Changes at the workshop

Changes at the workshop

By Elisha Watson

Changes at the workshop

I started Nisa nearly 5 years ago, and I know many of you have been on this journey with me, through the highs of sell-out ranges and awards to the lows of the lock-downs. We’ve shared a vision: the creation of beautiful, comfortable garments that provide meaningful employment opportunities, particularly for refugee and migrant women. Our workshop in Wellington is a place to belong and thrive for the 40-strong members of the Nisa team – past and present – and the broader community.

Now it’s time to pass on the torch to have my first bub. When I started Nisa I naively thought that I would have ‘clocked’ business at the 5 year mark, and that this would be an easy transition. I might have been wrong on that front, with the volatility of the pandemic making running a business and looking after a team as much an art as a science. However, one thing I am endlessly grateful for are the people around me who have kept our little ship chugging along. A particular shout-out goes to our advisory board, SheEO and my mentor MJ, and every single member of the Nisa team, who have all showed up in the most amazing of ways.

I know this community of staff, advisers, customers and well-wishers will continue to support each other, and that beautiful things will emerge from these relationships.

Two amazing wāhine who are stepping up to run the show in my absence: Hannah as General Manager, and Li Ling helping keep an eye on the finances. Hannah is a marketing guru, with amazing experience running her own babywear brand in London for over a decade before she was the head of marketing at a much-loved scooter brand. Most importantly, she is a lovely human being who I know will be the best boss to the team. Li Ling thought she had left her start-up days behind her, having played a huge role in setting up Kaibosh Food Rescue in the early years, and even starting her own Mandarin Chinese language school, but we’re so glad she’s back in the frey 👛

Before I leave in a few weeks, there’s much to do for the handover. It turns out that 5 years of knowledge about so many different aspects of the business is a lot to write down. It also turns out that setting up new inventory systems are a lot more complicated than I realised - go figure! It’s heads down bums up at the Nisa workshop for sure.

And finally, a big thank you to YOU. The support of our customers and community is the wind in our sails, the fuel in our tank, and the reason we are still kicking ass, 5 years in. 

5 comments


  • It’s a fantastic and visionary enterprise, Elisha.

    All the best with your next undertaking.

    Melanie on

  • We are so lucky to have your vision and creativity and love in bringing a community-based business to life. And now the most precious role of being a Mum!
    “Ka whangaia, ka tupu, ka puawai" That which is nurtured, blossoms then grows”

    Judy on

  • Best Wishes for motherhood and job well done with Nisa, it always feels good purchasing from Nisa.

    Anne G on

  • Kia Ora Elisha, go well with your peepe, not sure when it is due. You have give people of Whanganui-a-Tara a great gift in your products. I love them. Welcome to those who are coming in to keep the ship running. Kia Kaha Nga Wahine toa.

    Sheryn on

  • Huge congratulations on this next new adventure that is motherhood!

    Nina on

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