An interview with Tinh
Meet our artisan partner, Tinh, a talented entrepreneur from the Thai ethnic minority. We visited Tinh at her home in Hanoi and learned more about her cooperative in Nghe An province, Thai traditional crafstmanship and future business plans.
WC: When did you learn to sew and design your clothes?
T: I learned at a very young age from my mother, it’s part of our tradition that young women learn how to sew their own outfits by the time they are teenagers. I did my first traditional skirt when I was 14 years old. My grandfather built my traditional loom and I had it shipped all the way to Hanoi so I can keep my heritage close to me.
WC: How often do you wear the traditional outfits in your village?
T: We wear them everyday, that is why we make sure they are beautiful and we take the time to work in each little detail.
WC: Tell us more about your cooperative and the products your team makes:
T: I started this project in 2010 in Hoa Tien village, Nghe An province. With the support of my family I was able to grow the cooperative and we now have 30 members from the Thai ethnic minority. We specialize in silk weaving and batik.
WC: Where does your inspiration come from?
T: Each of our designs depict life in the village, our animals and the nature that sorrounds us. We also work with local and international fashion artists to incorporate our traditional designs into more modern creations.
WC: Where do you find the materials you use?
T: We actually use all natural materials for our dyes such as indigo leaves and coconut barks. Each color we use comes from plants we find in the forest.
WC: What are your future plans for this business?
T: I want to develop this business more to create more job opportunities in my village. All of the artisans working with us work part time in the cooperative and part time at the local farms. I want to help them create a more stable source of income.
I can’t wait to teach my daughter to make traditional handicrafts, I hope younger people in Vietnam and around the world learn to appreciate traditional craftsmanship.
Visit our online shop to purchase Tinh’s products. A percentage of our sales is given back to our artisans so they can continue their business and support their families.