Pili Pala has grown into a thriving small business with a desire to design and create products that are unique and distinct, whilst utilising our self-taught production techniques that incorporate sustainable Tasmanian wood, resin and either our own paintings or vintage paintings.
MEET HELEN MANSBRIDGE- FOUNDER, DESIGNER AND MAKER
Pili Pala started as a hobby for Helen Mansbridge in 2009 when she attended several local markets with her handmade wares. Her products proved to be popular and as she expanded the range she gained enough confidence in the business to quit her job and take on Pili Pala full-time at the beginning of 2010. Pili Pala now employs 3 staff who work either in the studio or in customer service at market stalls. You'll find Helen or Jo every Saturday at our market stall in Salamanca, Tasmania, and even occasionally at other boutique markets in a selection of capital cities throughout Australia.
With a degree in Speech Pathology, Helen has not had training in Arts, however, the techniques used to create the Pili Pala range are all self-taught and refined after years of trial-and-error. The brand has a strong emphasis on designing unique products from the ground up and over time has developed a distinct identity. As for the long-term goals for Pili Pala, as far as Helen's concerned; 'the sky's the limit'.
WHAT DOES PILI PALA MEAN?
Pili Pala is the Welsh word for butterfly. Helen's daughter Poppy (the first born of 2 children) was born in Wales whilst on a working holiday. They wanted to give her a Welsh middle name, but found most of them utterly impossible to say. 'Acela' was chosen as her middle name, but 'Pili Pala' came up and along with the fun sound of it, it was a word they could actually say. 'Pili Pala' became Poppy's nickname. Hence, after Helen got accepted into her very first market, it was the first thing that came to mind. And so it stuck and seems to represent this brand that has, with a lot of grit and creativity, taken flight.