Thuy Ung, Vietnam
Partners since 2014
In the village outside of Hanoi where Lanh grew up, most families struggled to earn an income from unpredictable rice farming. But Lanh knew her village had something special to offer—the hand carved water buffalo horn crafts they had been creating for centuries. When Lanh married her husband, the couple started dreaming of harnessing this tradition to bring fair, reliable incomes to their neighbors–and to create pieces that people everywhere would love.
For ten years, they worked to grow their business, but they could never find a reliable market. Then they connected with Noonday’s Artisan Business Partner–and their business blossomed. Today, Lanh’s vision of sharing her village’s craft with the world has become a reality. “We are so thankful that we have this traditional job,” Lanh shares.“And we love teaching the young people of our village to carry this craft on too.”
Thuy Ung, Vietnam
Vietnam is one of the most populous countries in the world and stretches along the coast of the South China Sea. Beginning in 1954, Vietnam was partitioned into two countries, and was reunified in 1976. Vietnam places a high value on education and has a literacy rate of 96%. Handcrafts are also highly valued as cultural treasures; over 2700 villages in Vietnam are known as "craft villages" because they have specialized in a particular handcraft for hundreds of years.
Nguyen Thi TamNguyen grew up helping her family in the fields, but as she got older, she began learning her parents’ traditional horn craft. When she was 18, she decided to find a job to help put her brother through school. Since then, Nguyen has been working in the horn workshop, and her family’s life has improved dramatically. She met her husband at work, and she feels so fortunate that they are able to provide for their family with their stable incomes.
Sham Bhi NhungSham has mastered many different traditional crafts over the years, from rattan to bamboo to lacquer. And today, she makes beautiful horn products for Noonday. Before joining Noonday’s partner workshop, Sham worked around the clock to pay her family’s bills. Now, she’s able to save money for retirement and afford proper medical care. Her favorite part of her job is dreaming up designs and overseeing production to make sure each piece turns out just as she envisioned it.