A terrorist blast may have taken Nayana’s sight, but it didn’t steal her vision.
When Nayana became blind 13 years ago, it was hard to imagine her future. How would she manage daily life, and how would she make a living?
Yet with the support of a community, Nayana has achieved more than she ever dreamed of. Today she not only supports herself, but is an up and coming fashion designer.
Our local partner in Sri Lanka, Hope 4 the Nation, facilitates small groups that provide Christian businesspeople a community to learn and grow in.
After joining a fellowship group, Nayana met Nixon, Christie, Benjamin, and Ms. Priya – all local business leaders.
Once they heard Nayana’s story, the leaders pulled together and committed to helping her reach her goals as an aspiring fashion designer.
Benjamin offered to host and develop her website. Christie offered to help with graphics and video. Ms. Priya offered to display Nayana’s sample designs and catalogues in her retail store.
With them by her side, Nayana launched her first fashion line.
Her work has since been showcased in local fashion shows and she is currently working to enter the retail market by improving her branding, packaging, and quality control.
So, how does she do it?
Remarkably, she taps into sensory memories and describes in detail her designs to the tailors.
As shared on her website, Nayana’s “heightened sense of touch allows her to feel her creations and differentiate between materials to ensure that the outcome matches her concept.”
Her unconventional process alters the design experience from start to finish.
“I do what an ordinary designer does with a pencil, a paper, and graphic design software, but with my mind and heart, trusting in God to show me what I cannot see” says Nayana.
Photos courtesy of Hasaranga Photography.
In this way, Nayana views losing her sight as an unexpected blessing. She shares, “I don’t let little things get me down as I look up to God who chooses the weak to put to shame those who are strong. I have many reasons to thank God every day.”
As Nayana continues to pursue her passion for fashion design, she hopes her story will inspire others to focus on what they can do with what they have, rather than dwelling on what they lack.