"So many wonderful arts and crafts originate in northern Thailand."
"I love the beauty of wood. I design each one of our mango wood pieces myself. Personally I like flowers, so much of my work shows floral motifs.
"Sawasdee kha! My name is Veena Seriburi. My name refers to a kind of stringed instrument.
"I was born on February 5, 1972 in Bangkok. My twin sister and I are the oldest of six children. When I was in primary school, my parents moved to Hong Kong, but my twin and I came back to Thailand to live when we were in 9th grade. After I received a bachelor's degree, I studied for a master's in the U.S. I then worked as a purchase officer there for two years. After four years in America, I came back to Thailand and worked for a Belgian company for four years. I became interested in exporting and I fell in love with handicrafts and their design.
"So many wonderful arts and crafts originate in northern Thailand and the people there are very friendly. They make me feel happy when I'm working with them. Relatives who live in Chiang Mai introduced me to mango wood, as it was a very popular art form at that time. I'd had enough of the big city, so I moved there to be near them. This was a major change in my life, because my friends and immediate family are all in Bangkok.
"I became interested in exporting when I was young, as my father usually traveled abroad. I wanted contact with foreigners and I love traveling. I wanted to learn about other countries' traditions as well. And after I graduated, I got to fulfill this dream.
"Besides designing the handicrafts I love, I am also able to give jobs to almost 40 people. Later on, these people can also carry on the woodcraft art as well, and this keeps me happy.
"I am honest with everyone because my parents taught me this, and to help others as much as I could. Sometimes I feel stressed, but I am content. I design with my heart, without thinking of profits. Once I dreamed that there was a design of mine in every home.
"I go to Bangkok every month and am always in contact with my family, so I'm not lonely. At first, my parents worried about me but when they saw my success, they supported me. They give me good suggestions and always cheer me up.
"Once I went abroad to a craft fair with my twin sister. Everyone confused the two of us and had trouble knowing which girl I was.
"When people like my designs, I feel happy and this motivates me to continue. It's wonderful to know that what I dreamed of came true."