About Chrysalis for Women

“Being in business on your own can be lonely. And very daunting. Chrysalis gives you friendship, support, and opportunities to learn in a fun and supportive environment.”  Julia FitzGerald

A network for

Wellington women wanting to grow and develop their business.

The Chrysalis for Women business network began in 2013 for women in small to medium sized businesses, keen to grow their business while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

We offer an affordable, no pressure, fun and friendly environment for Wellington business women to get together and achieve their business goals.

If you want to grow your business, connect with others in a networking community, learn, find inspiration, and form friendships, then Chrysalis is for you.

We help you grow your business confidence, gain skills, knowledge and inspiration, one step at a time, as you travel on your business journey.

No matter what stage your business is at, whether you are just starting out or are well established, Chrysalis has something to offer.

Membership opens the door to a supportive community where you can meet interesting business women; promote your services; be inspired by speakers and gain new clients and business growth ideas.  There’s also opportunities to form business partnerships with other members. It’s a case of what you put in is what you get out.

If you aren’t already a part of the group, come along to a meeting and see if it’s what you are looking for. We look forward to meeting you.

Who are we?

Iona Elwood-Smith

Co-ordinator and Business Director

“I had been attending Chrysalis regularly for a year when Kim approached me about working together. I found Chrysalis to be welcoming and supportive, very different from other groups I tried out. I had met some great women, worked with many, and really saw the potential in Chrysalis. I was, and am, inspired by what Kim has built and feel hugely privileged to be involved in creating this business journey we have developed together, to make a difference in the lives of everyday women in business. “

Iona is the owner of Grow My Business, a Wellington web design agency that focuses on growing your business through your website.

Grow My Business was born in response to the need for small businesses to get awesome websites at a price they could afford, that can grow as their business grows.

With a background in business strategy, working with startups as well as global businesses Iona fundamentaly belives getting it right for your website helps you get it right throughout your business. 


Our Advisory Board

Kim Chamberlain

Angela Bensemann

Halo Communications

“Belonging to Chrysalis has changed the way I view my business opening my eyes to opportunities for growth and development. I’ve found my tribe and love networking with likeminded business women.”

Angela  has run Halo Communications for 15 years. She wanted to work for herself to get a better work/life balance and be the boss. She knows what it’s like to leap into the unknown and how to navigate the pitfalls.

Angela’s a seasoned fighter of fires having previously worked as a journalist and then as a communicator in the health sector, as national media manager for the Department of Corrections and as a senior advisor in the local government sector.

She set up Halo Communications in 2005 to provide quality strategic communications planning, support and advice to businesses and organisations concerned about getting it right.

Based in the Wellington region, Halo Communications supports clients from across the spectrum: private, local and central government.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, Angela specialises in communications planning following through with the implementation of the activities identified in the planning phase.

Relationships are key – she has built strong relationships with her clients over many years, watching their businesses and organisations evolve and flourish.

Angela has been a member of the Chrysalis Advisory Board since January 2019.

Kim Chamberlain

“I have been a member of Chrysalis for over 3 years now and in that time my business has expanded and grown due to the connections I have made. Whilst I have had a number of referrals for my business through the networking, for which I am grateful, it has been the connection to others in industries where I have required support such as website design, or marketing or sales, where I have gained the most.  Chrysalis provides a solo-trader like myself the opportunity to meet like minded women; gain business knowledge and skills; build friendships; and it is also an opportunity to give back as well.  I highly recommend Chrysalis and its members. “

As New Zealand’s first Certified Havening Techniques Trainer, Frances is passionate about raising the profile of this amazing tool in New Zealand.

She is a life coach, mentor and trainer who draws upon her many skills and life experiences to help clients create positive change.

Highly educated in a variety of effective methodologies and practises, Frances’ level of knowledge across multiple disciplines sets her apart. Frances is skilled in the techniques of Psych-K, life coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Havening Techniques and much more. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Professional Development and is an extended DiSC behaviour profiling consultant..

Frances also possesses a huge amount of life experience to draw on. She’s served in the British Army, worked for the New Zealand Police and for Northern Ireland Probation Services and has held a variety of other roles within government organisations across the UK, Northern Ireland and New Zealand. 

Kim Chamberlain

Ann Woolston

Smartway Builders

I have been a Chrysalis member for 6 years, I love what it is about and having watched it evolve and grow into what it now has on offer for women in business.  Feel especially privileged and excited to be part of the Chrysalis Advisory Board in helping set the growth and sustainability of Chrysalis going forward.

Ann is the Director/Owner of Smartway Builders along with her husband Howard.

They do renovations, additions and new builds in the greater Wellington area, from Kapiti coast to south coast, up the Hutt Valley and everywhere in between.  They offer an end to end service and wrap their arms around the entire project.  They love to get involved with their clients at the start of the project when they are thinking about what they might want to do, as they can then help them understand what their dreams are likely to cost before they outlay large amounts of money and then find they can’t afford to do the building project, so many times we hear, “if I had only known that at the start then I would have taken a different decision”

Once they have the dreams and budget in alignment they will work with the various specialists to get the detailed drawings, council permission and provide you with a  Lump Sum price for your project.

They will put together the building team along with the various sub trades needed to complete your project then handover the key for you to enjoy your new space.  They run their business on 5 key principles Quality of Work, Agreed Budget, Agreed Timeframe, Good Communication, that creates a Trusted Relationship and the clients at the end go WOW that is exactly what I wanted.

Ann Woolston – Smartway Builders, Expertise On Every Level.

Kim Chamberlain
“Chrysalis is my favourite in-person business community. I always come away from the meetings feeding inspired and connected. Since becoming a member I’ve made several life-long friends, developed business partnerships, and experienced business growth. If your goal is to grow your business, and you want the support of other like-minded people, I highly recommend Chrysalis!”
Kat Soper is the founder of The Helpful Brand – Systems Strategy and Coaching Company, and The Helpful Academy – Online Training Centre for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses. She started The Helpful Brand 4 years ago initially as a flexible way to work around her family. But, it has grown into her dream role – helping people for a living and getting paid to do it.
Based in Wellington, both The Helpful Brand and The Helpful Academy serve clients from all over the globe. Kat’s goal is to help impact 10,000 small businesses and help them achieve their business goals.
Kat has been a member of the Chrysalis advisory board since June 2019

“Chrysalis provides a wealth of experience and knowledge for women and by women. It’s a warm, welcoming and supportive environment where members generously share their wisdom for the benefit of everyone. Not only have I learned but I have enjoyed!!”

Judith Yeabsley, The Confident Eater

Join our community

Wellington Womens Networking Group


(+64) 21 1838326