I was a tiny wee blogger when I first discovered Nadinoo. I’ve actually posted about her for the first time here, back in 2012. I won’t count how many years it’s been since then but I’ll tell you that’s it’s been so nice to follow Nadia’s journey all this time. She’s moved through different stages of her life, as did I, and the style of her clothes evolved. Needless to say, I am honored to share our conversation with you today, on topics such as inspiration, owning a small business, or what makes handmade items worthy of the investment. You can see her pictured above, in a dress from her latest collection.
Kittenhood: You have a background in fashion design. Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
Nadia: It always felt like a natural choice for me, I was pretty crafty as a kid and liked to keep busy. I remember watching my mother at her sewing machine and thinking “When I’m older I’m going to try that!”. She kindly bought me my own sewing machine for my 18th and I was hooked! Nowadays I have my two daughters hovering at my feet as I sew and I can’t help but wonder if they will be tempted to give it a go…
K: When did you know you were ready to start your own label?
N: I had so many ideas when starting Nadinoo, I knew the creative side of me was fully charged but never for a minute thought I was ready for the whole business aspect. Fortunately, I had a supportive mentor who encouraged me to take the leap.
K: What was one of the most surprising challenges you faced as a small business owner?
N: Growing my business with integrity has been a challenge and all about trial and error for me, I’m still learning and trying to find the right balance to make sure everything is produced in the best possible way.
K: What are your top sources of inspiration?
N: The style and inspiration points for Nadinoo have thankfully been ever changing, I feel my collections have grown up with me. The Simple wear collection was heavily inspired by the minimalist movement, motherhood, and simple Japanese style. All of which fill me with hope, love, and optimism!
K: We’ve seen changes in the style of Nadinoo once you moved to the British countryside and once you became a mother. Can you tell us more about how these life changes influenced your creative work?
K: I like to think my environment and situation always influence my work, certainly motherhood was a big game changer for me. Clothing no longer became about decoration and frivolous indulgence, instead, it was more
about practicality and everyday function. This was a huge mindset change for me and took a while to settle and find my style as a new mother. I feel like this has been fully addressed though in the Simple wear collection, where each piece is designed for comfort and ease of wear. As a mother, there is very little time in the day to spend picking out outfits or getting ready so I tried to design a collection that was easy to throw on and put together, for an effortless cool mama look.
K: Are you modeling the garments you make after what you want to wear yourself? Who is the typical Nadinoo woman?
N: Certainly, I have always designed to my own tastes and needs, hoping that others will be searching for the very same thing. I like that most of my customers have grown and matured alongside me, most also experiencing motherhood and facing the same struggles with their style and wardrobes that I have. So without sounding too egotistical, “I am the typical Nadinoo woman” (cringe!).
K: How did you manage to stay passionate about Nadinoo so many years after its founding?
N: More recently, I’ve been struggling with love for the clothing industry, wanting to reduce the huge volumes of waste and mindless purchasing behavior that has become the norm. I wasn’t even sure if I should continue with Nadinoo early this year, worrying I was adding to the problem by creating more products into this world. But thankfully, I was reminded by my wonderful community that Nadinoo is offering an alternative to all that, with a minimal waste business model that enlightens and reminds us to purchase mindfully with a real love and appreciation for the craft.
We purchase all our fabrics and trims from local and national traders where possible to reduce our carbon footprint and support the dwindling UK clothing industry. By only making our garments to order we avoid waste and creating surplus stock that is otherwise not needed. By connecting with our customers and showing them the work and skill that goes into the making of our garments it is possible to re-instill the true value of clothing once again and perhaps inspire them to sew their own one day. So yes, I’m currently feeling pretty fired up and passionate about Nadinoo with re-newed purpose!
K: Tell us a bit more about your newest collection!
N: This collection was born from our love of functional clothing, a strong desire for comfort and ease in our journey through womanhood. A selection of well-considered garments, designed to inspire and complement your simple wear wardrobe. Through an offering of quality fabrics in natural fibers, carefully selected using a tonal color palette we hoped to enable the most effortless of styling. You will find all your favorite loose cotton tops, easy throw on dresses and plenty of linen overalls and simple pinafores to keep you dressed all year round.
K: What advice would you give someone who’s trying to pin down their personal style?
N: I’m a firm believer in wearing what makes you feel happy, so dig out your most joyous outfits and wear them with pride. We are all unique and should be appreciated for that, so be brave when you get dressed or go shopping and only purchase what you truly love.
“Dig out your most joyous outfits and wear them with pride!”
K: Here, at Kittenhood, we’re all about the handmade lifestyle. Why do you think it’s important for people to shop artisan-made objects?
N: I think it’s a wonderful thing to support Artisan makers who work hard at their craft, without those talented individuals we may loose skills and practices that have been passed on through generations. I think it’s also nice to own and be surrounded by beautiful things that are unique and crafted with care and love, surely that is a more meaningful life to live…
Photography c/o Nadinoo. All pieces are from the Simple wear collection.