LSU alumna and entrepreneur Nimia Cabrera Saleh shares her love for fashion, lifestyle and faith while helping others.
Going through life, she realized how much she loved fabric, sketching and styling others, so Cabrera decided to study apparel design at the University. Fast forward a few years later and she has her own store, Elohim + Nim, here in Baton Rouge.
The store opened in Baton Rouge in August 2017, but was put on the back-burner when Cabrera dealt with her personal health last year.
Cabrera opened her store with the intention of helping women, and when she felt like she strayed away from that and failed to achieve her goal, she began to experience depression. She had to deal with that personal struggle along with the stress of family issues, buying a new house and getting engaged.
“Everyone was like, ‘You know, you might just need to take a step back and just let it go for a second and re-brand yourself so you’re where you want to be,’ and that’s really what I had to do,” Cabrera said.
After taking a much-needed break, Cabrera is back and better than ever. Elohim + Nim is set to relaunch this spring, and its new re-branding is inspiring.
Cabrera wanted to step back from how superficial and competitive the fashion industry can be and get back to her roots to try to achieve her goal of helping women through her business.
“I’m from Honduras originally, and I went back to Honduras because I guess I had an upper hand there,” Cabrera said. “I speak Spanish, I know people, I have somewhere to stay so I went there.”
Cabrera knew she would be able to directly help women in Honduras because it’s a third-world country where the government doesn’t efficiently aid the poor and women have few rights. Cabrera later met women in need who were willing to help her produce clothes for Elohim + Nim’s revamping.
Then, Cabrera created jewelry with those women, which came from finding ideas on Pinterest. She brought the materials needed to make the earrings, got a feel for their strengths and weaknesses and was able to make some official designs. One of those designs was chosen to be in the next Lagniappe box that Sweet Baton Rouge puts out monthly.
The Lagniappe box feature was the perfect way for Cabrera to start her relaunch.
“The main goal for us to stand out is that we’re going to create our own clothes and our own accessories that are going to directly create jobs for women in a third- world country,” Cabrera said.
With all this going on, Cabrera also found time to start and run her very own blog.
Cabrera found that she always received questions about her travels and what was going on with the store, which inspired her to start her blog. She was also able to share more about her life and express to her readers why she travelled, many of whom assumed she did it for fun and did not have a job.
Cabrera’s blog focuses on travel, faith and lifestyle, which she feels perfectly represents her life. Cabrera began to travel with her family from a young age, which always played a huge role in her life, along with her faith and lifestyle which ties it all together.
“I’ve been to Spain, I’ve been to Italy, I’ve been to Honduras, I’ve been through Mexico, I’ve been to Guatemala,” Cabrera said. “The faith for me was what really got me out of that bad low point that I got to last year, it was really something that helped me through it.”
Like her brand, her blog also seeks to help women.
Cabrera started The Hang-Outs as a way for her to connect with her clientele one-on-one. Each group Hang-Out has a topic or theme, but people can also request personal intimate hang-outs.
It’s important for her to have that human contact with others and talk to women who can relate to the same things and share anything they want.
“If you don’t feed that person running everything, which is yourself, then you can’t really put your best out,” Cabrera said. “I think it was one of those things that feed that inner joy and so it keeps me going and I really like that not just for myself but like in general to connect with other women.”
Cabrera hopes to continue working on her relaunch and expanding her blog.
“I think I want it to merge into one whole thing like an overall brand, where I can talk about what’s going on in the business and it come from my perspective instead of having my business talk about what it’s doing through a business blog because it’s all one,” Cabrera said.