Oh where do we start to tell the story of Nisnas Industries,
Well, it all started with a longtime friendship. Max and I (Yossi) met in a bike shop in 1998 where we both worked and became friends and co-workers. We were kids back then and didn't much care about anything but riding our bikes. Bikes in general became a theme for both our lives. Max still rides on his custom Ari bikes and I raced here and there and switched to other sports along the way. Today we still consider our cultural frame of reference to be the cycling industry, where our friends and much of of interests still are.
So when did Nisnas actually begin:
Way back in 2010 when we both reconnected after many years of separate pursuits, Max in industrial design school and me in political science and community work in the US, Egypt and Geneva. We came together to make Nisnas a thing at a time when all we wanted to do was positive change in our community so we spent all of 2010-2013 as a non-profit in the neighborhood of Wadi Nisnas. We taught kids how to build bikes and taught classes on neighborhood history.
The cave years
When we started out in 2010 all we had was this small space we called the cave in Wadi Nisnas. We tagged in a one ton steel table we made into an alignment surface for bikes and welders, along with bike building equipment. The space was amazing and served us well till we made steps towards more gear and larger production cycles.
In 2013 we ran our first kickstarter which helped us build our new space in Ein carmel and it was our first step in leather-work.
Our bags made a splash and we were up and running.
Our first bags we stunning and taught us tons about how to build a production cycle and create cooperative relationships. We called the first bag Kul Rex after an old ottoman system of servants for the king. They were part leather and part wood. For the wood we perfected a hand laying system with a giant press in house to make patterns into the wood itself. It was a huge step forward and we still get lots of people asking for these. In case anyone asks we only have our own private bags left :) None for sale, sorry. But you can drop by anytime to see them here in our space.
Bike fenders and more wood
As we grew we spent more and more time on cycling related gear and made amazing fenders for Bromption bikes and for city bikes. These came with some serious and intense work that saw us literally working at nights to get through the work. Amazing fenders and amazing work we are super proud of to this day. The legacy of this is still around with our gear which has us still working nights to get things exactly right
With growth came more products 2015-15
Even bike grips made of wood (below) and top tube bags in leather.
As we grew we turned our attention to more community initiatives and larger volume.
With growth came more stunning bags
We made our mark with two amazing bags called the Vortex Shield and Vortex Shadow which redefined urban day bags to accommodate electronic gear, cameras and notepads but still remain super slim and comfortable. These bags made a splash with over a quarter of a million raised in kickstarter over 2 projects.
There are on our site, feel free to grab one :)
And here we are
Today our gear is soled worldwide with a worldwide audience in the tend of thousands and we are so proud of our journey, our attention to detail and our community minded approach. We wouldn't have it any other way and are super proud of our gear, service and local partners.
Come visit us when you are in town.
Oh and we couldn't finish without a picture of us almost 10 years ago, the day we got started.
Max, Yossi and the Nisnas team
Nisnas Industries started out as a community initiative in the Wadi Nisnas Neighbourhood of Haifa. Nisnas is equal parts community initiative and business venture. NI donated proceeds from its profits to local Haifa based social initiatives. Our humble beginning was in a small hole-in-the-wall store we called the cave (because it looked like one) in the middle of the ancient marketplace of Wadi Nisnas. The store was once an ancient stockroom for olive oil and livestock and over the past 300 years has changed little. We claimed it for a while and taught the value of bike commuting and cycling skills to local youth in the area while making our own bicycle gear. Slowly our connection with local craftsmen grew and our love for cycling and commuting along with our local partners lead us toward a creation of more wood and leather gear. We love our home and believe deeply in the tradition of the craft. Our innovative leather and wood designs are a result of decades of experience in the cycling industry but more importantly of cooperation with our friends and neighbors who have honed their craft over decades.