The story began in 2009 while in my final year at university. With a love of sushi and a complete inability to use chopsticks I was facing an embarrassing dilemma. Surely there had to be a better way I thought! A little research and several emails later I embarked on a trip to China to develop ‘Funstix’ – a product that made using chopsticks easier. I produced my first 5000 pairs thinking it would be an ideal product for Asian Restaurants.
With great enthusiasm I went door to door, from restaurant to restaurant but with no luck. I’d almost given up when my mother rang me, “Our house is not a storage facility, why don’t you see if my friend could sell them in her homewares store?” Typically my mother was right and Funstix burst into the retailers Australia wide. By Christmas 2010 we’d sold in excess of 200 000 pairs of Funstix to over 300 retailers nationwide.
“With a love of sushi and a complete inability to use chopsticks I was facing an embarrassing dilemma.”
Funstix continued to grow in popularity in 2011 and with over 500 stores retailing the product we were looking to add more practical and colourful ideas to the range. Seeing the many wonderful benefits of melamine, we developed Barel Designs, a colourful range of shatterproof crockery available in 12 colours. By the end of the year we had moved to our 450 square metre warehouse in Botany NSW.
Barel Designs was being distributed and making it’s way to homes and businesses right across Australia. By late 2012 Hospitality venues, Childcare Centres and a host of industries also began seeing the value in Barel Designs Melamine. The Australian Hotels Association recognised Barel Designs as an approved preferred supplier for hospitality venues throughout NSW and subsequently venues across the country were serving food and drinks with our melamine and customers loved it.
The wide range of colours was something very well received by our customers. By the end of 2013 we had increased the range to 21 colours. We had become Australia’s most colourful homewares brand and began developing our website.
In 2014 our e-commerce website was launched, making it easier for our Australian customers to purchase and enjoy our products.
We look forward to continuing to develop our range of products and colours and remain committed to providing excellence not only through the quality of our products but also through our quality in customer service, something we certainly do not underestimate.
We look forward to extending and expanding our range and working closely with our customers to provide the very best quality, style and service.