“Three years ago, when my mom passed away, I needed a creative outlet,” she says. She started crocheting, a skill her mom had taught her, and sold individual pieces through online marketplace Etsy while working as a freelance writer. Named after her mother, Nomi is an abbreviation of Nomgcobo, which means happiness, and the growing business is a daily reminder and commemoration of her mom.
A break away from her Etsy store in 2014 gave Dowery time to think about further developing her creative skill. She started to experiment with rope jewellery and African fabrics. While her first efforts involved copious amounts of glue and the end result wasn’t what she’d imagined, overseas friends loved the results and started ordering some for themselves.
Over time she honed her technique to create the finely crafted accessories she sells to order today, and began experimenting with other materials. Having recently left her full-time job in advertising to concentrate on the business, her vision is to sell through her online store and stock boutiques nationwide.