My name is Anokhee, but my friends call me Nokes.  When people ask me where I’m from, I like to say “I’m from all over”.  My parents are of East Indian descent but were raised in Kenya. They migrated to the UK (which is where I was born) and then migrated again to Canada when I was just four.  I was lucky enough to live in Australia for a year, but Ottawa has been my home for a long time now. I think I’m here to stay!

I have spent most of my career in the corporate world and it’s been great, but I can’t say I’ve ever felt “passionate” about what I do. I don’t enjoy reading business books in my spare time.  I don’t spend hours posting articles on LinkedIn. I am very committed to my work – but it’s still work. Always has been.

In 2014, my world turned upside down. My younger brother Amish died from a heart attack. He was only 33.  He was living on the other side of the world; he’d been there for almost six years trying to build his career and become a successful entrepreneur.  Family was a huge priority for him, and yet we had only seen him four or five times since he had moved away. When he passed away, I hadn’t seen him in six months, my parents nine. After several months of grief, depression and soul searching, I came to a few conclusions:

  1. My family and friends that I love and cherish need to have more of my time.
  2. I need to spend as much of my day, every day, as I can on the things that are passionate to me.
  3. I want to stop diluting my life with things I “should” do versus things I want to do.

Long story short, in late 2014 I rediscovered my passion for sewing. I had done it for many years in my childhood and teens, but like so many things we love to do at that age, it took a backseat to “life”.  I took an Intro to Sewing class at Darrell Thomas Textiles (thank you Erin!) and was a quick study.  Everything came back to me so fast!  Darrell became my mentor, and today – less than 18 months later – I am teaching that same Intro to Sewing class! I still have a day job in the corporate world, but it’s one that I enjoy and that allows me to spend most of my free time on sewing and fashion.

Aside from that, my life is just a pile of fun:

  • I have two gorgeous fur-babies, Niño and Marley,
  • I am engaged to the love of my life, Dave Milliken (check him out – he’s a super talented musician!)
  • I’m a major foodie and love to eat at Ottawa’s multitude of fabulous restaurants!
  • I’m a sommelier – that’s a fancy word for a person who drinks so much wine they can make a career out of it 😉

Oh, and since you asked – my favourite show is Project Runway, my second favourite show is Great British Sewing Bee, my magazine subscriptions are 100% fashion related, and buying fabric gives me a high.

Living my passion? Check.

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