Meet Manava

Manava, a visionary Cambodian social design brand co-founded by Ka-Lai Chan and Baraing Tho, collaborates with 24 talented female artisans from the Krobey Riel village in Siem Reap. These skilled artisans employ a distinctive weaving style to craft exquisite fashion accessories and home decor items using handwoven rattan fibers.

FOUNDER: Ka-Lai Chan & Baraing Tho

TEAM: 2 full-time employees + 24 artisans.

LOCATION: Krobey Riel, Cambodia.

MATERIALS: Rattan.
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    About the founder

    Ka-Lai Chan & Baraing Tho

    Ka-Lai Chan, the founder, is a Dutch designer with Asian roots, boasting over a decade of experience collaborating with renowned international design brands. Baraing Tho, the co-founder, is a local Khmer individual with a history of involvement in various creative NGOs within Cambodia.

    Story & Highlights

    A significant number of Cambodian women residing in villages face unemployment, and for those who do secure employment, the average income ranges from $55 to $75 per month, equating to around $2.30 per day. Given that many families have 3-5 children, survival becomes an immense challenge. Manava is actively addressing this by providing fair income opportunities to 24 female artisans. Since these artisans joined Manava, their family contributions have seen a remarkable increase of over 100%. Manava is committed to sustaining this positive trend in income growth.

    Moreover, Manava fosters the creativity of its artisans through comprehensive training of high quality, emphasizing personal development. The social enterprise actively conducts a life skills program in collaboration with a Women’s Resource Center NGO. This program encompasses various training modules, including financial management, family planning, healthcare, protection against domestic violence, positive parenting, women’s rights, and English proficiency. With Manava, women not only recognize the value of their opinions but also experience a fair and supportive environment where camaraderie, craftsmanship, and joy thrive.

    Manava uses rattan palm material called "pdau" and willow grass known as "la paek." These locally abundant resources are fast-growing and widespread throughout Cambodia. Embracing a commitment to sustainable harvests, Manava conscientiously regulates the extraction to support continuous future growth season after season.