Artisan Organization: Siranya
Country: Central America
"I grew up in a warm family even though my parents separated when I was a little child. But I still had my grandparents who took very good care of me until I grew up.
"We were a small family in Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand. We earned our income selling ready-to-eat food at a small-town bus station. Every evening after school, I liked to help Grandma sell food. And every Saturday and Sunday, I carried food to sell aboard the bus when it stopped and parked to pick up passengers. We would have about half an hour to sell to the passengers In this way, I was able to earn the money for my school expenses from a young age. I felt very proud that I could make my own money when I was only ten years old.
"I've loved to draw and write since I was young. When the school had an art or writing competition, I was often selected to compete and I received an award or a certificate almost every time. I feel that when a person does something well, you must concentrate and put your imagination into it. And that has helped make me to do things well.
"I eventually finished my education with a degree in marketing. Because my favorite hobby is drawing, I was thinking about doing something with it that could bring in an income. I started with drawing pictures and writing good poems on stencil paper. Then I'd frame these to sell. People loved them and bought them, and I felt proud every time they did and. Later, I started crafting handmade designs.
"After getting married, I moved into my husband's house. We had guesthouse near the Thai-Laos border with a coffee shop and Internet service. We also open a shop to sell clothing and handmade jewelry, and I helped him.
"I craft jewelry and used to sell most of it to pedestrians on village streets. During the high season, a lot of tourists come to shop. There is a border crossing in our small town and foreigners like to visit here.
"We have two children, a daughter and a son. As they grew older, we began thinking about moving to the city where they could attend a good school. So we did.
"My responsibility is to drive our children to school and back but I still make handmade jewelry as my hobby and I sell it on the streets and also in a market near my house. In the city, I'm able to find a wide selection of materials easily. One day in the market, I met Samart and he introduced me to NOVICA. This is a wonderful opportunity to design jewelry for people around the world! I hope you like it and I'd love to hear your comments.""