Click here find out how Nin & June got its name. Or just read the story below ;)
Likely you found me on instagram. It’s also likely that a long time ago, I promised I would do a post on the name of my shop: Nin & June. I’ve gotten lots of emails calling me Nina, which must be a best guess of most people to figure out my username.
My real name is Nicole and the name Nin & June originated from a trip to California and a sweet surprise in grief.
As a young girl, I remember visiting my great grandparents, the Olsens in northern California. Even though they lived in the suburbs, they were very close a reservoir that attracted a lot of wildlife. Every morning on vacation we would wake up early to catch deer out in the back yard, drinking from the tiny creek that ran along all the neighbors back yards and eating the leaves off of my grandmother’s plants. These early mornings were also accompanied by a friend of ours name “Orange Legs.”
Orange Legs was a shovel and rake welded together and painted to look like a bird. Grandpa had us convinced that he was alive and would move him around the yard when nobody was looking. In my childhood memories, grandma’s back yard was the most beautiful place I had ever seen, and our friend Orange Legs was right up there with Santa Clause. (at least a close second;)
Fast forward to married life with 2 kids… My great grandparents had passed away and their daughter (my grandma Barb) and her husband John had been driving back and forth between Napa Valley and Sacramento to take care of the house. Mid September, we drove across the country and made a 2-week stop to see my grandparents and the house. I was taken back to my childhood as I spent cool mornings watching deer drink from the creek and seeing my own children play in the back yard of my childhood. Throughout those 2 weeks, my grandma would show me things that belonged to my grandma, tell me the story behind it, and wrap it up nicely for me to take back home. On one particular day, Grandma Barb brought out a dark, perfectly crafted, wooden sewing box. Made of real wood and more gorgeous than anything you can find in a store, my grandmother told me of how my grandpa had brought home the beautiful box as a gift for my great grandma, June. No doubt, it was bought with much sacrifice and hard work. It was a gift given with the deepest love between two parents, a husband and wife doing their best to take care of their family.
As I opened the box and began to go through it, I realized that the box had been left virtually untouched for many years. It was full of sewing notions from the past 5 decades. Old needle sets, classic buttons with their 5 cent price tag, zippers that had been cut out of old outfits to use again in a new dress. I spent as much time as I could handling everything and trying to picture how my grandmother had used half of the thread and smelling everything. I tried to take mentally record the entire once-in-a-lifetime process. It was my buried treasure. Far greater than any gold or jewels, my history loving heart and sentimental inner child were on cloud 9. I was in disbelief that my grandmother was actually going to send this home with me.
As I got to the bottom of the box, my eye caught a tiny gold card, with a gnome on the front. I opened it up and read, “To my honey, love Nin.” Tears filled my eyes and my heart swelled. Although I already knew the answer, I asked grandma, “who is Nin?” She smiled as she told me about my great grandfather’s nickname and how all of his close family lovingly referred to him as Nin. Nin & June. The story of their love told in the notions of an old, beautiful sewing box.
When I started my business and worked from the small collection of sewing things that I kept in that box, I knew that I wanted to carry on their precious memory. It was an easy decision that I’ve never regretted. Cliche as it may sound, Nin & June is a company founded on love. It’s what keeps me going when I have a hundred orders to fill and just want to sleep because my 7-month-old still sleeps like a newborn. Nin & June were more than my grandparents. They’re the reason this world is still good. Now their love with continue in me as I use this little sewing box and totally kick butt this year.