NabilaDabbas Khoury was born in Jerusalem in 1950 to Andoni Dabbas and Alice Khoury. Her father and uncle Elias were renowned traders of tailoring materials and accessories since 1926 in Yafa, Palestine. After the occupation of Palestine in 1948 and the subsequent exodus of many Palestinians, they re-established their business in Amman, Jordan, where it continued to flourish for many years to come.
Nabila grew up finding herself in the midst of everything that had to do with tailoring. And later on even her children, nephews, and nieces also found themselves engulfed in the trade. At an early age, and especially during summers, the kids would go to the Dabbas shop downtown to help the uncles and grandparents.
II. Professional Training
As a child Nabila used to sew little dresses for her Barbie dolls, which is when the family began to notice her talent. In 1970 her older uncle Elias insisted that she attends professional tailoring courses in Beirut, Lebanon.
Upon her return to Amman in 1971, she continued to enjoy her talent by making a variety of items for family and friends.
III. Failed Attempts
In 1989 Nabila moved to Kuwait with her husband and 2 children. Shortly after their relocation she came across prospective customers that quickly came to appreciate her exquisite taste and quality work. As a result she began to produce custom high-end bridal dresses and evening gowns. But unfortunately the year 1990 brought war to her new home, and soon she found herself back in Amman.
In 1997, and after a period of seven years in which no further commercial attempts were made, Nabila decided once again to get back to producing custom-made bridal dresses and evening gowns for a limited clientèle in Amman, but after a two year period had passed by, fate had it again for her to leave her home town once again to join her husband who had been working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia a year earlier.
IV. A passion for Cross-stitch
While living in Saudi Arabia, and given the many restrictions that are imposed on women, she was producing a large variety of basic cross-stitched items for her home simply because she could never tolerate idle hands. Soon after she started developing a deeper love for the craft and began to produce more elaborate works.
In 2005 she displayed a limited selection of cross-stitched items at an open bazaar at Fal compound in Riyadh. Though the result was not favorable at all, Nabila learnt from that experience that her items should never again be displayed in such bazaars where many different things are being sold. In the spring of 2006, and as a result of her experience at Fal, Nabila displayed her works in a small exhibition for friends at her home under the Nabila’s Creations name, but the actual brand was not yet born.
V. Discovering a new Talent
During that spring she also started taking porcelain painting sessions with a prominent instructor in Riyadh, and soon began to incorporate paintings on a wide variety of porcelains in order to complement her stitched designs.
VI. The Birth of Nabila's Creations
In 2008 she invested a considerable amount of money to establish the full Nabila’s Creations brand which was launched on 22 May 2008 with her first official Spring Collection at Najd Compound in Riyadh.
The launch of her brand was quite successful and promising, and later that year she began to construct a small workshop and showroom in her home in Riyadh. She also invested in a quality Italian kiln so she could do her own porcelain baking.
By December it was time for her second official exhibition that would offer a winter and Christmas Collection. Though her workshop was not entirely completed, she decided to display the items all throughout her home and garden so that they would appear in their natural setting; the way they would after being purchased.
Another spring came by and the workshop was complete. So Nabila decided that this year’s event would combine her 2009 spring collection and the official workshop opening.
It was a beautiful collection, filled with love and life, but unfortunately during that same season, Nabila lost one of the dearest people in her life; her brother Hanna Andoni Dabbas. He was a loving and giving person that was always optimistic. He was so thrilled and excited about her productions and her ability to finally frame it into an official brand. The idea of canceling the exhibition crossed her mind of course, but knowing Hanna, he would have been disappointed.
The summer that followed passed by swiftly, and the 2009 Winter & Christmas Collection was due in a few months, but given the little time available, and the grieving that had to take its course, Nabila decided to take a needed break by not producing an exhibition.