We had the good fortune of connecting with Ndi Jeru and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ndi, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Tribe and Sol was created to honor the women in my family and the legacy of my Ghanaian roots. From an early age, I’ve had a love for jewelry, invading my grandmother Mattie’s jewelry box of strung pearls, vintage pendants, and clip on jewels. Mattie would sit me on this brown dresser during the try-ons and compliment how beautiful I was. I watched as she crocheted these divine articles of clothing to adorn her daughters. My mother was really into vintage and would take me to thrift stores and fire sales when I was young to help her merchandise her brick and mortar—and that set the stage for my future, too. I “have an eye for cool things,” as someone once told me. I love to feel the softness of fabric paired with the textures of jewelry. In remembrance, I curate vintage loungewear and create jewelry full of color, texture, and lyrical design. It connects me to home where I’m secure and can abide in my sanctuary as free as I want to be. It gives me a sense of wholeness and I can feel the presence of my beloved Mother with me always.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Tribe and Sol is a curated brand of elevated loungewear and jewelry offerings that celebrate the traditions of powerful women. Embracing all cultures and curves to enhance the ease of life, Tribe and Sol engages in intimate moments as a ceremony to elevate luminaries who adorn their bodies with ever-evolving style. Through Tribe and Sol, Ndi honors her mother, a vintage maven, and pulls from the methods of her youth by rebirthing size-inclusive silhouettes that carry the stories of her ancestors. Discovering the value in heirlooms, Tribe and Sol treasures the inheritance of material history as a legacy across generations. Ndi also creates for the effortless woman drawn to color, texture, and culture—women that are artists, style influencers , and world travelers who live intentionally, love abundantly and walk in power, watering everything beneath their feet. It’s been a road of unraveling the layers of life, to find my purpose. One day, I went through a really rough patch in life. I had a financial struggle that led to homelessness and I lived in my car for about a year. I knew I had to do something so I prayed. I promised God that if He would restore my stability I would embark on this journey of using my gifts and abilities for His glory. During those times to myself I remembered that being a maker is in my lineage and in 2016, I took a leap of faith (after years of working in retail and being uninspired, not feeling creative at all). I did my first outdoor market in April 2016 and never looked back. I’m motivated by my passion for design and curation discovering different processes keeps my mind on learning and evolving. Right now, I’m investing in my business and taking my art full-time. I would love to have community support by donating to my GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-artist-ndi-jeru) or sharing if they’re not able to give themselves. It’s not something I would normally ask, but in the last few weeks, I have seen the impact of what community can do. That is what I asked God for the most—support, engagement, connecting with my audience on all levels and those things are beginning to happen for me. I know it’s time to deepen the development of my brand.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In a tour of this beautiful city. We would have to dine at Dish Society. The atmosphere, food, and customer service is exceptional. I would go to a few of my favorite local thrift shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and The Cottage Shop that is part of an organization that I support called the Women’s Home HTX. After a round of discovery, we would have lunch at Barnaby’s Cafe and visit the local museums to be inspired. Day to day I would visit parks like Hermann, Discovery Green and go to Avenida Houston the entertainment district for some cool events.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to highlight and organization called Creatives For Black Lives. I found this through Instagram started by one Black man in an effort to assist Black creatives with their business for free. I created a team of talented individuals that have helped me strengthen the foundation and vision for my business.
All taken by me.