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Our History


Thai Design Distributors Ltd was founded in 1975, nearly 50 years ago, and we think the story of how it happened is amazing!

Lilia and Bill met while going to university in Malaysia.  They were both from Thailand, and they wanted to explore the world after graduation, so they headed West.  They hitchhiked through India, the Middle East, and Europe, and eventually ended up in England for a short stopover before heading to the United States.  Incredibly, they spent their first night in London at the Thai embassy, where a friend snuck them in and gave them a place to sleep.  They liked London so much, they decided to stay.

It was hard for the young couple to find jobs, so Lilia’s father started sending handicrafts from Bangkok, Thailand for them to sell in the UK.   Nothing really worked, until Lilia’s father sent some silver jewellery.  The high-quality craftsmanship and the low price were exceptional.  A shopkeeper suggested they should become a wholesaler, and so they founded Thai Design Distributors Ltd.

Originally, production was in Bangkok, but a lot of work was outsourced, causing delays and issues.  A new facility was purposely built in Chiang Mai to bring all the steps together under one roof, giving the team much more control.  Some of the same staff that moved from Bangkok to Chiang Mai still work in the business; a few even have children that have joined the team, which we are very proud of.  Likewise, Lilia and Bill’s own daughter, Kim, joined the family business over 20-years ago.

The business, and the industry, has changed a lot over the years.  While Thai Design continues to evolve, the strength of our craftsmanship and relationships remain exceptional.


Co-Founders Lilia & Bill at our head office in London back in 1981

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The team core staff


Kim, Managing Director


Managing Director and 3rd generation owner

As the daughter of co-founders Lilia and Bill, Kim, has been immersed in the jewellery industry her entire life.  She leads all the customer-facing aspects of the business:  Marketing, sales, design development, and customer service.  Cultivating relationships is her favourite part of the job, and she always does her best to be available to every customer.  Even when she is behind-the-scenes, she is diligently focused on ensuring that each customer is served well and cared for.  A Londoner by birth and at heart, she is loving life in Thailand, where is she best able to bridge the unique needs of customers with the expansive capabilities of our dedicated crafting facility.  Kim is deeply committed to all the staff in the UK and Thailand, and strives for progress throughout the business to ensure that it can carry on serving customers for many, many years to come.


 General Manager

The “other half” of our wife-and-husband team, Kelly, is responsible for all strategic, financial, supply-chain, and production matters.  Having joined the family business over a decade ago, he brings a modern industrial perspective to the traditional craft of jewellery-making.  Continuous improvement in efficiency and effectiveness are a constant focus, making our recent Lean manufacturing implementation a great fit. Sustainability is his other passion, driving ethical metal sourcing, shipping footprint, and our new social impact initiative to scale biochar-based solutions to CO2 and smoke from agricultural burning.

Kelly, General Manager
Yui, Head of Production


Head of Production

Yui’s enthusiasm and passion for jewellery production is obvious.  Hired in 2019 to help give the crafting facility a new direction, her leadership and positivity have been hugely impactful.  She has cultivated a talented leadership team and managed a rapidly expanding production team, all while overseeing orders and improvement projects.  Yui shares our excitement about all the amazing opportunities ahead, but it is always reassuring to see how committed she is to ensuring that each day is a success.  The details in jewellery production can be overwhelming, so we are lucky to have Yui’s oversight and direction to keep everything flowing smoothly.


Head of Development

Our Head of Design Development leads a strong team responsible for turning new design ideas into production-ready samples.  Mint joined the crafting facility in Thailand to help implement a formal Quality function, but was willing to support a transition of responsibilities in Development, and may have found her calling.  The Development team in Thailand, supported by Kim and our UK-based customer management staff are able to provide a high level of service.  Understanding specifications is just the start, as they utilize a range of innovative technologies (CAD, 3D printing, CNC stamping die cutting, etc.) and work closely with highly-skilled craftspeople to calculate expected pricing and to create physical samples.  Ensuring that the customer is happy and that the production team is set-up for success if/when an order is placed is the team’s guiding ambition.

Mint, Head of Development

Read more about our Design Development within our F&Q here


Headquartered in the United Kingdom and Thailand, our international teams work hand-in-hand to bring your products to life and support the success of your brand.

Uniquely, our sales support team is based in the UK to provide a special customer experience. We are actively broadening their presence to provide ever-better support for customers in North America, Europe, and Australia.

We are always happy to schedule visits to our sales office in the UK to discuss your designs or build ideas from our extensive in-house range.  Customers can also arrange a visit to our crafting facility in Thailand to see the production process first-hand and to experience the scenic beauty and unique artistry of Chiang Mai (allowing time for a well-deserved side trip to one of Thailand’s amazing beaches).


United Kingdom

Thai Design was founded in London in 1975 and moved to nearby Berkhamsted in 2022.  Our office is the heart of a historic market town with quaint cafes, boutique shops, and a wide-range of excellent restaurants, all conveniently located within 30-minutes of London by road or rail. 

Our proximity to Heathrow airport, a world-class hub for international travel, is a strategic advantage for importing and exporting



Located in a part of Chiang Mai that is renowned for high-quality handicrafts, we are able to draw on the rich talent of the local community.  Just down the road are artisans of ceramics, wood carving, silk weaving, paper, and more. 

Surrounded by lush mountains, and with far less concrete and traffic than Bangkok, time in Chiang Mai is more peaceful.  The local artistic spirit extends to its cuisine and locally-grown coffee.  A hotspot for digital nomads, Chiang Mai blends modern life and technology around the preserved walls and canals of its historic heart.

The Team


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Ethical Standards



Ready to Discuss Your Designs And Ideas?

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