Growing up in a small village in northeastern Thailand has given Jirawat Mahasarn, the founder of fashion brand Chaksarn, a life-long connection with Thai craftsmanship.
Mahasarn started the Chaksarn brand in 2018, with the idea of combining traditional Thai materials with leather to create style and uniqueness.
While Mahasarn was studying for an MBA in Australia, he started selling Thai crafts on websites. Realising there was a demand for Thai crafts and art, he also saw how Thai artists who sent him supplies were all making the same patterns and styles. They did not have access to a platform that allowed them to create new styles and did not know what Australian customers wanted. On a return visit home he saw a weaved mat, and this provided him with the idea to start his own brand.
“The Original Collection was the first bag collection that Chaksarn produced,” he says. “When I launched the collection it was sold out. That’s when I saw the full potential of Thai craftsmanship.
Chaksarn style is a combination of centuries-old Thai arts and materials with a modern touch. The main material is papyrus which you can hardly see in woven products.
“I think the brand is unique because we use papyrus to create our fashion bags. I was looking for something different, so I decided to use papyrus instead,” he says. “Each of Chaksarn’s product are handmade, and each collection is limited edition to ensure the highest quality.”
Most of the company’s customers buy their products from overseas via the website.
“Some of them are from Europe, America, Australia or Thai expats who live abroad. My main goal is to make Chaksarn brand known internationally and to ensure that we are the leader when it comes to weaved products,” he says.
In the future Mahasarn hopes to recruit more local artists who have local weaving knowledge.
“I want to create jobs for local people and also make sure that the brand is maintained, and presents local art to the modern world,” he says.
Mahasarn has found the DITP most supportive of his enterprise, and has joined both Style Bangkok and Craft Bangkok.
“I am looking forward to the next event because the events give me a new perspective for business and connect me with the right customers; it’s a platform where I can also showcase my products,” he says.
For more information please visit: https://www.chaksarn.com/.
Photo courtesy of Chaksarn
Words by Ploylada Sirachadapong