"Now that our parents have retired, they have more time to visit us. They are so happy that we are carrying on their silver jewelry tradition!"
"My dream is to one day have a jewelry workshop and produce my own designs. My parents are jewelers and created made to order jewelry in our home. Because I've had the opportunity to observe the process and even to help out sometimes, I'd like to continue this family tradition. I enjoy it a lot. After college, I worked two years for a jewelry company and gained experience in new techniques.
"My name is Jantana, but people usually shorten it to Na. I'm the youngest of five children. When my brother and sister married, each moved to stay with their new families, but continued to work with jewelry by setting up workshops in their new locations. I visited my sister and her husband in Northern Thailand where they produce silverware in their home. She invited me to help her. Because I really like the region, I resigned at work and moved to Chiang Mai to live with my sister's family.
"She and her husband have 12 silversmiths who collaborate with them. It is a small workshop and they all work together happily like brothers and sisters. One of the women cannot speak, however she is learning to assemble simple pieces, clean the silver, etc. She's been much happier since she started working with us and I'm proud to help her achieve a better life.
"While assisting my sister, I've also been able to develop designs of my own. Every time a shopper admires my work, this makes me very happy and gives me greater motivation. My designs are crafted by hand – almost every step of the process. Sometimes I create a piece of jewelry designed by an artist to display in museums, both inside and outside Thailand. I also create jewelry for new generation designers who want to test their market with small quantities. Some of my jewelry has been specially designed and hand crafted for Novica.
"I'm so happy to be living in Northern Thailand and to work at something I enjoy. My sister's family is warm and lovely, and I'm pleased to help her take care of her daughter and son. Now that our parents have retired, they have more time to visit us. They are so happy that we are carrying on their silver jewelry tradition!"