Let’s start with a little background. I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Thailand, and raised in good ole’ Nebraska. Having moved back to Thailand at 15, my family was struggling financially. I worked labor-intensive jobs since I was a kid, selling bakery in touristy markets to selling wines door-to-door from a luggage. I quickly realised in my teens that in survival mode, I needed to exercise my best extrepreneurial spirits and find opportunities for a better life. A decade later, my ambitions and hard work had paid off. It allowed me to explore my passion to help others who are less fortunate- and in the same position as I once was.
I became a first-time mom at beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I witnessed the world crumbled from the comfort of my living room. As an individual, I felt that there’s a limitation of how many people I can help. In 2021, I relentlessly worked on e-commerce ideas to create a business that could sustain the social impact lifestyle that I’m so passionate about. I reached out to my now Co-founder Amm Junnet, who pro-actively said that she had similar interests. These were the common grounds that we share: comfy clothes, charity, and our Thai-ness.
Amm is a columnist and a travel enthusiast. She grew up in a rural city called Ayutthaya, a world heritage town known for its souvenir and skilled handicrafts. As our conversation continued over the months, Amm suffered from a sudden tragic loss of her beautiful baby boy ‘Vito’. Her bravery and positive mindset helped her to recover, and became even more determined to start our social enterprise. This originated the idea of showcasing the beauty of Thai culture and apparels, starting with what we call ‘Pha-mud-yorm’ or tie dye.
Combining our strength and expertise, we launched Shopfineast, an online retail shop for tie dye fashion and apparels in 2022. Unique in design and locally handmade, we envision showcasing the original Thai-styled tie dye comfort wear to women of all shapes and sizes all over the world. Our vision, as a social enterprise, is to raise awareness and contribute a direct impact to the local communities to make their everyday a little better, one order at a time.
Tie dye, as simplistic as it sounds, is a mysterious craft. It is recorded to having originated as far back as the 6th Century in the far East of China and Japan when the ancient people used natural dyes from fruits, leaves, roots, and flower to color clothing.
No one really knows where it originated, but various patterns and techniques were emerging out of different countries across Asia-Pacific. In Thailand, the technique ‘Mudmee tie-dye’ is widely popular.
As we continued learning more on Thai Mudmee techniques, we were mesmerized. We took courses with local artisans, each proudly presenting their own craftsmanship.
There are excruciating details that go into the making the color dye, the pattern drawing and setting, and the boiling process of making. We watched, and even tried ourselves, to handmade our first tie dye tshirts.