Family Matters

12 Jul

The Alabis

Growing up I didnt have aunts and uncles and cousins around. My parents immigrated to the States from Nigeria in the 80s, leaving their siblings behind, and due to the expense of it all we never got any visits nor did we have the opportunity to visit them. Its ironic, though both my parents grew up in really large families, I always felt like I had a small family because all I had were my sisters, brother, and parents. In hindsight I think this is why I’ve always made my girlfriends my family; I never miss their birthdays, I talk to them multiple times a day, and dread when we’re apart. Throughout the years I didn’t think much about my family; as tragic as that may sound. To me they were distant relatives in a distant land quickly becoming a distant memory.

When the opportunity to study abroad came, I knew I needed to be in West Africa. Though Howard Law has a very prestigious South Africa program, I decided to attend Fordham’s Ghana program. The opportunity to be physically close to my family could not be passed up. My plan was to make my way to Nigeria once I found my footing in Ghana. However, after being in Accra for a few days I realized that I had completely underestimated cross-border travel on the continent and therefore the Nigeria trip was out.

When my family heard about my thwarted attempt to see them,  they took action and came to me! ALL of my dad’s siblings boarded a plane for one night only and came to see me. My dad’s sister and three brothers came to see me and it was surreal! Looking into their faces and seeing my dad and parts of myself is a feeling I cannot describe. I’ll admit it was awkward at first but soon I found my groove. When I told them about  my line they were all so excited. Just like my dad, they are all entrepreneurs and love that I have the Alabi entrepreneurial spirit.

We decided to go to Osu, a trendy part of Accra, for dinner and some shopping. When we arrived at a fabric shop they began loading my arms with yards and yards and yards of fabric for my new collection. By the time we left I had about 30 yards of amazing prints in vibrant colors. I am so excited to get started working with these prints and I am already planning a trip to Nigeria this fall so I can meet my grandfather and my cousins.

Check out the fabric my family hooked me up with below

Neon Blue Cheetah

Art Deco

Graphic Roses



Glitter Kente Print


6 Responses to “Family Matters”

  1. Michelle July 13, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    As always an amazing post. Your writing is great and I love the human aspect to each post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nichole Alabi July 13, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks Michelle for being such a loyal reader!

  2. Nakiya Lee July 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I love this post!!! It’s the small things, yet what they did was so big!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this.

    great prints too!! 🙂

  3. ayo alabi July 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    You tell the story the way it is.I am glad you finally get to meet with the people you have been hearing so much about.The next trip to Nigeria will be very lovely

  4. Mercii July 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I NEEEED something out of that Art Deco. Just not sure what it is yet.


  1. Behind the Scenes « Sew This Is It - July 29, 2011

    […] based on my trip to Ghana. Using many of the fabrics I acquired while there from my “Family Matters” post, I created a small collection that represents my point of view as a designer. This […]

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