WALAIPORN Kamdee left a career at Chiang Mai University to return to her family business in Lamphun and has succeeded in driving annual sales from an average of Bt1 million 20 years ago to at least Bt6 million now.
“Our family business is producing and distributing home accessories made from cotton in the community in Lamphun province,” she said in an interview with The Nation recently.
“When I decided to join my family business, I redesigned cotton products from home accessories to be women’s clothing. That helped our sales grow by double digits every year.”
Walaiporn, 50, said she resigned from Chiang Mai University 21 years ago and came back to work with her family business when she saw the opportunity to expand to other provinces.
Most customers are tourists who visit her home-based shop in tambon Mae Raeng of Pa Sang district.
When Walaiporn joined her family business, she changed its style by creating new products.
She designed women’s garments with modern-traditional fabrics and expanded the market by participating in clothing exhibitions and other expos to boost sales.
She used her own fashion brand, Udom Siri Cotton, to promote her products at the exhibitions and expos.
When she attends exhibitions in Bangkok, she can generate sales of Bt200,000-Bt400,000 per event.
For example, at the “Otop Midyear 2017” event at Muang Thong Thani from May 19-25, Udom Siri Cotton chalked up sales of Bt400,000.
Besides Bangkok, she also goes to other exhibitions and expos nationwide. That brings more sales to her business and also promotes her brand.
Now she can distribute her products to clothing shops in Ubon Ratchathani, Saraburi, Nan and Phrae.
She also creates jobs for farming families in tambon Mae Raeng by training them to work with fabrics.
Now 20 families in her community are supporting her business. This earns them an average Bt5,000 extra income a month and helps improve their quality of life.
“Our keys to success are our quality cotton and our designs that match the lifestyles of people – both local people and foreign tourists who visit the country,” she said.