I played hockey for UK but now run a multi-million fashion business – how I made my DIY wardrobe into a success story | The Sun

A FORMER England hockey player has opened up about how she swapped the game to become the founder of a multi-million pound fashion empire. 

Nadine Merabi was once a professional field hockey player, who represented the UK during her successful career.

But then she left the sport behind to become an event planner – and that’s where the idea for her budding style business began. 

As she juggled a busy schedule planning nighttime events, Nadine soon realised she didn’t have enough dresses in her wardrobe.

So she decided to get creative and made her own staple fashion pieces – each one winning compliments from strangers who asked where she’d bought it.

And that’s where her brand Nadine Merabi – which specialises in “one-of-a-kind fabrics paired with bodies that fit well on every woman” – was born.

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In an interview with Forbes as the company approaches its ten year anniversary, she explained: “My time in events was when the idea for NADINE MERABI was conceived. 

“I’d always been interested in fashion, but it really changed for me when I was working evening jobs.

“I constantly needed something new to wear and couldn’t find anything I liked in stores so I decided to just do it myself!” 

Soon, her natural talent for designing had paid off and Nadine quit her nine to five and threw herself into the brand full-time.

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A few months on and the business had come on leaps and bounds, with Selfridges stocking Nadine’s designs and many VIPs fighting to get the chance to wear them.

Nadine continued: “From start to finish, we create all our patterns, make our own bespoke fabrics, and then twill up the initial sample in-house, making sure it is exactly how we envision it. 

“The fit of a garment is so important to me, which means I’m very hands-on with every aspect of the design.”

And while many companies slowed down or stopped trading in the Covid pandemic, Nadine bucked that trend and became an anomaly.

In part, this was due to her silk feather pyjamas that people couldn’t wait to get their hands on and sold out time and time again, and a loyal fan base everywhere from the UK to the US and in between. 

This led to a huge revenue growth and Nadine saw her finances increase from £2 million ($2.5 Million) in 2020 to a whopping £16.3million ($20.4 Million) in 2021. 

She said: “We love that our customers are wearing MERABI all over the world. We invested in a larger distribution center to keep up with the demand for our international orders.”

And now Nadine and her team have conquered the fashion business, the sky really is the limit and they plan to expand even further.


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As well as telling other budding designers to follow their dreams and not listen to their critics, she concluded: “It feels like we’ve only just begun and have big plans for the rest of 2023 and beyond.”

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