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Homewood Native Nisha Blackwell Ties Entrepreneurship And Sustainability With A Bow


Philadelphia fashion week, demand at Larrimor’s and a spot on Facebook’s small business council might not have been where Nisha Blackwell thought her sewing career would take her. According to the Homewood-based, bowtie business owner, she wasn’t sure how to turn on her machine a little more than four years ago.

Now Blackwell’s company, Knotzland, is shipping out artisan bowties by the dozens and using sustainable material to boot.

Hear how the entrepreneur became the founder of Knotzland, and how she’s taking lessons learned to empower others in Homewood to learn more about sewing and owning a business.

Credit Pittsburgh Mercy via Google Maps
Pittsburgh Mercy's warming center location.

Elsewhere in the program, Mayor Bill Peduto promised to stay in line with the Paris climate agreement after President Trump announced the U.S. would no longer be beholden to it. But how realistic are Pittsburgh’s climate goals? 90.5 WESA’s Kathleen Davis reports that reducing emissions is not going to be easy with 80 percent of the city’s greenhouse emissions coming from old buildings.

Winter shelters are open across the city, giving people the opportunity to stay somewhere warm for the night. Brian Matous, homeless services supervisor with Pittsburgh Mercy, says workers at the shelters hope to establish a rapport with their clients so they can help them address long-term challenges, in addition to giving them a bed for a night.

And grief affects everyone differently, including children. After the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue, members of the Rodef Shalom congregation are coming together to teach adults about how children cope with trauma. WESA’s Sarah Schneider reports that some kids show signs of aggression or become withdrawn, while others process trauma by playing with toys. The event this weekend is free and open to the public. 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
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