The Hands Behind the Design: Meet Our Vietnamese Partners
We partner with an artisan business in Vietnam that creates meaningful opportunities in rural communities. Many rural Vietnamese villages have distinct crafts that are special to their village. We partner with an artisan business that harnesses these craft villages to create economic opportunity for rural artisans. Today on Flourish, meet some of the Vietnamese Artisans who make some of our favorite pieces come to life.
The water buffalo is an honored and important animal in Vietnamese culture. The majority of the country is involved in rice farming, which requires the use of the massive water buffalo to help till the fields. For over 400 years, Artisans in Vietnam have been carving the horns of these buffalo after they die in order to avoid wasting any part of this special animal. Since 2013, we have sourced jewelry made with water buffalo horn from Thuy Ung, a village that has been making crafts out of horn for hundreds of years.
Meet Nguyen Thi Tam
Nguyen is 24 years old. She was born in Dang Yen Village, a traditional horn village 3km away from where she works today making beautiful horn jewelry for Noonday. She grew up helping with farming and vegetable planting, the most common source of income in rural Vietnam. As she grew up, she began learning her parents’ traditional horn craft. When she was 18, she wanted to find a job to help her family send her brother to school. For the past six years, she’s been working in the horn workshop and her family’s life has dramatically improved with her help. She met her husband at work and she feels so fortunate that they are both able to provide for their new baby with their stable incomes.
Meet Sham Bhi Nhung
Sham is 51 years old and has learned many different traditional crafts over the years. She was born in NinhSo, a traditional rattan and bamboo village. In 1983 she married her husband, who grew up in a lacquer village. Today, she works for Noonday’s partner business making horn jewelry. Before teaming up with Noonday’s partner business, she was selling domestically and worked around the clock to pay her family’s bills. Now she’s able to save money for when she gets older and pay for proper medical care. Her favorite part of her job is dreaming up designs and overseeing production to make sure each piece turns out just as she envisioned it.
Over the last two years, we have looked for opportunities to design innovative pieces that would create work in more villages. This season, our designers created earrings and bracelets that combine water buffalo horn and metal, bringing together the craft traditions of two neighboring villages to create truly collaborative pieces.
Meet Tran Sy Quyet
Tran has been working with Noonday’s partner business for eight years. Before finding this job, he sold his crafts at a local store where his earnings were insufficient and unpredictable. Because his job at the fair trade workshop pays him well, he doesn’t have to take on a second job and can spend more time with his wife and their child. He likes being involved in all the different steps during the jewelry creation process because it makes him feel smart and creative. His favorite part of the job is being able to train other people to make jewelry and have a good source of income for their families. On our last visit, he asked us to personally thank Noonday’s customers for the stability that they have provided for him and his family. His work makes him very happy.
Meet Pham Bich Hang
Pham is is 42 years old and has been working with Noonday’s partner business for four years. Before this job she worked in the fields as a rice farmer. She shared that she feels so happy that this job provides a stable income for her family. She has been married for 20 years and has two kids. Because of her job, her kids don’t have to work in the rice field like she did. Instead, they are going to school and creating a brighter future for themselves and their families. Her oldest son just started college and she is so proud that she is able to help support him in furthering his education. Being able to provide for her family makes her feel empowered and strong.
When you purchase from Noonday, you create a marketplace for talented Artisans around the world. Shop our collection of Vietnamese treasures.
Meet Jenna Tanner
Jenna is Noonday’s Content Curator and loves to write about fair trade, social justice and Artisans around the world. She also enjoys marathoning her favorite TV shows with her husband, playing intense games of Ticket to Ride, and searching for the best tacos in Austin (let her know if you find them!).