Girl Power Home Decor

Introducing African Inspired Homeware Designer Natalie Manima Of Bespoke Binny

20. August 2017
homeware designer natalie manima

As a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist based in London, Natalie Manima has recognised the importance of one’s home environment, in coping with issues such as anxiety and low mood levels for many years. Being of Ghanaian descent, the african inspired homeware designer Natalie grew up being surrounded by vibrant colours and prints, which she found to be uplifting, as a child. This was part of the inspiration behind launching Bespoke Binny, an eclectic home decor brand rooted in African expression. Bespoke Binny is a British based business offering a range of handmade homeware and gifts items made from West African fabric. The product range includes pillows, lampshades, aprons, oven gloves, table runners and card holders.

Home is where the heart is’ and having a home that is a reflection of you is essential to your well-being.

homeware designer natalie manimaWhen the african inspired homeware designer Natalie Manima initially started Bespoke Binny it was not supposed to be a business. Sewing was therapeutic for her whilst she juggled the intensity of managing a busy job in the NHS and caring for her ill mother who she is very close to. From her background as a CBT therapist Natalie knew the importance of self-care and using the craft of sewing to make cushions, lamp shades and more using wax print, African material gave Natalie a new lease on life. After receiving compliments about the things she was making for her home she decided to try a few craft markets in 2013 and the business grew from there.

Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to Natalie Manima, a talented homeware designer who has taken some time to talk with Frolicious about her business, inspirations and challenges.

Meet African inspired homeware designer Natalie Manima

Please tell us a little bit about your african inspired homeware business. How did the idea come up?
Sure. Bespoke Binny is a homeware and lifestyle brand rooted in African Expression, mainly using African fabrics such as Ankara, Woven Kente and Mudcloth. The idea wasn’t a business idea to begin with, more something I liked to do for myself at home – make things for the home using African prints. Friends and family encouraged me to perhaps look at seeking some of the things I make and it grew from there really.

Do you work with any artisans?
I don’t currently work with any artisans. Everything is designed by me and mostly made by me too, though I do get some help from a seamstress local to where I live during busy periods.  

homeware designer natalie manima

What was the biggest challenge so far with running your african inspired homeware online shop?
There can be lots of challenges running an online shop. The one I think I have work hardest on is trying to make my customers experience of ordering and receiving their products as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of Bespoke Binny and getting new customers?
Definitely social media, and with that then comes word of mouth. If someone finds you on social media, tests out purchasing from you and has a good experience they are more likely to tell their friends and family about you.

homeware designer natalie manima

Why do you think are more black women than ever are starting their own businesses?
Good question! I think it could be a range of things. I think generally black women are quite industrious, always have been. We are living in times where I think we feel more able to tell our own stories and take ownership of and making things that we want and need. It’s a perfect breeding ground for bloggers, those who want to make and sell things, or create in a number of other ways too.

Why do you think are more black women than ever are starting their own businesses?
Good question! I think it could be a range of things. I think generally black women are quite industrious, always have been. We are living in times where I think we feel more able to tell our own stories and take ownership of and making things that we want and need. It’s a perfect breeding ground for bloggers, those who want to make and sell things, or create in a number of other ways too.

homeware designer natalie manima

Do you think that African inspired pieces like accessoires, furnitures or fashion are just a trend? Personally no. I am inspired by Africa all year round, year in year out, not just for a few months! To me that means there is always a want and need to express myself with African inspired pieces, and I think there are others, either African themselves or not, who would share that idea. 

African inspired homeware designer Natalie Manima of Bespoke Binny

 

If you have any questions or feedback please don’t be shy. Just comment below. Please share this interview to support a black-owned african inspired homeware company. Let us inspire other people. 

 

Follow the african inspired homeware designer Natalie for more information:

Website | Twitter | Instagram

 

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