Hi, I'm Namalee, designer, creator and owner of Neonimo.
Neonimo is inspired by neon lights and my aim is to inject some sass and colour into your life with my prints, gifts and décor 💜 I live in London with my partner and accident-prone rescue cat, PoPo, who looks a bit like a panda. PoPo is also my studio hand. I love mangoes and my favourite colour is green.
Here's a short Q&A to find out a bit more about who we are, where we came from and what makes us tick…
How did Neonimo begin?
I’ve been a graphic designer by trade since 2004 and for years I've been toying with the idea of creating an independent design brand that's super fun, with quality and sustainability at the heart of it. I never seemed to have the time to dedicate to getting it off the ground though. So, when lockdown hit, like many of us, I had a lot of free time to play with. Gone were the days of going to gigs, galleries, food joints and watering holes and there were no more excuses not to give it a go – and Neonimo was born.
How do you pronounce Neonimo?
I get asked this question a lot! It's pronounced nee-yon-ee-mo (or like Geronimo).
You said you're inspired by neon lights – why neon?
What’s there not to like about neon?! It’s not all about the aesthetic, it’s about the vibes and feelings that neon evokes in me and in others. It’s bright, fresh, cheerful, nostalgic and new all at the same time! It’s a huge inspiration for me.
What else inspires you?
I’ve lived in 3 of the 7 continents and was born in another, so it's safe to say I take inspiration from everywhere! In particular, I love local sayings and phraseology, and idioms fascinate me. I like incorporating these in my designs and having some fun with them. The neon-inspiration really brings them to life and gives them that wow factor.
I've got a huge list of notes on my phone – it's always with me so I can jot down ideas whenever and wherever I am. I particularly love it when badass sayings pop out of the conversations I have with friends and family, whether they're about important, random or mundane things!
How did PoPo come on the scene?
My partner and I adopted PoPo in December 2019 from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. He was really shy when he first came home with us – he spent a lot of time under the sofa! But over the months his confidence grew. He kept his distance from us at first, and then gradually he decided we were OK to hang out with and got closer to us…
Then lockdown happened, and suddenly, we were in his space every minute of every day! In that time, PoPo took a liking to sitting with me while I work. Sometimes he’d watch my computer screen (quality control), he’d sniff around my notes (admin assistant), talk to me (business consultant) or nap on my desk (he’s a big wellbeing-at-work advocate). So, naturally he became my studio hand. And he really is the best employee a gal could ask for.
What are your hobbies?
I love going to exhibitions, exploring new places and soaking in the sights and sounds of the world. Cooking and baking are really close to my heart, which doesn’t mean I’m good at it – but I’ll give anything a go. It's super enjoyable and relaxing and I love feeding people. And I love eating too!
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
I would be grass green! There’s something inextricably joyous about grass green. It always makes me happy and peps me up every time I see it.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
It’s all about the music for me – I have a solid "driving choons" playlist with many hours of music. It’s full of my faves that I love to sing along to really loudly. Each song on my playlist evokes a memory of a particular place, moment in time, person or emotion. So, depending on the song, I think about something completely different!
What’s your favourite ’90s jam?
It's too hard to pick just one! Suffice to say though, I have plenty of 90s jams in my driving choons playlist. If you want to know what's in my "driving choons" playlist, here it is – some of the tunes are questionable so don't judge me too harshly! Enjoy 💜