T-Lab craftsmen begin carving these beautiful polepole animals by hand from an incredibly soft, light sustainable wood called Albizia, grown on T-Lab's farms in Indonesia. This natural wood gives each toy a sense of warmth that only natural products can do. Each animal is individually carved and so will have some variations. In other words, each one is unique. The carved wood is delicately sanded to create a smooth surface, sent to Japan and finally hand painted and finished in Japan with the sweetest expressions and patterns.
Why "polepole" (pronounced poh-leh poh-leh)? Polepole is a Swahili word that means "slowly, slowly" and each polepole animal is slowly and carefully hand-carved with care and attention to detail. These animals are so well made, they can be passed down as heirloom toys. There are woodland animals, safari animals, outback animals, jungle animals, farm animals and even pre-historic animals! We love them all and can't choose just one favorite.
From T-Lab: "Please enjoy our heart-warming animals, after all, the one that you hold in your hand is the only one in the world quite like it." At Alder and Alouette, we are in love with the individuality of each one and can't help but smile each time we hold one.