New Hotels and Products Are Discovered in Thailand!
I site inspected yet another hotel in Khao Lak that I think is my favorite! The general manager is very dedicated to working with the local community. We had great chats about development, tsunami relief and Thai life.
With Asian influences from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and China, the style and decor is impeccable. Almost as good as the food! Situated right on the beach it is easy to want to lay by the pool all day and watch the waves crash. But there was work to do, so I was off!
I visited another Tsunami relief project called Saori that was started by a Japanese Monk immediately following the devastation. The group only sells in the local Thai market, but has stores in Bangkok and other major tourist markets. They buy their thread from Chang Mai and spin it into unique, one of a kind fabrics to make products. Over 50 people are employed in the community! Come in early next week to get your hands on some of these wallets! There are only a limited number!
I met with a tour operator from Green Andaman that took me to see a new green project called “Little Amazon.” The project is an initiative to incorporate the local fishing community in tourism and preserve the nature in Lake Takuapa. We saw snakes, snakes and more snakes-all poisonous I was reassured over and over again as we slid right underneath them to get the pics…haha! The guide was great and has a real love for the area!
I went to visit the women at the orphanage one last time to pick up some orders, summarize all the details we had discussed, and do one final check on the new item samples. Through Allyson, a UK aid worker that has lived in Thailand for 21 years and worked with the group for over 7, we are breaking down the communication barriers. She will take on the role of quality control, helping to communicate order changes, design changes, and colorways. She will also work with the director to help prioritize our orders and really run the handicraft shop as a business, helping to teach the group the rewards of running their own business.
This was a great week in Khao Lak and Takuapa and we accomplished so much in so little time. I cannot wait to get the new wallets and shoulder purses into the store to see our customer’s reaction. They will make a great addition to the wholesale lineup as well! Things are moving along for TVE!!