As a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist based in London, Natalie Manima has recognised the importance of one’s home environment, in coping with issues such as anxiety and low mood levels for many years. Being of Ghanaian descent, Natalie grew up being surrounded by vibrant colours and prints, which she found to be uplifting, as a child. This was part of the inspiration behind launching Bespoke Binny, an eclectic homeware brand rooted in African expression. Bespoke Binny is a British based business offering a range of handmade homeware and gifts items made from West African fabric. The product range includes pillows, lampshades, aprons, oven gloves, table runners and card holders.
When Natalie initially started Bespoke Binny it was not supposed to be a business. Sewing was therapeutic for her whilst she juggled the intensity of managing a busy job in the NHS and caring for her ill mother who she is very close to. From her background as a CBT therapist Natalie knew the importance of self-care and using the craft of sewing to make cushions, lamp shades and more using wax print, African material gave Natalie a new lease on life. After receiving compliments about the things she was making for her home she decided to try a few craft markets in 2013 and the business grew from there.
But Natalie’s journey with Bespoke Binny has not been an easy one. In February of 2016, Natalie sadly experienced a still birth under very rare and serious circumstances in which she very nearly lost her life. It was a difficult time for Natalie, her husband and her entire family. After this traumatic ordeal Natalie felt broken and she lost all interest in Bespoke Binny. She seriously considered giving up the business for good as to her it felt so insignificant in comparison with her personal experiences. She was also uncertain about whether she should share her story with others but she took the courage to share one post on her Instagram page and was amazed by the response. She became inundated by women who sent private DMs to thank her for sharing her story as they had been through similar situations but had felt unable to talk about their experiences. By opening up about her experience, Natalie became empowered and was encouraged to continue working on Bespoke Binny and re-launched the business in November 2016 after a 9 month break.
“I created Bespoke Binny because I truly believe ‘home is where the heart is’ and having a home that is a reflection of you is essential to your well-being.” – Natalie Manima.
Natalie has really created a business with a heart that will beautify homes across the world.
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