The Goldfish Toyshop odyssey began in 1988 when owners, Elisa and Roel where backpacking through Bali on their way to Italy where they managed a small camping ground and cafe in a little known valley near Lago Maggiore in the far north.
It was then that they bought their first mobile from Ketut Nik - a softly spoken and rather shy Balinese man, who sold his mobiles from a little porch in front of his home.
Little did they know that this humble mobile was to become the catalyst for Goldfish!
Arriving in Italy, Ketut's mobile was hung as a pretty decoration near the cash register in the cafe Elisa managed where, over the following weeks she had many requests from guests to purchase it.
It was then that a light went on!!!! In a moment of inspiration and realising she still had his little card with an address, Elisa put some money in an envelope and sent a simple letter asking Ketut Nik if he could send some more of his mobiles to Italy. Hopefully there would be someone in Ketut's small village who could translate!
Over the next few months, more and more guests asked to buy the mobile, but still nothing had turned up.Then miraculously almost 4 months later, a card from the POSTA arrived. ..business could begin!!!!
Later that year upon their return to Australia via Bali, Elisa and Roel went to see Ketut but it was not until they tried to order more mobiles in different colours that they realised the difficulties Ketut had been working under.
Met with blank stares, they realised that Ketut had NO other colours….and he had only one brush!
So, marching across the road to a small hardware store and Elisa and Roel promptly purchased tins of paint, sandpaper, brushes, string, knives..everything he would need to make these beautiful mobiles!!
Their efforts were repaid with the most wonderful smile and eventually, beautiful mobiles and a lasting friendship with both Ketut and his extended family Goldfish Toys was born.
From those humble beginnings both Elisa and Roel have striven to work ethically and equitably with all their craftspeople. With mutual respect, deep understanding and much humour Goldfish gifts developed and grew..supplying hundreds of stores with their beautiful handcrafted toys and mobiles.
In 2010, ITSA (The Independent Toy Specialists Association) awarded Elisa and Roel two national awards for their designs of the Art Boards and Balloon ball..unique colourful toys totally handmade in Bali.
An organisation representing a select group of specialised toy-stores around Australia, ITSA is serious about toys and carefully selects toys based on outstanding features and play value.
The Balloon ball won best new novelty toy for its innovative design with its brightly coloured fabric cover and balloon inside. Simply inflate the balloon and you have an instant ball which can be thrown, bounced, rolled and hit.
The Ballon Ball has become an extremely popular gift at the Goldfish Toyshop and being totally handmade in a Bali small village where little commercial production occurs, it has provided a much welcome income for many of the ladies.
Like the Ballon Balls, the Art Boards are also handmade by another small community in the north of Bali and come in a variety of colours and designs and brighten up any space and proudly show off your child's artworks.
For Elisa and Roel, these simple but attractive toys sum up the entire Goldfish Toyshop approach - a community based collaboration that both builds and supports the artisans who make these beautiful toys whilst providing much joy and delight to all who purchase them.