APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Tennille McMillan: My clothing line is Nakimuli. I make clothing that embrace individuality, comfort, and most importantly, fun!
APiF: When and why did you start designing with African Prints and Fabrics?
Tennille: When I first started designing clothing, I worked for a designer who used a lot of African prints and fabrics. And I think from there, I subconsciously started using them in my designs. But I like using them to show people that African prints/fabrics are fun and versatile just like any other fabric.
APiF: What inspires you?
Tennille: Many things inspire me: the weather, colors, shapes… But I would say music is a big inspiration: different types of music inspires me to designs different pieces.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why?
Tennille: I would say the Lee Leggings, which is also one of our best sellers. I love them because they embody everything Nakimuli is about: uniqueness, comfort, bright colors, and prints.
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Tennille: I really don’t do as much marketing as I would like, but I have been fortunate that word of mouth has and continues to carry me far. In addition to having my own site, www.nakimuli.com, I also sell on Etsy, which helps me attract more global customers.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Tennille: Yes! 1 – Have a strong support system of positive friends, family, mentors, etc. They will help you keep going during challenging times. 2 – Be unique and distinctive; whether it is your actual product or your marketing strategies, etc. You want people to remember you and to continue to support you.