Hello! I'm Elise

So, it all started with a couch in a weird position, blocking half the doorway of my crappy old 'gottage' somewhere in Auckland.

I was waitressing for a pretty unfulfilling organisation and feeling kinda low - actually I was just barely making it through the day.

One day, bored and doing nothing important, I had the thought to rearrange the furniture (ADHD enters the chat). After moving that couch and doing a touch of spring cleaning, the space around me suddenly felt different, open and organised - pleasant even!

Pretty soon, I started to feel different, that small change had a profound effect on my mindset. It was like a veil was lifted from my mind and I felt a glimmer of hope.

From that day, I became a firm believer and advocate in the idea that our environment and the space we live in deeply affects the mind. 

One degree, one divorce and two kids later I stumbled across Strangers Collective and it was for sale! I saw in Strangers Collective an opportunity to help others transform their spaces and in turn transform their lives for the better.

I mean yeah, who buys a business just before a worldwide pandemic? This gal apparently! But hey, that's life - full of surprises and unexpected challenges.

Speaking of challenges, here's the yarn about our journey towards a more sustainable future.

When I took over the store, it was built on values of beauty, empowerment, and aesthetics.

As an environmental scientist and a mum, I knew we could do better. That's why I set about moving the store towards being completely sustainable and ethical.

Sure, we still have a few hangovers from the store's previous life, but I've developed a range of value marks that will give you confidence in our products.

These marks indicate whether a product is Aotearoa made, ethically sourced, handmade, plastic free, reusable/refillable or has natural ingredients/materials. You'll find them on all our products as we move to the new value system.


We curate the best eco-conscious products so that you don't have to spend time shopping around and researching stuff.

And yep I'm pretty picky about what products make the cut. If a product has a value mark on it, you can be sure that I've vetted it to ensure it meets the claim on the mark.

I imagine a world where future generations inherit a thriving planet, where we are all remembered as responsible ancestors committed to protecting it.

Now you're part of the journey too, welcome and thanks for hopping on board! I believe that together, we can create a better world.




We support other small New Zealand businesses and encourage you to do so too!

Strangers Collective is run under a values system we call The Strange Way. The Strange Way encompasses 5 principles that underpin all decisions for the business:

  • Ethical

  • Environmentally Responsible

  • Beautiful

  • Empowered

  • Neighbourly

 See our "Strange Way" page for more information.

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