Many years ago, Nell and her husband experienced a call to ministry as partners. They looked for opportunities to work together but couldn’t find much in the U.S. So they researched overseas organizations that would be a good fit for them. They located two places: Japan and West Africa. When Nell was 28 she, her husband, and their four-month-old baby moved to Dakar, Senegal.
Nell learned an important lesson in Senegal: women are women no matter where they are in the world. They have style and a sense of presenting themselves. They know how to express themselves through their beauty and their clothes. That lesson started a lifelong journey for Nell of studying women and fashion around the world.
In explaining the story of how Threads by Nomad came about, Nell told me that her daughter, Christen, grew up in Africa with a love of fabrics and textiles and in a shared interest with her mother, a love of the beauty of women and how they express themselves through fashion. Three years ago, at the end of 2015, Nell, Christen and their husbands, took a trip to Africa as Christen had not been back since she left many years prior.
On the first day there, Nell took Christen to a huge fabric market. As a seamstress since childhood, this was Nell’s place to shop! Nell observed her daughter being totally mesmerized by the market! She said to Nell, “Mom, we can do this! We can have a clothing design business, and we can hire refugees in the U.S. to create our designs for us!”
Listen to the podcast to learn more about Threads by Nomad and its rapid development. Not only does Threads by Nomad employ refugees in the U.S., but they also collaborate with micro-enterprise entrepreneurs from around the world to source their fabric. Nell recently started a new sister organization, a non-profit called The Off Ramp which will assist refugees in adjusting to their new lives in the U.S.
Threads by Nomad Spring collection is now available on its website. Take a look!