The Founder

The Founder

My name is Xang, I am Tai Dam.  I was born in a remote village (the name is Ban Natong) located at Xieng Khuang Province, Lao PDR.  Xieng Khuang Province was involved in The Lao Civil War and Second Indochina War from 1964 to 1973, although I never gone through the tough period in the war time, but my parents told me about the war stories.  By 1973 almost every town in Xieng Khuang had been destroyed. Most of the population had fled and lived a subterranean existence in tunnels and caves or had been removed forcibly.  This was the darkest time for all the Laotians, my country was only set back to peaceful life after the year of 1975.

For me, I had lived in Ban Natong during my childhood and teenager times, until I got a scholarship offering me to further study in Luang Prabang University in year 2003.  I studied hard and worked hard as a part timer in some Guest Houses to earn my living, the experiences I gained when I was working in Guest House had redirected my career to the hospitality industries after my graduation. 

2008 is the year of my graduation from Luang Prabang university.  After two years, I opened my first Guest House and have my own business in year 2010, you can find my guest house details with typing in: halolao backpackers, halolao Home-Stay, or halolao Villa in the internet search engine, then you will know more about me and my guest houses.

In year 2011, my mind flashed by an idea to create a business about Lao textiles, WHY TEXTILES? I was born in a Tai Dam family, and I was living in Tai Dam Community for almost 20 years, I witnessed the villagers included my grandmother and my mother weaved by themselves the textiles included the head scarves, skirts, shirts and shawls for daily use or religious used.  I saw the women hand-spun their home-plant cotton, reared the silk worm, dye the textiles with the leaves or bark or insect from the natural sources in forest.  But the activities were slowly became less and less after I grew up as a teenager, my sisters and my cousins they still can do the weaving jobs but just only the simple weaving, most of the young ladies they are losing their patience and their skills in weaving the complicated textiles. 

This situation made me realized about something: How to preserve this very old inherited hand weaving skills, and let the young people have the interest in learning the “going to lost skills” from their parents again? Yes, the only way can re-alive this heritage skills is through the buying and trading activities, only Demand & Supply can sustain the weaving activities in my community. 

Hence, I established the handmadeSEA operation team.  I started the early operation with the help from the old folks in my village, we are Tai Dam, we used to be the well noted weavers in the world, we want to maintain this for a longer period, with standing strong on this point, we start our weaving jobs, starting our journey into the textiles world: Original Hand Woven Textiles, Traditional Weaving Skills, Natural Home-Spun Cotton, Raw Silk, Natural Dyes, and Organic Concept.  We are happy to produce the most beautiful textiles to our supporters/customers, and we are happy to get involved in the job of preserving heritage weaving skills in my beloved country.

Xang: The founder of handmadeSEA, young and enthusiastic.

Xang is helping in handmadeSEA showroom

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