Ms. Wilai Praijitkanjanakul
Founder of Bua Bhat Factory
I am the 6th child of Papa Wong Yeangkong and Mama Buabhat Kowaan. I was born in 1952. My nickname is “Lha” which actually means the youngest child but it turns out that there are 2 more siblings after me. Even though I graduated from faculty of education, Chiang Mai University, I didn’t become a teacher. I helped out at my family handicraft retail store “Bua Bhat”, a business Pa founded. Most of the stuffs we sold were fabric related since Pa was a design teacher specialized in designing brocade silk pattern back when horses were the only mean transportation. My mother was Teacher Yeangkong’s student when they met. When Pa was naming the store he told her that “ Buabhat… I will call our shop Bua Bhat like your name because I love you.” So I used the same name for my factory as a token for their love. Also, I find that their names have a romantic coincidence. Yeangkong, is Chinese, means a light shining from far away – this I interpreted as the sun. Bua Bhat, is Lanna for sunflower. Thus our logo is a sunflower. (Insert logo)
It was creative genes I inherited from my parents that allow me to be where I am today. As a child, I have had very little training in art and design; handicraft skills I know were only basics I learned from my secondary school Kovitdumrong. My interest in handicraft and design began when I was working for Pa. I was lucky to get to see various types of handicraft products and meet with other handicrafts advocates from Thailand and around the world. Memories of my childhood definitely shape my perspective, idea, and who I am as a designer. I can still recall the freshness of morning air, the beautiful misty sunrises, and the friendly morning market of Proa, a town where my Granma lives. It was a small rural town with not yet any electricity but full of compassions and forgiveness. Countless summers of my childhood were spent there where I learned to use things more sustainably, and to love and be respectful of nature. I grew found of the simple but meaningful way of life Granma and Ma lived. These are the core values I carried in to my work. With out them and my desire to create distinctive, high quality handicrafts, Bua Bhat will not be where it is today. I really hope these values and feelings are able to reach you and you could feel the simple but true Bua Bhat happiness too.