Handcrafted with love


I take a lot of pride in my creations and in the people who bring them to life.

This feeling of creative love was something I needed to share with as many people as possible - And so Thimble was born.

The first Stitch

Our story begins in 2006. The setting; Thalahena, a little fishing village in Negombo. Its occupants; men who earned their living at sea, and women with an undiscovered potential to create. This is where our founder, Indira Tibblin, comes in.

Born with a passion for the arts, Indira let her talents manifest through whatever she could cut, chop, sew or paint on; creating vibrant wall hangings, tapestries, cushions and that would soon make life in Thalahena just as lively.

Being the proprietress of Villa Hundira also played a salient role in her “Eureka” moment; for this was where she grasped how far the power of her fingertips could go. Guests spoke highly of her work and set their hearts on taking a part of Sri Lanka’s flamboyance back home with them, but she did not have enough to go around. Thus came the epiphany, and so she set to work.

Thimble's elephant soft toys on a shelf

Venturing through Thalahena, Indira had her mind set on unearthing hidden talent; the people who would take her vision, and make it a reality. She would teach her skills to the women in the village, and they would craft what was so frequently sought after; satisfying her guests while simultaneously empowering these women who were once only known as daughters and wives.

This was about self-discovery and independence, and it was not something she would let pass.With these new techniques, the women created; each article representing a little piece of the island. With heeded hands they would bring pieces to life; wooden tuk-tuks seemed to almost sputter under each brushstroke, and hand-loomed elephants would trumpet as decorated caparisons were laid on them.

With a little imagination and perseverance, Thimble captured the essence of Sri Lanka. Gathered in an open courtyard studio, the women of Thalahena learnt the art of skill. They grew and began to understand their own strengths, and soon, they too became breadwinners. Instead of being burdened by what they lacked, they were now motivated by what they had.

Just like the community, Thimble too blossomed; we spread to hotel chains, boutique galleries and online stores that valued ethical trade. From within the borders of the village, our colours seeped across the country, the sea, and beyond.

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