The idea of TillaPallo - or something similar which is TillaPallo these days - came during a trip to California several years ago, where Patrik, one of the founders of TillaPallo was attending an annual science conference. Wondering the streets of San Diego and the SF Bay Area, he got excited by some special flower and design shops offering unusual plants for home decoration, thriving without soil. These were Tillandsia, a.k.a air plants and they really looked cool, however, getting specific information about each species was hard and air plant kits offered in those shops often lacked content. During the flight back to Finland, Patrik realized that these plants, and plants inside a preferably handmade ornament would be a really good fit to contemporary Nordic design while being a curiosity for plant lovers. The concept of creating air plant terrariums in a "Scandinavian way" was born, but it was something too demanding to start without a partner.
Eszter, the head of TillaPallo nowadays, met Patrik in the summer of 2015. Not that much later in the autumn, she moved to Turku, Finland from her home country Hungary, ready to start a new chapter in her life, while Patrik kept going with his biological researches. She was unsure about what's next but knew that she had a thing for having an own business. As they both love design items and organic materials conceptualized as interior decoration, Patrik came up with the idea of creating air plant terrariums in Finland – and the discussions about a potential business started pretty much immediately. Eszter was amazed by the world of Tillandsia air plants and the fact that home decoration items and handmade products are so welcomed in Finland. Falling quickly in love with the Nordic minimalism and with Finnish nature simultaneously, they have started to give birth to TillaPallo. Even the name went through on several iterations, but they ended up using "tillapallo", which is a tribute to air plants and also to Finnish language: Tilla comes from the name of Tillandsia and pallo is the Finnish name for orb.
In late 2015, an Etsy webshop was established and test-run with the first terrariums created with the fuzziest and most interesting air plants started: ionantha, argentea, pruinosa, caput medusae, bergeri, and others. The fact of using hand-picked, organic components from the Nordic nature, such as filtered sand and searock from the shores of the Baltic Sea, pinecone, moss, lichen, stones and other seasonal harvests from the beautiful and rich forests made TillaPallo unique.
One of the milestones dates back to 2016 when TillaPallo had the opportunity to showcase their terrariums in South-West Finland's probably coolest design shop (PUF Design Market) which is focusing on local design products. TillaPallo got lots of positive feedback, and every single one gave a push to move things forward. After many months of searching, in 2016 Eszter and Patrik met a family-run glass manufacture, Lasi-Kostamo near Turku, who were able to produce handblown glass orb terrariums with traditional methods for them. Besides being fully local, the quality of the glass was improved as well.
By the fall of 2017, TillaPallo got a new branding and finally became registered as a company. The renewal includes a re-designed logo, a whole new website, and new, gift-wrapped and handmade packaging, preferring materials from Finland - all of this represented along with a new collection. Today TillaPallo is having orders from all over the world through the internet, attending Finnish design and handcraft fairs and working together with retail stores.