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I have a deep passion for my work. Each piece I create feels alive, and seeing the smiles it brings to people's faces motivates me to never give up.

"Hello, my name is Sriphan. I was born in Chiang Mai and I have 6 siblings. Unfortunately, my mother passed away when I... was young, so I had to help my father take care of our three younger sisters. I started assisting my father in earning a small income by collecting fruits and vegetables from the garden, and selling them in the village. Later on, I bring vegetables to sell at the city market. With the money I earned from selling vegetables, I bought dried fish or squid at the city market, pack them in small bags, and sell them in the neighborhood. I then gave the money to my father for food and snacks for me and my younger sisters.

"Learning how to earn money from a young age made me realize the value of money and taught me how to manage my expenses. For example, during my junior high school years, I received 1 baht per day for school. If I wanted to eat a bowl of noodles for 1 baht, I would forgo snacks and opt for something less expensive, saving the remaining money for the next day. Despite these challenges, I managed to excel academically and received scholarships throughout my education. After completing junior high school, I passed the entrance examination for a prestigious private school in Chiang Mai, but my father decided that I should not study there. He believed that pursuing a longer education would burden my younger sisters who were still studying. As a result, I chose to attend a two-year nursing college to obtain vocational training that would enable me to start working immediately. I started my career by working in the government service, specifically in health promotion, for over 20 years. During this time, I got married, and my husband became a teacher. We have one son.

"The journey into fabric work began while I was still working in the government service. My brother, who worked as a tour guide, introduced me to foreign customers who wanted to produce oven mitts. He provided a design on paper and asked me to create a sample. Initially, it was challenging due to the complex pattern that required attaching a doll to the glove. However, after several attempts, I managed to produce a satisfactory sample that pleased the customer. Subsequently, the orders started pouring in. I dedicated all my spare time to producing these fabric items while still working my regular job. Although there were occasional mistakes in the production process that caused delays, I decided to resign from my full-time job in order to fully commit myself to this endeavor.

"Upon leaving my regular job, I started designing and producing a wider variety of fabric products. In addition to oven mitts, I created decorations for various festivals such as Halloween and Christmas, as well as different types of bags to cater to customers' needs. This venture not only generated income for me but also created job opportunities for women, particularly housewives or those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who lacked employment prospects. I provided them with opportunities to learn sewing or computer skills to enhance their knowledge of the work they would be involved in.

"Throughout this journey, I encountered various challenges, including financial issues and problems with the production system since everything is handcrafted. However, I consider myself fortunate to have the unwavering support, advice, and encouragement of my husband and son, who have helped me overcome these obstacles. Most importantly, I have a deep passion for my work. Each piece I create feels alive, and seeing the smiles it brings to people's faces motivates me to never give up."
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