Bringing out the beauty in timber

Team Nuinuku . . . Aleisha Pritchard and Marcel Matsinger.

The Waitaki is humming with more than its share of clever people who are quietly building businesses in their spare time. Ashley Smyth has sought out some of these small-scale entrepreneurs, to find out more about their side hustles.

Nuinuku Marcel Matsinger and Aleisha Pritchard

Q. Tell us about your side hustle:

Nuinuku is a small woodworking business which we work on from out of our garage. We specialise in chopping and platter boards, but are moving into other areas of homewares, furniture and art.

Q. What do you love, or find rewarding about it?

Marcel: I enjoy sourcing and working with a variety of native timbers. The best part about what we do is that we recycle the timber we use from renovations and give it a new life. This is what I love about it.

Aleisha: Same. I love giving beautiful native timber, that would have otherwise been put to landfill, a new life. For example, taking a stud from an old state house and planing it down to reveal the original grains and then oiling the timber to bring out the grains is what I really love about it. It’s like a wee surprise.

Q.Tell us about your ‘‘day job’’ (parenthood definitely counts!)

Marcel: I am a qualified builder. I have worked for Brett Stuart at Crosscut Construction for about six and-a-half years.

Aleisha: I am a part-time stayat-home mum and homemaker. I’ve also just started a part-time job as a cleaner, as the hours suit our whanau right now.

Q. What made you start?

Marcel: Making shelves for our home in lockdown, it resparked my passion for woodworking. Then we made chopping boards for family for Christmas, and since then I haven’t stopped.

Aleisha: Marcel, he has been teaching me about woodwork since we met, pretty much. He was surprised when I said I wanted to take up scroll saw art as it’s completely different to what he does and has done before. He encourages me and is learning alongside me with this!

Q. Where would you like to take it?
We would love to continue repurposing, creating with and sourcing rare native timbers. We hope to some day have a large workshop where Marcel can take small workshops for people interested in giving woodworking a go and Aleisha can do more with her scroll saw art.

Q. How can people find you?
We currently have our products in Shortblack cafe, Housekeepers Design and Presence on Harbour locally, and in the Somerset Grocer in Ashburton.

People can also check out our social media pages on Instagram: @nuinuku21 and Facebook: Nuinuku to see what we are up too and what’s coming up for us.