, Guatemala, and more.
Rarely a night goes by that I do not dream about Threads by Nomad and what is needed the next day in order to keep us going. The past two years has taught me what I need to work even more towards in 2018: to work in synergy with my daughter who is my partner and friend; trust and empower our amazing tailor and “little brother”; serve our clients to the absolute best of our ability; give to the community that has so graciously given to us; welcome the twists and turns in the journey. Threads by Nomad welcomes you 2018!