An interior designer has tuned her Thai aesthetic sense into creating crafted jewelry items to scoop the recent Demark Design Excellence Award.

“Attention to the right proportion and detail are the hallmarks of Thai craftsmanship, and have led to it being recognised worldwide,” says Ladawan Panyaphacharakul, Designer and Founder of Porana.

One of the outstanding jewelry brands from the Talent Thai and Designers’ Room programme, Porana recently won the Demark Design Excellence Award.

“Porana is the scientific name that refers to white flowers. It reflects the simplicity of my brand’s identity,” Panyaphacharakul says. “I love design. I launched the brand for people who prefer wearing fine jewelry, which with a simple twist of Thainess and craftsmanship can become everyday wear. Our target is people who like to wear jewelry to express themselves and have their own style.”

Most of Porana’s customers are from the US.

“We started our business online, selling our products in marketplaces, such as Etsy, that focuses on handmade crafts, especially jewelry. We have received good feedback from this market, especially those in the US who like a modern, minimalist style, such as our jewelry design,” she says.

Online marketing is also helping Porana reach customers from other countries, such as Japan, Canada, Australia and Singapore.

“Currently, the proportion of domestic to international customers is 50-50, while it used to be 80% international and 20% domestic,” she says.

Joining DITP’s activities is another marketing channel that has proved effective for Porana.

“Participating in various DITP projects is a good opportunity to expand our business,” Panyaphacharakul says. “There are many foreign media outlets who can help promote our brand, such as the US National Jeweler, and Rapaport Magazine from the UK. They saw our work at the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, and said they would like to promote it in their market.

“Also, we joined the Thai and Designers’ Room in 2017, and this year we have won the Demark Design Excellence Award.”

In Panyaphacharakul’s view, Thai craftsmanship is well-recognised across the world, but there is still room for improvement.

“I think if Thai jewelry entrepreneurs add design and branding to their products, it will help add more value to the industry, by stressing that Thailand is not only a good production base,” she adds.

As for the future, Panyaphacharakul will still focus on online sales. “People all over the world are buying things online, including jewelry, which once people believed you had to touch the real thing first. Today, it’s all changed and the middleman will gradually disappear,” she says.

The DITP will organise the 64th edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair from September 10 to 14, 2019, at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. At the fair, buyers and visitors can discover a variety of fine jewelry collections from Thai brands and manufacturers, including Porana.

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Words by Natthinee Ratanaprasidhi