Here at nil, we are lucky to have our fabulous nil creators, nil makers, and nil designers.
Our nil creators are a group of inspiring businesswomen. Our founder Anna practised law and travelled for over 12 years, she has a beautiful family and a contagious passion. Anna feels that it is her duty as a privileged woman to give back, to offer more to the environment, and its people. She believes in creating business for good, and by doing so, aiding a natural progression of a society that cares for its environment and people.
Our nil makers are the threads that weave our story, these are the amazing women in our home workforce, a concept-driven by Anna’s belief that everyone – no matter how small they may feel, deserves to be a part of the financial global market. Anna reinvented this concept which was once popular before the industrial revolution. Our home workforce is comprised of our passionate collective of makers… over 20 women. At nil, we know there must be new ways to include people who are traditionally excluded from the regular workforce. eg. new mums, to close the income equality gap.
Each week the lovely Sonya sends our home workforce a box of supplies from HQ and a list of jobs. She gives everyone time, it’s much more than sending off work and collecting it… if they ever pop down to the showroom Sonya takes time to make them feel welcome / connected and it’s okay if they cannot fully manage the workload etc.
Anna says: “I feel that our home workers like to connect with us because for many of them it is more than just a job, it gives them purpose. Work doesn’t have to be full-time or high-status, because if it’s a good organisation, then it should also give purpose, direction and connections.”
Our nil fabric designers are talented New Zealand women whom we are continually inspired by. They are Amy Van Luijk, who designed our blue dreamer range, Lisa Noble, who designed our red velvet range, and Renee Feith who designed our honey yellow range.
We had a chat with Lisa Noble, one of our designers to learn more about her designs, inspirations, the process. Lisa is a children's book writer and illustrator, she self-published her first picture book in 2009.
When asked about her inspiration…
Lisa says: “I’ve always been inspired by nature, my graphic language is deeply informed by mid-century illustrators, designers and architects.” She has a suitcase of retro patterned fabrics, from which she draws inspiration for her hand-drawn and digital illustrations.
When asked about her process…
Lisa says: “It’s important to me to fully believe in my clients’ products and services, which results in a very satisfying and effective design process. I call on intellect and instinct to deliver a design that resonates with ethical consumers.”
Lisa loves working with nil and seeing her designs on shelves in her favourite shops, she says…
“It’s very rewarding to know that I’m contributing positively to getting nil-waste products into homes. It means so much to me to work with an ethical, sustainable, and female-led company whose values align so closely with my own. I feel like I'm part of the team, and am invested in my clients' success.”
We live in a country with the most amazing untouched nature in the world. Our fabric designers draw inspiration from our NZ flora and fauna and our products help instead of harm the planet, therefore giving back to nature – what a full circle!
Lisa created our red velvet range, consisting of the Pohutukawa flower and Tukutuku designs. Lisa also created the ‘nil faces’ illustrations, which are the faces of the women who make up our home-based workforce.
We want to celebrate New Zealand’s natural beauty and show it off to the world… these are the stories behind Lisa’s patterns:
Pōhutukawa, also titled ‘New Zealand’s Christmas tree’ has blazing red flowers and blooms during summer. It is a beautiful flower to celebrate as it is native to NZ, and can signal that Christmas / Kerimete is coming! Christmas is a time to care for loved ones and celebrate family. We want to remind you of this beautiful feeling when you see our Pōhutukawa patten.
Tukutuku, sometimes known as arapaki or tuitui, is a customary weaving art form that is traditionally done by Māori women. Tukutuku panels are used to decorate wharenui (Māori meeting houses). Our designs are inspired by these beautiful woven panels and their significance to women.
More on our nil creators, Sonya is our highly experienced production manager, aided by Michelle. Sonya manages all our home workforce contractors and sends our customers’ orders. Kat looks after our sales and merchandising, and she just adores the ocean. Christine brings her learnings from business ownership and captains our digital marketing + social media flight path. She has a love for sustainable and authentic brands.
We would not be able to produce our huge range of products, both ethically and with #nilwaste advocacy, without the powerhouse that we call our nil makers, creators, and designers.
Thank you, to each and every one of you for helping us create a brand that is making a measurable and meaningful difference.