Nichel and I met through Instagram. I love the community that is found through Instagram. I wanted to rave about how amazing her pillows are and more importantly I want you to get to know Nichel and why she created Ebb and Thread.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you’ve got to where you are.
My name is Nichel I am 24 years old. I have been married to my Best Friend Scott for almost three years. He really is just the best human, ever. I have an immense love for traveling this beautiful planet we get to call home. During my travels I decided that I wanted to start a shop that helped empower artisan all over the world. This is where Ebb & Thread started.
2. How did you begin Ebb and Thread?
I can trace the idea of Ebb & Thread back to when I was in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. I was shopping for souvenirs and there were T-shirts, postcards and every knock off you can imagine. However, the kilims, lamps, and textiles caught my eye. I couldn’t get enough of them. I was a broke college student so I couldn’t afford to bring home a kilim rug but my love for textiles began in the bazaar that day. I knew that I didn’t want to bring home a t-shirt to remember my time and memories in Turkey I wanted to bring home something I would have and cherish forever. Where did you get your name from? Ebb is one of my favorite words. It means: “the movement of the tide out to the sea”. I attended college on the North Shore of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. During my four years there I spend a lot of time by the seaside. During some of the hardest times during that period I found so much peace in watching and listening to the ebb and flow of the ocean. There is something about it that is healing and wonderful! I knew I wanted to use the word “ebb” in my shop name. Ebb & Thread came about because when I started making pillows out of mud cloth I was amazed at the detail that is in each and every thread in the fabric. It is handwoven and you can actually see the fibers from the plants in each of the threads. Each of those threads tells a story of where it’s from and the person in Ghana that handmade it.
3. What inspired you to begin making pillows?
I was inspired to begin making pillows while we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We were walking around a night market and down a little alley way we found the most lovely shop with tables full of Batik Hmong fabrics that were hand woven and printed. I knew right then that I wanted to make pillows out of those textiles to remember those wonderful people in Thailand. I brought the fabric home and sewed it into pillows and haven’t stopped since.
4. What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner?
Don’t let comparison bring you down. Stop comparing yourself or your work to others. I had a woman leave me a somewhat less than ideal review, on Etsy. She then decided to email me to tell me to copy a different companies pillow designs. She told me to order one of their pillows and then from there copy them because she “likes that type of zipper better” Her words really made me realize how important it is to stop comparing. She didn’t only hurt my feelings, they made me realize that comparison really is the thief of Joy. Sometimes it’s hard being a creative but in the end it’s always worth it.
5. What is your biggest hope for your business?
My biggest hope for Ebb & Thread is that it becomes bigger than me. I would love for this small business of mine to help people across the world. I would love to provide jobs for girls forced into human trafficking so they have another way to provide for their families. I really hope that Ebb & Thread can do good for the world, just like the Ebb & Flow of the ocean did for me.
6. What tips would you share with other artists?
I’m very much an introvert, I think that is the case with a lot of creatives. Time alone helps me think and create new ideas without that time I never would have created Ebb & Thread. When I first started Ebb & Thread I was so nervous because I don’t like putting myself out there for people to see! But it has ended up being one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Don’t be afraid to start a new idea. I honestly believe that there is enough room in the world for everyone to succeed. Just because it hasn’t been done or it has been done a million times before doesn’t mean you can’t do it! Don’t miss an opportunity to share something that came from your beautiful mind!