Nan’s bold inventiveness began as a young girl when she learned how to sew from her mother and sister. In Burma, she earned money both by selling the clothes she sewed as well as helping her husband, Ah, run their plantation.

As minorities in the Kachin tribe, Nan and Ah were unwilling to expose themselves and their children to the danger of front-line conscription by the Burmese military, and therefore decided to leave their country quietly four years ago. They arrived to Austin in spring of 2011.

Nan  works at a local hotel in Austin and sews for Hill Tribers in her spare time. She loves to follow patterns but is wildly creative when left to her own devices.

Nan makes her decisions based on the needs of her family, yet she has learned not to sacrifice her bold individuality, but instead use her independence for their collective good.

Simply stated, “If I [want to] improve, I do it myself.”

If you own one of Nan’s products (or simply want to send a message), please feel free to write her a note in the comments below. We will share them with her. Eventually, we’d like every artisan to be able to write you back on her own.

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