Kinyi, Senior Artisan
Teacher Kinyi is from a traditional silversmithing village called Kampong Luong, but fell out of employment when the school she was teaching at ran out of funds. Due to lack of demand, her family left the silversmithing village. Teacher Kinyi continues to support her family, and loves learning new techniques for jewellery making.
A self-proclaimed “lazy boy” before becoming trained as a silversmith, Vannak’s family was struggling to make ends meet. Becoming a silversmith turned Vannak’s attitude around, and his relationships for the better. Now, not only is he financially independent, but he is able to help his mother financially with her farm. Vannak is now married with a daughter.
Ratha used to work at a construction site - which proved dangerous and laborious work. Thinking about his past saddens him when he thinks back of the accidents and times when he would faint at work. Now, he celebrates how his life has completely changed and gets better step by step. Ratha got married in early 2015, and now has a daughter!
Ravin used to work on the morning glory farm, and endured a difficult life atop the “dirty water”. Now, she celebrates being able to use her creativity, and intelligence in improving her technique in silversmithing; rather than exhausting brute strength and long hours on the farm. When we first met Ravin, she had to sell her bicycle to make ends meet; shortly after joining our team, she saved enough money to buy a motorbike. Now, she is the proud mother of a baby girl.
Sopheak used to work as a tailor at the local market for little profit. After learning silversmithing, and over his years with us, he has grown in confidence in his craftsmanship, and enjoys working with designers particularly. He supports his family with his salary, and takes pride in being able to provide for his father’s medical needs. His father has now recovered fully. Sopheak has grown in learning responsibility, respect, and patience.
Srey Oun, Apprentice Artisan
Before joining our family, Srey Oun worked at a morning glory farm opposite our workshop, spending long hours submerged in dirty water, causing many health problems. Srey Oun first joined us as an apprentice silversmith, and continues to hone her craft. Now, Srey Oun celebrates good health, and the ability to support her mother and her 9 year old son.
Rachana is one of the youngest of our team to join us. She is as strong as some of our male artisans, and loves dreaming up new designs that are inspired by her Cambodian heritage. Some of her designs include our Weave 5-strand Ring.
Vireak is Teacher Kinyi's son - he has never been formally educated and does not know how to read or write. Yet, he is the most talented of our artisans in stone-setting. He is a second generation silversmith and learnt all the tricks of the trade from his parents.
One of our newest recruits, Bunna has a knack for creating geometrical and simple designs. He has a quiet and cheerful demeanour, and loves especially to play with the other artisans' children. He is looking forward to the birth of his daughter at the end of this year.