"To design, I just close my eyes and think of beauty. I never sketch my designs but just make them. Then I get the materials and make the imagined designs."
"My name is Laongtyp Ammaritreungsak but friends and family call me 'Nai.' I was born on August 26, 1968, and my father was a government officer while my mother ran a beauty salon. When I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, I got a job in a fund management company. I resigned seven years later because I wanted to start my own business. In 1997, the most remarkable thing happened to me when my husband asked me to marry him [Novica featured artist Maetee Ummaritreungsak].
"I look after of my parents, an aunt and my two sons. I know it is a heavy responsibility but I love my family so much that I am quite happy and proud to do it. I am also thankful to them and want to show my gratitude for their having taken care of me when I was little. This is the Thai way! In our culture, the younger generation takes care of the older one. Therefore, between preparing meals, sending my sons to school, and making my jewelry, I have not got much time left. Yet I love looking for new things to do. Periods of life unfold so differently, each one teaching me to experience things and to improve myself. I also pick up quite a lot of new ideas from the people I've met during traditional Thai traditional ceremonies, such as the Thai New Year (Songkran) and the Loy Krathong festivals.
"Jewelry is an art for me, just like beauty improvement and dressmaking were for my mother and aunt. I think I got that from them. When I was 16 years old, I began crafting jewelry for my family, friends and relatives. All were pleased and always praised me. I was not really sure if they were just being polite, that is until I started to sell my work on Sundays at the walking street market. I wanted to know what kind of people were interested in my work. I would tell them about my concepts and about each item. When I actually sold the first pieces, it made me feel very happy for the customers' business, but of course I was also glad they liked my work. Some of them did not even want me to package it - they just wanted to wear it immediately. People bought and bought again, and all the feedback was good. Not everything sells, of course. I can make 30 new designs and sell only 20, but it is already a lot for me.
"To design, I just close my eyes and think of beauty. I never sketch my designs but just make them. Then I get the materials and make the imagined designs. I may update a bit or totally change the design during the working process. Overall, I like my jewelry to be simple, not too colorful, having a relaxed and natural feel. The pearl is my favorite material, for it could be misleading. Everyone associates pearls with luxurious dresses at a gala dinner. But for me, pearls can also be designed to informally accompany you every day. It does not need to be strung on precious materials like gold, but could simply partner a rope or leather string.
"There are two things that have been very challenging for me. Firstly, getting pregnant and being a mother, which is such a great thing. I dedicate all my life and strength to my family. I think all mothers and wives will agree with me. Secondly, making beautiful and unique jewelry. It is difficult to always come up with new designs, something different from everyone else's. But I am enthusiastic and can motivate myself because it makes me feel happy every time I hear people say they like my work.
"My life is basic, easy and simple: There's no technology involved. Nevertheless, my life has changed ever since I met with Novica. I could not believe that there is no more distance, no more borders to prevent artists and artisans to get in direct contact with customers worldwide. It is simply unbelievable… I am selling my jewelry to people everywhere through the Internet. I make them with my hands, with love and care, and they are all for you."