WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES courtesy of Neimil
Keneilwe Mothoa and Lubabalo Mxalisa’s love of interiors, fashion, art and photography led to the duo establishing Neimil in 2018, a local lifestyle brand creating handcrafted designs, from apparel to homeware.
Tired of painting with watercolours, Keneilwe decided to explore different creative avenues. “I had been experimenting with wool/yarns for a while. I started doing crotchet projects and spent some time doing research on tapestry, the different techniques used, tools and materials.” Embroidery has since become an exploratory journey for the brand. “I think more than anything it cultivated something in me and had me creating products that I was proud of,” says Keneilwe. “It’s also a very therapeutic process. I love that there are so many techniques and endless possibilities to what one can create.”
Neimil’s projects feature a range of punch-needled and rug-hooked designs, from scatter cushions to intricate artworks set in embroidery hoops. This includes the Reimagining Self series, a collection of self-portraits that depict different stages of Keneilwe’s life. “It came about when I started frequently going home to Mpumalanga with my granny and she would remind me of all the memories shared there, whether they were happy or sad, and how she was happy that I was back home. The colours in every piece translate to memories of joy, sadness, hardships, happiness, passion, etc… the pieces depict emotions I went through growing up and where I am now.”
Neimil will soon be expanding its range to include lighting, mirrors and more decor accessories.