By Katia Parks
Black pride has recently returned to the forefront of our culture through Black Lives Matter and the natural hair movement but it does not stop there. Marjorie Nicole’s afrocentric creations are paraded on the streets of Baltimore as her unique handmade garments provide individuality and confidence to both women and men.
In the 90s, as a young adult, Nicole embraced her roots in African culture and wanted to implement it in her life. At Maarifa, the African school her children attended at the time, Nicole learned more of the culture as a young mother. She loved the community element of the school and was allured by the African garb the “mamas” and “babas” wore.
Marjorie Nicole founded NSAA (en -sa) African Creations in 2014.
Although she was preoccupied with being a full-time teacher and mother, she made it a point to instill African values in her household. As a math teacher at St. Frances Academy, Nicole was used to viewing the world in numbers and shapes. “I wanted to dress afrocentric, but being a bigger girl with broad shoulders, nothing really fit,” Nicole admitted to the AFRO. When Nicole looked in the mirror, she saw a collection of shapes. She wanted to wear styles that weren’t marketed to curvier women in mainstream African boutiques, and that’s when she decided to make her own clothes. “I wondered how hard it would be to make myself clothes and that started a journey I was not prepared for.”
In 2014, Nicole established NSAA (en-sa) African Creations, and as with any career change, there are adjustments. The decision of starting her own company included leaving her job at St. Frances, so that she could focus all her attention on building her brand. That is why Nicole stressed that it is important for her to be self-sufficient and organized. “My motto is: if you are gonna do it, do it with excellence,” Nicole said before going on to say that NSAA is a symbol of excellence, genuineness and authenticity.
Feeling lost and intimidated by how much she did not know about her African roots, Nicole educated herself and then aimed to share what she learned through her clothing. “I wanted a place where young people and even older people could come so I can teach them in a caring way. I had already taught for 11 years, so I got the concept.” Her brand encourages people to learn about African culture through clothing designs and fashion shows.
One fashion show in particular was dedicated to Warrior Women. “Warrior Women is actually the larger part of what I do. I had a voice that was with me my whole entire life and I realized it was my warrior,” Nicole said. With the weight of the world on her shoulders – being a survivor of molestation, rape, domestic abuse and a car accident, Nicole finally found her strength. “I want to introduce other women to their warrior,” she added.
Truthfully, a lot of people are torn between keeping a job that pays the bills or creating a career out of their passion. Nicole advises that people who want to start their own business should have a plan, put it in writing and be sure to leave their current job on good terms. “Don’t be rigid, and make sure you are living within the means of your business,” she added. For more information, visit her website at www.nsaacreations.com.