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Designer's Story

Product designer Nneka Onyenakala leads design at N'Damus London. Read on to learn about her background and inspiration behind creating the brand. 

Image © N'Damus Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

N'Damus ('En-Dah-Mus') meaning: 

The company takes its name from a combination between the founder's Igbo name 'Nneka' & the Latin word 'Damus'.

Nneka in Igbo translates to 'Mother is supreme...the best.' Damus = 'we give...offer'. She devised the name when remembering what she was taught as a child and through her education.  "We all have been given unique gifts and talents to help us fulfill our full potential, all of which should not be wasted or stored but rather nourished & shared."

About the designer:

Nneka spent the formative years of her life living in NY. During childhood, she attended the Metropolitan School for the Arts where she learned to play the violin, piano and clarinet. Her father was a social photographer in the 1970’s which inspired her to start photography as a hobby. She carefully keeps all of her father’s vintage camera’s due to her strong sense of family and their love of shared hobbies as well as the collection of quality & unique products which stand the test of time. Each item tells a story of her childhood and life.

Above: A family mix: Nneka's grandmother's traditional Igbo 'George' fabric & modern day 'George' fabric, Nneka's father's vintage Kodak camera.  Image © N'Damus Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

Her family’s Nigerian Igbo heritage plays a strong role in her life from traditions, strong work ethic and family values. Snippets of this can be seen in traditional materials and lining used in her early bag creations.  

Above: N'Damus London African print Abstract Rose clutch. Image taken by Nneka © 2006. All rights reserved.

Growing up in London has also galvanised her love of the mix of people and cultures seen on a daily basis. 
Travelling the world also inspires her love of bold colours & palettes, nature, fashion & design.  Key factors in the design & production of N'Damus London products.

Above: Fruit market in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Image taken by Nneka © 2007. All rights reserved.

Nneka comes from a family of medical professionals. The most influential member in this class being her mother, a Registered Nurse. Educated with a first degree in Biomedical Science illustrates the curious nature of our designer. Science tells us there is always a way to find a solution to something. The ability to find a solution to creating eye-catching & unique products for everyone was key to becoming a self-taught designer. The mind of a scientist encompasses meticulous attention to detail and getting things right. A strong ethos in the development, selection & manufacturing of N'Damus products within the N’Damus London brand. 

Image © N'Damus Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

"Our journey has been blessed, joyous and inspiring. Eternal gratitude to my older brothers whom have been my strength, backbone, cushion & guiding light. Thank you for all whom have supported us from the beginning and those whom have joined & continue to travel on our journey with us." Nneka

Above: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Image taken by Nneka © 2007. All rights reserved.

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