Rainbird Umbrellas was established in 1982, alongside a business that traded as 'Norlee' - an Australian manufacturer of screen printed vinyl bags supplied mainly to schools. This move took place with the formation of a partnership between the principal of 'Norlee', and one of the family members that had previously been with Phillips and House Pty Ltd (Shelta).
The manufacture of bags locally was discontinued in favour of imports, and fairly soon it was decided to focus exclusively on the supply of umbrellas for the retail market. This move brought Rainbird into direct competition with the respected and long established Australian umbrella brands - 'Shelta' from Phillips and House, and 'Protecta' from Clifton H. Joseph.
Rainbird provided customers with a genuine choice in a staid marketplace, and with the quality of the product and competitive pricing offered, Rainbird soon gained credibility in the marketplace. Although the initial focus was the supply of retail outlets, soon Rainbird began supplying umbrellas to suit the needs of corporate Australia. Custom built and screen printed umbrellas added another facet to the Rainbird Umbrellas business, and the willingness to differentiate product to suit customer needs
With the promotions industry developing, Rainbird Umbrellas was one of the group of businesses that was instrumental in the founding of the Australian Promotional Products Association (APPA). It has always been one of the aims of Rainbird to support the distributors of promotional products to corporate Australia - recognizing the key role they play in the promotional products supply chain.