Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Siam Sawadee (Featured Shop)

Today, I take you all the way to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand to feast your eyes on some unique and exotic Oriental artifacts. I've been asked many a time to refer a store that specializes in trading Oriental decor artifacts. And I think I have the answer for you:) "Siam Sawadee" is an online store that does just that and retails via Etsy. I personally think, they have the most beautiful, authentic and unique collection of Oriental artifacts. I reached out to Eve Naewmuang, the owner of Siam Sawadee to know more about this wonderful store. In an exclusive interview with TECD, Eve tells it all.....
TECD: Hello and welcome to TECD, Eve ! I love hearing about stories of how a particular brand was established. I personally feel that knowing all there is to know about a brand/store not only helps me relate better to the brand but also gives me the direction to make a conscious decision to support creative souls (like you) that are striving to further a cause or provide support to the communities they thrive in.  Tell us how Siam Sawadee came together?
Eve:"I started Siam Sawadee with my partner about 2 years ago. We are both avid travelers and love nothing more than collecting on our many adventures in and around south east Asia. One hot and dusty afternoon we stumbled across a border market town with so many treasures, instantly we decided that the world needed to see such beauty. Hence our motto "From the heart of Asia, to the heart of your home". We feel that usually people would not get to purchase such rare and unique items. So we find it exciting to give that opportunity to 'stumble' across a market from the comfort of your home. We decided to settle in Chiang Mai, as this is the epi-center of all things craft."
"Siam Sawadee" has an exotic feel to it and it simply translates to "Hello Thailand"! Siam is the old name for Thailand before the revolution about 100 years ago. Eve says she actually prefers the name Siam to Thailand as it sounds more romantic. So she incorporated Siam into the name as it's a throw back to an earlier time, much like the beautiful and exotic finds she sells at her store. And it goes without saying that Sawadee means "Hello" in Thai. 
TECD: What aspect of oriental decor are you drawn to?
Eve: "Oriental decor is not only about function and design but also heritage and culture. Our decor incorporates thousands of years of Asian artisans working to decorate the houses of Kings, nobles and lords of our lands. I love to have a bit of history in our home, makes me feel as important or at least as ostentatious as a royal. We like to offer that to our customers too."
TECD: We'd love for you to share with us your most unforgettable experience since starting the store?
Eve :"My most memorable item was of a 4 ft Burmese puppet called "Tossakan" from the fable 'Ramakien'. He was an eight armed "bad-guy" but my partner and I loved him dearly, he seemed to give us good luck. We had forgotten that he was listed so were heart broken when the Etsy "Ka-ching" was heard and realized we had sold him. The buyer though was over-joyed to find such a magnificent piece so we know he went to a good home."
Siam is a fair trade business and believes in giving back to the community.....Eve says, "As mentioned before, the items we sell will never be found at your local high street. We work with local artisans and crafts people who have had their skills handed down to them for generations. I don't think Bed, Bath & Beyond can claim the same lineage. Our work also supports the local communities with a massive boost to our local economy as we have now employed local people to help, not only the artists, but the logistics of wrapping 8ft wall panels, or carrying 20 items to the post office, we have a happy team at Siam Sawadee."
A round-up of some of my absolute favorites from the store:
Looking for ways to add a little color to your kitchen? These hand-painted decorative containers are traditionally used in Asian homes to store rice. How about Styling these on the counter tops along with a mint or coriander plant!
Siam Sawadee has over a 100 different rice baskets to choose from. The task of picking out a favorite one can be quite time consuming as each one of them has some splendid hand painted detailing in many hues to choose from!  
Another specialty of the store are these enormous Balinese Wood Wall Art ! These teak wood mandala like panels with their three dimensional intricate designs are sure to bring the exotic vibe to any space. Use it as wall art or prop it as a head board.
This grouping of Burmese monks is a perfect addition to your home or garden ! You can read more about my fascination with Burmese decor right here.

Burmese lacquerware...sigh! This intricately handcrafted container is a rust shade is the perfect accent to add to your coffee table. Either display it on its own or get a couple and start your own collection today !
Make sure you bookmark this wonderful store if you are looking to create a space with mixed influences. You could also connect with them via their FB page for regular updates. I would like to thank Eve for taking the time to share such wonderful stories with my TECD readers and wish her all the very best with Siam Sawadee!

Happy decorating and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Images : Copyright/Credit or found on : Siam Sawadee 

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