Hand crafted clothing is a viral hit

Picture of a cardigan Nadine Suliman created. Nadine Suliman/Courtesy

During the pandemic, a woman turns a hobby of sewing into a professional online store.

Within the walls of her creative space, filled with fabrics of all sorts and needles ready to create a masterpiece, Nadine Suliman, based in Florida, explains her journey in becoming a well-known fashion artist. Her art consists of hand-sewn dresses, tops and skirts and this is just the beginning. 

“I started making clothes about five months ago, and I had never made clothes or anything in that medium,” Suliman says, reflecting on how far her journey has come. “I wanted to make some tops for myself so I did. Then I posted it and got so much love and decided to sell it and then that’s how it started.”

Suliman shares that she has gained over 5,000 followers on Twitter since then and the numbers keep growing. With the demand for her art growing so rapidly, she’s adjusted the way she creates clothing using more advanced techniques like an eyelet machine to connect a ring to the top in order to secure it around the neck. She also puts hand-written notes in each package to ensure customers have all the information they need to keep their clothes from being ruined and to keep them fresh.

Suliman’s customers consistently tell her that her spiritual tone and vibrant personality show through her work because each piece is different, and she has a variety of different fabrics such as sequin, velvet and mesh. Her essence is captured within her clothing and the diversity of each piece allows a wide range of people with different styles and body types to explore their outfit options. Many of her intricate pieces can be worn to festivals, concerts or any place that a woman wants to dress in a way that makes her feel like a radiant goddess.

“I’m still constantly getting so many messages of people saying that my clothes speak to them in a way clothes never have,” she says. “And it’s so funny because I’ve never been a huge fashion person, I’ve always just dressed in simple shorts and a black top.” 

What started as a hobby turned into a successful business she could share with the world. Her work of exploring unique fashion styles makes her business one of a kind. She posts her new styles to Twitter to find out what her customers are looking for and to gain insight into whether the clothing she posts is a yay or a nay

For a small business owner she really knows how to up her game. She uses techniques that are difficult like desequining. This meaning she has to take out each individual sequin to reveal fabric because she cannot sew through the plastic of the sequin.

“I started hand sewing in the beginning and just got a sewing machine like a month and a half ago so I’m learning how to sew on sequin,” she says. “Like I have to desequin every sequin on the line. I use the machine on because the needles can’t go through plastic, so it’s such a tedious process.”

She goes the extra mile to produce what she envisions. With the constant support of her close family and friends that she refers to as her “queens,” she uses this as her motivation to keep creating and exploring different techniques of sewing, and different designs she can create. Her new creations drive her to produce more clothes in a variety of styles to meet the customer demand. As of now, her clothing on her website is designed for females.

“My near future goals is making more androgynous and unisex clothing, more durable and less fancy, more everyday wear,” she says. 

Since the quarantine began many people have been pushed out of their comfort zones and are trying things that they normally wouldn’t do. For Suliman, she created beauty where there was no beauty surrounding the world. 

“New creations keep me motivated because I get these random bursts of ideas at like 9:00 p.m. and I either go into a fabric hole on Etsy spending so much money or like I’ll go into my creative room and just like dive into that idea” she says.

She has a gift. Whatever she puts her mind to, she creates; all of her dresses, tops, and skirts were all designed based on her own imagination. Suliman’s business grew from being consistent, and she always has something new to drop on her website. Oftentimes, many items will sell out rather quickly, which just goes to show how popular her business is. 

Suliman’s long term goal is to “Continue to do what excites me and fuels me with passion,” she says. “Whatever that might be.”