Leilani Tunnage.

Born in Blenheim and growing up in remote locations around Australia, she went to boarding school in Christchurch.

After serving five years in the Royal New Zealand Airforce Leilani left to train as a Commercial Helicopter Pilot in Nelson.

Feeling the need to have a creative outlet for her artistic side, Leilani studied Furniture Design and Making in which her mechanical aptitude, further developed through her experiences as a pilot, meant Leilani could invest this knowledge into her designs to further push the boundaries of what she could achieve with her art.

After successfully running furniture/product design and making business Designpilot for several years she is now settled in Wellington with her husband Justin and loyal workshop apprentice/dogs, Moko and Pipi.

Pregnant with the soon to arrive newest member of the family, the future for Designpilot in its current form is uncertain.

Whatever it will look like, Leilani intends to find a balance between motherhood and keeping her passion for designing alive.

Find out more about Leilani's work here.

Watch Leilani's chat with Design Junkies host Shane Hansen: