"Contrary to my father's wishes, I studied architecture at Rajamangla University. He thought there was no money to be made from it, but it helped that my sister had already studied the same degree, and that she let me have her old notes and equipment. At the time, we...
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"Contrary to my father's wishes, I studied architecture at Rajamangla University. He thought there was no money to be made from it, but it helped that my sister had already studied the same degree, and that she let me have her old notes and equipment. At the time, we didn't have the economic means to buy new things.
"I found a job in a construction company for the first three months after I graduated, but given the country's economic crisis, the company closed down. I went home and tried to earn a living by selling fruits and vegetables.
"I am the third of seven siblings, and I am now married and have two daughters. One day, I saw my sister making a billboard with saa
(mulberry) paper and I liked so much what she was doing, that I decided to make my own creations too, but I needed a concept that would be my own. It took me a while to come up with an idea, until one day when I made a joke about my sister's married name, Kotchasan. It means elephant, and being the symbol of Thailand, I thought it would be very appropriate. Since then, my life change drastically.
"I view my work as a means to promote an aspect of Thai culture for you see, making saa
paper is a centuries' old tradition. Coupled with images of elephants, I've created a collection of cards and lanterns that are very Thai in essence.
"I rented a small workshop where I could make my cards and lanterns, and my father came-in to help. We were doing nicely, we even got a big order from a Japanese client. Unfortunately, the economy kept plummeting, and the landlord decided to increase the rent, which I wasn't able to pay anymore. I decided to work from home, and my family rallied round to help.
"At first, I couldn't believe that I would prosper in this business because saa paper is lower in price compared to other types of paper. I have learned that if you mix art and love for your work, you can find success.
"My main theme is elephants and their families, so I depict a mother elephant and her calf, or a father playing with his young. I want to show the love between them, and the wonder of family relationships.
"My husband, my kids and my sister's family help me out. We can't afford to hire employees, so we help each other. When you acquire our cards or lanterns, you'll be able to tell it is the result of a family's team effort. Besides my family, happiness comes from my art.
"I heard about Novica one day, when I was listening to the radio. I became very interested and I am now very impressed with their kindness, and for offering me the opportunity to show my products."