Our Story

At Duupla we create Lap Trays which would only qualify to enter our own home. We make Lap Trays sturdy, attractive and stylish simply because we like them this way. Then, we use only fabrics which we fall for and we put it all together to create the Duupla Lap Tray, which is fully handmade, from beginning to end. No mass production or computerised machines involved. Our fabrics is our strenght, our wooden tops our pride and the Duupla Lap Tray is therfore unique.

How our story started

Our story started abroad, around the wood stove of a Canadian house banked by a powerful river. A cheaply made lap desk was laying on the sofa and although it was weak and  unattractive, we instantly saw its usefulness. But it had to be modified to earn the license “allowed to get in our house”!

Once back home in Portugal, François, the woodworker among us two, started making wooden tops. A few variations were made with diffent sizes, thickness and material. In the mean time, Natacha, the seamstress, started fitting together the cushion. The first Duupla Lap Tray was made. We used it in our house for months and loved its practicality.

Early Duupla developments

It was 2008 and the financial crisis was bitting. We wanted to see if the Lap Tray would sell and help earning a bit of extra money. We made twenty of them and participated at a local Lisbon fair. They were all sold in a few hours. Happy with the result, we made more but experience was kicking in…there were better materials to use and construction could be stronger and more attractive. Design started to settle in. We invested in fabulous fabrics and built what is now the Original Duupla Lap Tray, made with a polished and varnished OSB top.

What now

We now have customers in more than 25 countries on three continents and the appreciation for our Duupla Lap Trays keeps rising. We are designing a new top and will share this news shortly. Our Original Duupla Lap Tray will remain available.

About us

François, a co-founder of Duupla, aquired his handyman skills in the backyard of is parents’ Canadian home when his father decided to build a custom sailboat from scratch as a retirement project. The learning curve was steep but rich in teachings. Although wood working was never a main source of revenue, the handyman skills remained present. His studies brought him to work for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, Amnesty  International and the United Nations in London, Rwanda, Sarajevo, Kinshasa, Senegal, Kenya, Mali and finally in Lisbon where he ended up meeting Natacha.

Natacha, a co-founder of Duupla, has a Master’s Degree in costume and set design from University College of London. Her skills were developped at the National Ballet Company of Portugal, various television sets and ballet costume designs for ballet schools across Portugal.

Origin of the  “Duupla” name:

Duupla comes from “dupla” in Portuguese meaning litteraly “double” but aslo “a pair” or “a team of  people”. Since we both put into practice a knowhow to produce the Lap Trays, we thought of naming that collaboration “dupla” or to make it trendier, Duupla.