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Precious handicraft maintains silversmith’s profits

He is carefully sculpturing an image of Buddha’s face on a silver bowl in his shop for a customer who placed an order to receive this product next week.  Head of Daovanh Handicraft Group in Nonghay village, Hadxaifong district Mr Daovanh Mounlath, is speeding up his work to make sure the work is completed on time as agreed with the customer when they placed their order.
He realises that completing the work on-time is an important part of good customer service that he continues to do since he started his business in 1985. He learned how to carve silver, bronze and other iron items in Luang  Prabang  province and  he saw that this work could make an  income for him in future.

Mr Daovanh Mounlath shows completed silver bowls at booth at Lao-ITECC, recently.

Since 1985, he started his own business as a silver and bronze smith. He both worked and learned the way how to make products to sell at the same time.
At first, he did smithing as extra job, but after he had gained good skills on carving bronze and silver, together with high market demand for his products, he decided to do this business as his main job. Upon seeing that smithing was making a good income for Mr Daovanh, there were some people in the community interested in learning smithing.
To ensure that this job will not disappear, he decided to pass on his smith skills to other people who were interested in this job in Nonghay village. The training is one of many ways to create sustainable income for people in community.
The  products from this community are proving to be popular among customers in Vientiane and other provinces. In addition, the number of smiths in community is also rising.
Finally, Mr Daovanh consulted with other smiths to set up the group on silver and bronze of Nonghay village to make sure that all similar products will be sold in the same price. The other reason that he set up the group was ensure that all products made will be good quality and therefore benefit their customers.
The group members also believe that if the products are produced are both  good quality and at a  reasonable price, it will create the following for them and customers will come back to buy their products again. The design and patterns produced will depend on market demand. 
From 2014, the products of the group were accepted by the society and trusted by the government, and they received the certificate of ‘One District One Product’.
“We are very proud to receive this certificate. We will continue to develop the products in terms of quantity,  quality, and sustainability,  to make sure that the products can penetrate into international market in the future,” said Mr Daovanh.
Today, the Davanh Handicraft Group consists of seven families with more than 20 main workers.
The products made by the group includ bowls for Buddhist devotees to use for giving alms, taonamyard, a bottle containing water for rinsing elders after giving alms, frame for photos and other items made in bronze and  silver.
Most products are ordered by vendors, who are selling at their own handicraft shops in Vientiane and provinces. From selling bronze and silver handicraft items, each member in the group earns about 3-4 million kip per month.
This means that smithing can become the main job for all members in the group. Mr Daovanh said that today this job allows all the members in the group to have self-sufficiency, self-help and self-strengthening their familys’ life.

By Xayxana Leukai
(Latest Update June 24, 2017)


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