We had the good fortune of connecting with Nesma Nuru and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nesma, is there something you believe many others might not?
Good things don’t come to those who wait. I believe if you want something, you do your best to go after it. I can’t fathom the idea of sitting and waiting around for a blessing or idea to fall on my lap. You have to expose yourself to new environments, new people, and ideas to get to that ‘good thing’.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
ZIA is a brand inspired by our East African background where we take traditional materials and reimage it in our own modern style. We make sure that every line we drop is full of intent and meaning that roots us back to our heritage. It was definitely a challenge modernizing traditional pieces that are full of sentiment because changing any element of it risked losing that value. With each product, we’ve had plenty of controversial discussions but we concluded that if we aren’t challenging the narrative, then we aren’t growing. ZIA is all about marrying the two identities (East African and American) that we’ve all struggled to balance growing up.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I can’t express how much this question put a smile to my face. You’ve asked the right person! I would start our day at my favorite brunch spot called Toast on 3rd St. where we would enjoy our huevos rancheros and banana pudding french toast. In order to walk off that amazing food, we would grab a coffee from Alfred’s and head to the Melrose Trading Post or Dover Street Market and do a little bit of shopping. After a busy afternoon, it would only be fitting to relax on the beach with a refreshing acai bowl and possibly a round of Catan. Later, I would take them to L’Antica for the most delicious margherita pizza and pasta. To end the day, I would take them to an escape room with a group of friends and grab some Jeni’s ice cream after. This truly would be the most perfect day because of the good food and good company.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely want to shoutout my sister-friends who have been my biggest source of support whenever I start a project. They constantly push me to be the greatest version of myself and challenge me enough to not get stuck in a bubble. Also, Farah, my Co-Founder aka “coco” is probably one of the strongest mentors in my life at the moment who deserves all the flowers. She taught me how to see challenges as opportunities and to make moves from a place of passion and not fear.