Artisan Spotlight: Mit Nattapon
Mit is the ultimate go-getter & a local legend in her native Chiang Rai, Thailand. She is a powerhouse & a true leader within her community. Mit lives in Northern Thailand, very close to the border of Laos and Burma in an area known as the "Golden Triangle". Once known for their role in the opium trade, the Golden Triangle now is a major route for human trafficking in the sex trade. Mit is a very vocal opponent & active in doing all she can to keep young girls from being pressured into entering the industry.
Along with most women, Mit grew up learning to sew & weave from a young age. Within the past two years, she has organized a women's co-op and began producing some of the most intricate & amazing handbags we've ever seen. LOOM has partnered with Mit & her team to present our own designs & have custom, one of a kind, bags produced.
I was able to hunt down storerooms (more like barns on bamboo stilts surrounded by rice paddies) of vintage Hmong tribe textiles which had originally been made as skirts for courtship during New Year festivals, as well as baby-carriers & men's collars. Mit & her team helped tweak out the design & source organic hemp linen & handwoven leather details from their extended families. The linen was colored with natural dyes from things like tree bark (green), indigo (blue) & bougainvillea flowers (pink). This line of purses, wallets & clutches each tell a story, and provide income & a safe workplace for women in need.