- Thailand is pronounced [T AY-lae nd]
- Centuries ago, many Hmong people migrated to south Thailand due to political unrest. Because of this, many indigenous peoples live now in the northern parts of the country, in rural villages where there is no work.
- Prostitution is a pressing social problem. Approximately 200,000 to 500,000 prostitutes, usually from poor, rural areas, are forced to sell their bodies to help their families survive. This contributes to the approximately 440,000 Thai people living with AIDS.
- Education and employment opportunities for women are limited, and many women and children lack adequate health care.
ABOUT OUR PARTNERSHIP
This artisan group’s primary focus is on restoring and empowering the strength of women in Thailand, as artists and designers. This group is proud to work with a beautiful array of diversity, from the Karen Hill tribe, to the Thai people, to the Hmong women in the mountains. One group of people they partner with is a group of women in a small town. The only viable job opportunity in the town is typically farming. Farming is hard and so many women end up moving to the city to find work and send money home. This unfortunately, creates a separation of the mother from her children and family. We are so proud that this group is dedicated to helping mothers stay in their hometown and find work, giving them the ability to stay with their families and take care of their children.
Another people this artisan group helps empower are the Hmong. The Hmong are an Asian ethnic group originally from South China. Due to political unrest, they migrated through China, Laos, and Burma, and many of them found their place in the remote regions of Northern Thailand. While nearly a million Hmong are native to the land, they still live in remote locations, making it difficult for finding jobs. They love to practice their ancient traditions of textiles, passed down through generations, and we love that we can help show their artistry to the world through our beautiful coin purses in the back office.
In the Karen Hill Tribe, a people that also resides in the mountains of remote Northern Thailand, we were able to help raise funds to establish a wifi tower, brought sewing machines to these remote villages, and gifted them with a water well to make water access easier! We love being able to use these resources to gift people with sustainability.
This group loves working with such a wide variety of Thailand, helping so many groups of people through keeping families together, preserving historic artistry, and empowering women to be creative business ladies!
THE ARTISANS: SA
Co-founder Chelsie had the pleasure of meeting Sa while visiting our artisan groups in Thailand. Sa buys fabric and oversees purchasing at our Thai artisan group. This means that she visits different groups and marketplaces to find new trends and fabrics for our products. She loves that she can do something that gives her so much freedom and independence to make creative decisions. Sa grew up outside of the city in a small town and she shared that many in the town had limited ideas of how a girl should act. Sa was blessed with parents that encouraged her to dream big and be independent. She decided to move to the city and become the main purchaser of materials for this group and loves making a difference while being artistic!
THE ARTISANS: AOI
Co-founder Chelsie visited a woman named Aoi (Pronounded Oyyye) who started a part of our Thai group. She grew up in a small village, but left to pursue business. She ended up coming back because she was passionate about her community. She wanted to give the women in her community an opportunity outside of farming. If they don’t end up farming, many women in her village leave their homes, sometimes without their families, to go work in big cities and to send the money back. Aoi shared that she loved that she can give a creative opportunity to these women while they are able to stay home with their families. We did an interview with her and she was so proud to do it in her office area. She is such an amazing and intelligent business woman. Her workshop is run immaculately and she had an incredible system that I admired and was picking her brain about!
ABOUT THAILAND SOURCES: