(Picture caption: Noeleen Tuala's Pacific heritage is one of, if not the largest influence behind her business, PELE Baby.)
Being able to represent her Pacific heritage in her mahi has been a dream come true for “Polytraneur” and owner of PELE Baby, Noeleen Tuala.
Born and raised in South Auckland, and still based in Manurewa, Noeleen is of Samoan and Tongan descent, which is proudly reflected in her business launched in December 2022.
“From dream, to conception my heritage is one of, if not the largest influence behind PELE,” Noeleen says.
“Being able to provide a product that helps babies represent their culture on one of our playmats or with our Minky and capsule covers, is priceless for me and shows me that others feel the same way.
“They want their babies to represent their cultures the exact same way I felt when the idea for PELE came about.”
The inspiration for PELE Baby started when the nana of four had found it impossible to find any quality, Pacific-designed baby playmats for Noeleen’s grandchildren.
“After a long year of prepping by working late into the night after coming home from my fulltime job, building my website with no IT qualifications, deciding on the perfect designs and colors and ensuring quality.”
Since launching the brand, the response Noeleen and the business have received has exceeded expectation, she adds.
“I knew I loved our products but I never dreamt others would love them just as much.
“The business has grown from strength to strength, with sold out items, several restocks and two new products introduced all within nine months.”
Noeleen says support for PELE from the Pacific community has been overwhelming, with fellow small business owners and strangers reaching out to tell her how proud they are of her.
On reflection, Noeleen says PELE Baby is more than a business, selling beautiful Pacific-inspired products.
“I have the ability to help others whether it be in the form of some advice on how to get their business started, collaborations or sharing their business webpage.
“It is all relevant to what I see as the biggest goal which is for our Pacific small business owners to go mainstream - why should our products be niche and only available online or in select stores?
“There is a large gap, I see it and I am doing all I can to close it and I believe it can be achieved if we come together, and there is so much untapped potential in our Pacific communities and we need to help each other shine.
“With belief in yourself and a leap of faith, anything is possible.”
With big future plans for PELE Baby, Noeleen is busy working behind the scenes to make them happen.
“My list of things to do is a long one, with being able to run PELE Baby fulltime at the top of the list.
“I am launching three new products before the end of the year and I hope everyone loves them.
“My motto is, if I wouldn’t buy it for my grandkids, I won’t sell it.”
Visit the PELE Baby website for more information.