Building community around silk making

P’puy, the leader of our Mulberry Queen Silk community, employs around 50 women who come to the compound everyday to weave beautiful silk scarves. Some women come because they need money to support their children. Some come to escape negligent or cruel husbands. And some come simply because it feels good to have a community of women to support them. Whatever their reason, P’puy provides them with a job, a safe work environment, and a chance to showcase their beautiful weaving talents to the western world through Sapahn.

 

Brooke Mullen has visited the silk village many times to meet the women and learn about the work they do.

Saphn’s founder, Brooke Mullen, began working with P’puy in 2011. Since then, Brooke has visited P’puy’s village many times, each time learning more about this strong female leader and her group of skilled silk weavers.


P’puy strives to provide work for as many people as possible. Within the silk weaving compound, women get the freedom to work when they want and as frequently as they want. P’puy understands that babies get sick, family need assistance, or sometimes the women themselves are sick. But external matters need not take away a job opportunity for these women. P’puy’s workers get to determine how much silk they produce, allowing them to adequately care for family members and take their financial situation into their own hands.

 

The entrance to P'puy's silk-weaving compound.

Brooke conducted an interview with P’puy during a visit in February 2015, where she learned more about P’puy’s business ethics and about the women working in the silk compound. We’d like to share a few of these stories with our readers.

 

Changing the lives of empowered women


One artisan made silk in order to support her daughter in school. Her daughter has now completed her PhD, something that would have never been possible without silk weaving. Although her daughter has completed school, our artisan mother still comes to work everyday because she finds the weaving work a rewarding way to spend her time.

 

External matters shouldn’t take away a job opportunity for these women. P’puy’s workers get to determine how much silk they produce, allowing them to adequately care for family members and take their financial situation into their own hands.

Another woman, in her late 40s, started weaving only seven years ago. She had previously worked in a factory in Bangkok, which was strict, required long hours, and left her severely depressed. After her husband left her, the woman decided to move to P’puy’s village. She now loves coming to work everyday, laughs all the time, and has since found a new husband.


P’puy’s cousin is another worker in the compound. A few years back she lost her husband and young son in an accident, sending her into a severe depression. Since starting in the silk compound, she has begun to find happiness and enjoyment in making the other women laugh. While we may take female friendships or 'girl tribes' for granted in the Western world, these women are empowered to develop meaningful relationships with the other women within their community.

 

The silk compound is an open-air room, allowing for lots of sunshine and fresh air to reach workers at all hours of the day.

 

Ensuring a positive work environment

As the women say, it’s not the money, but the quality of life that’s important to them. Compared to many factories in Thailand, working in P'puy's village offers a comfortable, freeing environment that strengthens the women who work there. The silk compound is an open-air room, allowing for lots of sunshine and fresh air to reach workers at all hours of the day.

 

Fresh herbs, veggies, and a Buddha garden with a stream of water can be found nearby. Caring for the women in this community means providing a safe place for workers to spend their day, close by to their families and revitalizing for both mind, body, and spirit.


By purchasing a Sapahn silk scarf, you are helping these women continue to be empowered and take control of their own lives, because everyone deserves access to a quality life. Do your things do beautiful things?

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