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NOVICA Artisan Chang

Chang

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“Hello! My name is Prasit Tangmahastitkul. You can call me Chang, which means ‘elephant.’ I was born in Bangkok in 1967. I moved to study Engineering at Chiang Mai University in 1985, but I wasn’t fond of it, so I quit and started living like a hippie. My friends and I made braided friendship bracelets and other leather items. This is how I realized that I liked handicrafts. I couldn’t survive living like a hippie, so I went back to study Mass Communications in the university and I found that I also liked translation.

“I started translating English novels and making handicraft products for a living. I designed diaries made from scrap leather and mulberry paper, supplying one of the famous handicraft shops in Chiang Mai. I lived in Chiang Mai for around 10 years, then I moved to Uttaradit in northern Thailand with the dream of saving up to work on something that I loved.

“After 20 years, my dreams had become just a painful memory. I had always been doing what I’m fond of, but not as a career. I still loved to create different diary designs, embroidery patterns, and dictionary covers made from scrap leather. Some of the belts I wore were made from scrap leather. I made backpacks and even my mom’s purse.

“In 2016, with the support of my children, I was inspired to pursue my dreams once again. I invested everything and started creating different designs and inventing different techniques. This lead me to create a jewelry collection inspired by the natural and gentle swiftness of the flowers and leaves. These jewelry beauties are crafted from my dreams and love, which I pass on to the wearer. I sent my jewelry to a shop in the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, as well as some shops in Chiang Mai, and the sales were good.

“In 2018, I moved with my family to live in Lampang and started to sell my products there, as well as in a craft market fair in Chiang Mai. I have three sons; the youngest helps me full-time. I let him perform every process until he can design a new collection. I also have four interns who help with every step. These days, I am in charge of marketing and business strategy. I want to increase our online marketing, growing together with everyone in my business.

“The unique and charming things about my pieces are that they are all adjustable, lightweight, and feature a unique technique that is hard to copy. They are art combined with a craft that I believe in.

“In the future, I want to make more accessories and decorative pieces from leather, and I’m about to create a workshop for anyone who is interested in making leather jewelry. I made my house into a cafe and studio, decorated by my youngest son. Many visitors love to take pictures, so it has gradually become well-known. I hope NOVICA's customers will love my designs. Each piece is a gift. Thank you.”