"I want to… build a shelter for homeless dogs and cats. When I see them curled up and sleeping on the footpath in winter or without even a place to hide when it rains, I feel like crying."
"I'm Naphat Nitivorapaht or you can call me Sue. I was born in Bangkok in 1965 and grew up there. I once had a dream of studying photography but my father didn't allow it because he wanted me to become an accountant. Back then, many parents wanted their children to study accounting because they believed any business needs an accountant. I did as he asked, even though I didn't like it.
"My interest in jewelry began when I was young. I saw jewelry of all kinds in the shop showcases and I wondered why it was so costly and where the materials come from. After I graduated, a friend suggested I work in a jewelry factory. I started as a diamond selector — the shiny diamonds brought me to this career.
"After my first job, I moved to another jewelry company as a gemstone selector. I tried to quickly get to know each type of jewelry, then I worked in another jewelry factory where my boss taught me about jewelry crafting. I learned so much. I worked in jewelry for about 20 years and every company was managed by foreigners. I never had a Thai boss.
"The last company I worked with was American. I had to move to Chiang Mai, where I worked as a factory manager and was also responsible for quality control. Then they asked me to move to India and invited me to control the quality so I trained until I met their standards. Eventually, though, I came back to Chiang Mai and started my own workshop because some of the clients didn't want to buy from outside Thailand. This is how I started out on my own.
"Today, I have 15 people working with me and we feel like a family. There is no tension or stress and, together, we focus on quality.
"My former employers have always trusted me and this makes me proud. I always look for new opportunities and try to improve as a person every day. I've never stuck with only one aspect of a job and, in fact, I've also worked in restaurants, a frame shop, and more. But it seems my destiny always brings me back to jewelry.
"I have so many dreams! Some might come true, others will not. But I want to acquire a large piece of land and build a shelter for homeless dogs and cats. When I see them curled up and sleeping on the footpath in winter or without even a place to hide when it rains, I feel like crying. This is my biggest dream but I strongly hope that I'll be able to make it come true, no matter how hard it is.
"Now, with Novica, I hope to sell more jewelry and help people in my workshop to improve their skills."