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Ning Charoensri

Artisan Organization: Ning Charoensri

Country: Thailand

"Sawasdee ka, my name is Atchareeya Charoensri, and my nickname is Ning. I come from a family of farmers, but I didn't want to this for the rest of my life so I studied hard in order to have more options. I passed the entrance exam for the university. After graduating I began to work so I could share my income with my family.

"I have a sister and a brother who are married and have careers of their own. I'm single and live with my mom who unfortunately has cancer. I love her so much and hope she'll always be happy. I look after her and even though my brother and sister live away and have their own lives, we are very close and love and encourage each other.

"After university I began to work for a shipping company. They sent me to England and France, and even though it was a great learning experience I realized I wanted to work for myself - to be my own boss. I decided to combine the experience I had gained with my passion for art and interior decoration.

"When I started I encountered many obstacles; competition was rife and finances were low. But I never gave up. I knew if I tried my best I would succeed. I love designing new lines and developing new products. The actual production of our items is done by a group of men who are very experienced carvers. I also love meeting new people through my work.

"I feel proud to showcase the beauty of Thai culture and traditions. I am also a master of ceremonies for the Loy Kratong festival. I love to dress up in traditional northern Thai costumes and my motto is 'make of today the best I can, be myself, be favorable, think and do it, don't interrupt others and don't waste time.'""