Welcome to Nenabling with Ali, today I wanted to go over some vocabulary with you guys because I noticed online that some people actually don’t know the proper pronunciation of the company name and then really key words that we use around here.
So, I wanted to start with the company name. And I will tell you the background. The name is Nena [neh-nuh] and we will put the phonetical spelling underneath, but it’s neh-nuh not nee-nuh. And the funny thing about that is that way back in the day when I was thinking of what to name the company, I wanted it to be meaningful to me and I wanted it to be a Spanish word. I came up with Nena which a really endearing way of calling somebody you know, a little girl, like “darling” you would use it to call your daughter or young girls around you. My mom calls me nena and she calls all my sisters nena, I call my girls nena, and so that’s what it means.
The funny thing is that I was telling my parents, what do you think if I were to name it Nena? My dad said, “Everyone is going to call it nee-nuh.” And, I said I’m fine with that, I don’t care. So, if you call it nee-nuh, don’t feel bad, that’s ok, but the proper pronunciation is actually neh-nuh.
The next word, and it’s probably the second most used word here is Huipil [wee-peel], and it’s spelled h-u-i-p-i-l, and this is a huipil, and these women here are wearing huipils. A huipil is almost like w-e-e peel – wee-peel. And, sometimes it is spelled with a “g”, but huipil is the proper spelling for us and many people use that. It’s a Mayan woman’s shirt; that’s what a huipil is.
So, the next is we are basically going to go through a traditional Mayan woman’s clothing, because that’s a lot of the fabrics that we use. So, if the huipil is the shirt or the blouse, the next item would be a Faja [fa-ha], let’s see what we have here. And fajas are the camera straps or bag straps, the one-of-a-kind ones, and you can see here all the fajas that we have on our models, and there are different techniques to using them, but the faja is what we use quite a bit around here for camera straps and bag straps, like I said, but is also a belt.
The next would be the Corte [kor-te], and it is a skirt; it is the Mayan woman’s skirt. We use that quite a bit on beach bags, so the one-of-a-kind vintage beach bags are made of corte.
Next, is a technique and it’s, you’re probably more familiar with the word ikat [ee-kat], and it is used in India and other places around the world, but we actually call it Jaspe [has-pey], and jaspe is in a lot of our fabrics, and it’s this almost tie-dye looking technique that you see here. It can be done in just black and white, which is more traditional or more common, not traditional. Then, you can also use colors and it’s actually – let me show you this right here – this is the process of jaspe. So, when you see it on your fabrics and on your bags, what they do is they take the thread and they actually tie it up first into bundles, and then they hand dye it. So, this used to be white, so it all used to be white. They will tie it up into different sections, and if I were to untie one of these – see the white sections – the black part is what was dyed, and used to be white underneath. So, you can see here they did a variety of colors: primary colors and then black and white. And, after that they will thread it on the foot loom or on the back strap and they’ll incorporate it into their design. So, it is quite a rigorous technique for fabric, but it is called jaspe and it similar to ikat.
Another one that I wanted to throw in there that we don’t normally sell, but I wanted you guys to know because I hear it being said incorrectly quite a bit; these are huarches [wah-rah-che]. In Guatemala, we actually call them ghitas quite a bit, ghitas. But, I hear all different sorts of pronunciations, but they are called huarches.
Then last is my last name, it is actually Hynek [hee-nick], and it is spelled h-y-n-e-k, and a lot of people say hi-nick, and that’s actually what I thought when I first met my husband, was that it has hi-nick, but it’s hee-nick.
I think if there are any other words that you guys can think of that you’d like me to pronounce for you, please comment, email us and I’d love to help you out.
In other news, I want to let you know what we got going on for Heritage & Society this week, I’m so excited any time there is a Heritage & Society going on: this is our first embroidered panel that we are going to be doing on our Heritage & Society bags. This one is definitely artisan choice, so most of these, if not all of them, are one-of-a-kind. And, when I was in Guatemala, on one of my trips, you know I am always looking for new techniques and new things to bring into the collection, and embroidery is very common, I mean, this is embroidery right here. I have always wanted to incorporate it into Nena & Co. somehow, and I met this woman, Manuela, and she was at a market and just had piles and piles of embroidered panels. I introduced myself told her that I’d really love to work with her, and it’s really interesting when you meet artisans because you have to earn their trust, you really, really do. It’s the same thing with our Ghana line; you have to earn their trust before they believe you are going to give them true business.
So over time, we built a relationship, and this is the first to come of the work that we are doing with Manuela and the women in her family. It is a network of her close friends and then her family that do the embroidery work. So, what I say that this is artisan’s choice, I gave them my parameters and I said do, you know, the most traditional designs that you normally do, and in the future I will give you more direction, cause I really like to learn how they process information and how they work before we start tweaking it a little bit.
So, most of them are birds and there are some flowers, I think, but most of them are birds. So, you’ll find all these beautiful, colorful birds on the designs and they are just so pretty.
The other thing that we are relaunching this Friday is our Ghana Collection, I am always so excited about our Ghana Collection. We’ll have a bunch of our one-of-a-kind Full Moon bags and Half Moon bags as well, so thanks!