Nanichi means ‘my heart/ my soul’ and explains what creating means to me. I am Anguillian native Ilka [pronounced il-ca]. Having grown up on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, I have always demonstrated a passion for the arts and cultures of the region.
I’ve been told that my sense of creativity and ability to work with my hands was realized at a tender age. I do recall designing and sewing clothing for my dolls and creating their jewelry using the tiny scraps of soldering wire and the tiny pieces from radio/television circuit boards, I’m not sure if my father ever noticed that those pieces were missing but I really doubt it. As a child I entered several art competitions and participated in arts & craft summer camps; continuously excelling in that field. It is with no question that I was born into a family of artistes; I am often compared to my father who is an architect, carpenter and tailor. Upon moving to Washington DC, I found my fate in jewelry designing and crafting; it began as a mere hobby and the rest is history.
WHY JEWELRY? I was in search of a particular piece of jewelry that reminded me of home and it was very hard to find that in Washington DC. I recall being one of the students invited to one of the embassies for a tea party. I was dressed in my native clothing, but I had absolutely no jewelry that would tie my look together, so I designed some bracelets and a necklace.
My jewelry collections are inspired by Caribbean culture and scenery in many ways. I appreciate the beauty in nature and thus look to nature for embellishments. The fact that there are uneven textures, lines and random colors found in nature is what allows my designs to stand out, unique and beautiful in their own right; setting Nanichi apart from other brands.