"In the future, I will create silks featuring colors and designs that blind people will be able to read, perhaps involving the Braille code."
"My name is Amnuay Khusiricharoenphanit and I was born in the northeastern lands of Thailand on August 25, 1974.
In Thailand, if you are ordained as a monk before getting married, you get ordained out of respect for your mother. If you do so after marriage, it is assumed you did so for your wife - which wouldn't please your mother. I ordained as a monk for a month, before I married my sweetheart. We now have two daughters and a son. We spend a lot of time together and we are a warm and close family. I hope I am the best father and husband there can be. I love them so much.
"After high school, I went to study in Bangkok for four years. Then my family opened a petrol station and I went back home to help. Sadly, one of my brothers died in an accident and I stayed, abandoning my studies, to take care of the station. When one of my other brothers got married, I let him look after the petrol station, allowing me to look for what I wanted to do. My hometown is renowned for its silk, so silk was the first idea that came to my mind. The raw material is grown, made, and woven locally. It is easy to find, without the fear of it ever running out.
"Although I grew up in a silk-making environment, I didn't know much about silk at the time. So, I started to roam Surin province, learning the traditional patterns, the dyeing techniques and weaving process, as well as how silks are generally traded. The beauty of the patterns and designs mesmerized me. I was also taken aback with how much time the artisans spend on each work, yet they sell at a very low price. The prices did not reflect the time and skill invested.
"Initially, I thought to purchase some silks to resell them with a profit, and perhaps change my business to something else later. However, when I started to meet the silk people, I realized this was really what I wanted to do. I could make a living working with something beautiful, stay home, and help the weavers. Also, Thai silk represents our culture well, and our way for life. We have been making clothes out of silk for a very long time. For me, it is gratifying to participate in preserving this legacy.
"There are 200 families living in my village, and with the popularity and tradition of silk weaving here, every household dyes or weaves, either professionally or as a spare time activity. Everybody participates to a certain extent in the production and marketing. Everyone in our village lives and works in peace and harmony. There are no financial problems here, or anything like that.
"Normally silk is cut to make traditional clothing for local villagers. We improved the dyeing and weaving techniques and thought of new patterns and designs. We wanted our silks to be distinguished, of good quality and have certain unique characteristics. We don't use any chemical products. The threads are dyed with colors from natural ingredients. To wear silk products made with such threads is really good for the skin. We believe it can give a longer life. Our work has been recognized, and in 2005, we were awarded first prize in a regional silk competition.
"When I work, I use my time carefully. The effort must be worthwhile, and I must be efficient. I must have good feelings, and be fully ready to work. What is it I cannot do? - this is my personal challenge. I like to discover and research things that other people can't do - beautiful things – and give life to them.
"In the future, I will create silks featuring colors and designs that blind people will be able to read, perhaps involving the Braille code. Besides running my own workshop, I am president of an organization that helps and supports local artisans and villagers to receive fair revenue from their silk work.
"I am glad to have met Novica. Your promotion of our local Thai products around the world is great. Thank you for giving us the chance to sell through your channel, and to be part of your family. I would also like to thank customers worldwide for giving us a chance, and for your patronage. Our products are made using ancestral processes, yet developed so as to increase the quality of the finished products. I would be glad and honored if you love the beauty and quality of our silks as much as we do. Thank you."