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Meet Nancy Berman - Canvas Rebel Magazine

Meet Nancy Berman - Canvas Rebel Magazine

Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Nancy Berman. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.

Hi Nancy, thanks for joining us today. Let’s kick things off with your mission – what is it and what’s the story behind why it’s your mission?

At the age of 48, I found myself at a crossroads, finally liberated from the emotional, spiritual, and financial burdens of a five-year legal battle with my ex-husband. Gaining full custody of my children marked the beginning of a new chapter—one filled with hope, resilience, and a rekindled sense of purpose. For over two decades, I had dedicated myself to supporting my ex-husband’s career and nurturing our three incredible children. But as the dust settled after the divorce, a simple yet profound moment reignited a long-dormant passion within me.

It was a day like any other when my 17-year-old son handed me his collection of “little boy” ties, remnants of his childhood. Trying one on for nostalgia’s sake, I couldn’t shake the thought: why weren’t there stylish, luxury-quality ties designed specifically for women? Thus, the seeds of NANDANIE were planted—a brand born out of a desire to challenge conventions and empower women through fashion.
My journey to founding NANDANIE was far from conventional. As a young woman, I harbored dreams of a career in fashion, sketching designs in notebooks filled with untapped potential. However, life took a different turn when I made the choice to prioritize love over ambition, opting to be in my hometown alongside my now ex-husband rather than pursuing opportunities in the vibrant backdrop of New York City.

Yet, the creative flame within me never faltered. Drawing upon my background in marketing and leadership roles within the non-profit sector, I embarked on a journey to resurrect my fashion aspirations. With unwavering determination, NANDANIE was born—a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of chasing one’s dreams.
The road to success was fraught with trials, but in the past two years, NANDANIE neckties have graced the runways of New York Fashion Week and captured the attention of prestigious fashion publications. Simultaneously, another door opened for me—a chance to serve as a U.S. Commission Member for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, appointed by the President of the United States.

Standing in Washington, D.C., on the cusp of my 49th birthday, I felt a profound sense of purpose wash over me. Having navigated the challenges of a marriage where my ambitions, self-worth, and value were frequently overlooked, I am now dedicated to sharing my journey and inspiring others to recognize their inherent worth and boundless potential.
Through NANDANIE, I aim to redefine notions of strength and femininity, encouraging every woman who wears our ties to embrace her power and unstoppable spirit. For me, this mission isn’t just about fashion—it’s about empowerment, resilience, and rewriting the narrative of what it means to be a woman in today’s world. It was fun to read that we have been hailed “The Breakout Brand of 2024”.

Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.

Born and raised in a suburb outside of Detroit, Michigan, I’ve always been drawn to diverse experiences and cultures. After a transformative year studying in Israel, I pursued higher education in the bustling streets of New York City. It was there that I delved into the realms of marketing, philanthropy, and eventually found my passion in hospitality, culminating in the creation of Nancy’s Fancy Schmancy Cakes, an artisanal cakery that celebrates creativity. My roots in Detroit run deep, and I’ve always believed in giving back to the community that shaped me. Through volunteer work with various non-profits, I’ve seen firsthand the power of collective action in fostering positive change.

Creativity has always been my driving force, whether it’s styling clothes for friends, whipping up delicious meals in the kitchen, or orchestrating memorable gatherings. But above all, my most cherished role is that of a mother to my three active and adventurous children, a responsibility that grounds me and fuels my determination to leave a lasting impact on the world.
My journey took a pivotal turn when I noticed a gap in the fashion industry: the lack of exciting, luxury ties for women. Inspired by my children and driven by a desire to challenge stereotypes, I founded NANDANIE, a luxury tie brand redefining fashion norms. Frustrated by the mundane designs of men’s ties, I wanted to design stunning statement pieces as well as everyday ties for both men and women. With a mission to inspire confidence, build community, and embrace equality, NANDANIE’s ties are not just accessories; they’re statements of empowerment and individuality.

I’m particularly proud of defying skeptics who doubted women’s willingness to embrace this bold fashion statement. NANDANIE ties and bows are designed for everyone, with easy-to-wear pre-tied styles that eliminate the need for complicated knots. Crafted with care in fair trade facilities using sustainably sourced materials, each piece reflects our commitment to quality, sustainability, and inclusivity.
At NANDANIE, we believe in the power of expression and the importance of being seen and heard. Our motto, “Be Bold. Be Heard. Be Seen.” encapsulates our ethos of empowerment and self-expression. Through our innovative designs and unwavering dedication to equality, we’re not just reimagining ties; we’re reshaping the fashion landscape one knot at a time.

Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?

Building a strong reputation in the market requires a combination of clarity, authenticity, perseverance, and confidence. In my journey as a designer of women’s ties, several factors have contributed to establishing a solid reputation. From the outset, I was very clear about the mission of my brand. I articulated a vision that resonated with our target audience, emphasizing inclusivity and versatility in fashion. Authenticity has been a cornerstone of my approach. I’ve stayed true to my values and design aesthetics, avoiding trends or compromises that don’t align with the brand’s identity.
I’ve put myself out there, sharing my personal journey and the inspiration behind my designs. This transparency has fostered a deeper connection with customers, who appreciate the genuine narrative behind the brand. I’ve always held high expectations for the brand, refusing to settle for anything less than excellence. This commitment to quality and innovation has set a standard of excellence that customers have come to expect from us.

My unwavering belief in the brand and its potential has been palpable. This confidence has been infectious, resonating with customers and industry professionals alike. I firmly believe in the power of visualization and manifestation. By envisioning success and relentlessly pursuing my goals, I’ve been able to turn dreams into reality.
Even before our official launch, we secured prestigious opportunities such as showcasing at NYFW and being featured in Harper’s Bazaar. This early recognition validated the strength of our concept and propelled us onto the radar of fashion influencers and tastemakers. My personal confidence has been a driving force behind the brand’s success. I believe in what I do.
By embodying these principles and staying true to my vision, I’ve been able to carve out a unique position in the market and build a reputation for innovation, quality, and authenticity.

We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.

When I ventured into the world of designing women’s ties, I quickly realized that there was no predefined category for our products. While this presented a unique opportunity to carve out a niche in the market, it also posed significant challenges. I, along with many in the industry, firmly believed that our designs would be a perfect fit for upscale retailers like Bergdorf Goodman or similar establishments. However, I soon encountered resistance from traditional department stores. They were accustomed to stocking items that fit neatly into existing categories and were hesitant to embrace something outside the norm.
One particularly disheartening moment came during a call with the head of buying at Saks. While they loved the uniqueness of our brand, they expressed concerns about the lack of a designated category for women’s ties. Department stores were scaling back on accessories, and our product didn’t neatly fit into any existing classification. They suggested that we might be considered similar to scarves but indicated that even scarf sales were on the decline.

It’s almost comical when you consider that the very message behind our ties is for women to exude confidence and believe in themselves. Yet, here we were, struggling to find our place in the market. Despite encountering obstacles at every turn, I refused to give up. We explored alternative avenues, including selling through multi-brand online stores. While some platforms were receptive and willing to create a dedicated category for women’s ties, others were less accommodating.
Despite the setbacks and the temptation to throw in the towel, I remained resilient. I refused to let the lack of a predefined category or the reluctance of certain retailers deter me from upholding the message behind the brand. Instead, I continued to push boundaries, seek out new opportunities, and advocate for our brand.

Our journey has been filled with challenges, but each obstacle has only strengthened my resolve. We may not fit neatly into existing categories, but we’re forging our own path in the industry. And while the road may be rocky at times, our determination and resilience will ultimately lead us to success. We’re not just selling ties; we’re championing a message of empowerment and self-belief. With every tie sold, we’re inspiring women to embrace their uniqueness and stand tall in a world that often tries to box them in. And in turn, we hope to create a movement of badass women who are filled with confidence and find ways to create change.

Image Credits
The photos that are taken in Paris are by Lucie Sassiat (this one in the baby pink dress as well as others) Some of the others I sent via We Transfer were in Italy and the photographer is Photosinpuglia


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