Dreaming of Silks

Our friend Trish is a small businesswoman whose product is custom-made silk dresses.  Over the past two years I’ve written about her visit to search for silk factories (including this interesting video about the silk-making process) as well as a photo shoot I did for her last summer.  She’s such a fashion-forward woman and is so enthusiastic about her product that Tawn and I really enjoy helping her.

This weekend we spent several hours at Old Siam, a fabric market in the heart of the old city, shopping for silk for Trish.  Saturday’s visit was spent finding various silks and photographing them – some four dozen options in all.  Then I processed the files, color corrected them as best I could so as to get an accurate representation, then send the pictures to Trish.

Sunday morning, after Trish had reviewed and narrowed the selections to just a dozen, Tawn and I returned to Old Siam, negotiating prices and quantities.  By the end of the weekend, my head was spinning with silks.  Truly, when I tried to go to sleep on Sunday night, it took me several hours as I kept dreaming of being buried under bolts of colorful silk!

Here are the fabrics that Trish settled on:

P1220227 P1220226
P1220223 P1220222
P1220216 P1220214
P1220196 P1220195
P1220209 P1220201
P1220203 P1220193

The binder appears as something off which I could later white-balance the picture.  It is a 6×9″ binder so can also provide some sense of scale of the prints and plaids.  Next time, I should have a little ruler measured out on the paper, shouldn’t I?

Anyhow, it was a fun weekend spent silk shopping.  Personally, I go for the plaids in the vibrant colors.  Maybe I’ll make a few jackets out of those.  That would catch some attention!


Trish Offers Us a Discount on Teal Lotus Outfits

Many of you may recall my good friend Trish, a stylish woman from Kansas City, who has visited us here in Thailand twice, most recently in November 2008.  The purpose of that visit was to put the pieces together for her new company, Teal Lotus.  Teal Lotus creates custom made 100% Thai silk woman’s wear in designs that are classic, timeless and flattering to women of all ages and body types.

The inspiration for her company came with Trish’s first visit to Thailand in 2006.  While here, Trish had some outfits custom made based on her own designs.  They turned out wonderfully and when she wore them, she received frequent compliments and inquiries about where she bought them.  Trish quickly spotted a business opportunity and set about creating Teal Lotus.

Part of that process included working with dressmakers here in Krungthep, refining designs and creating patterns that could be easily modified for each customer’s unique measurements.  One thing Trish insisted on: Teal Lotus garments would carry only one size – yours.


Above: Trish, flanked by her assistant Bulan, discuss measurements with a local dressmaker.

In addition to negotiating with dressmakers and addressing production and logistics questions, Trish had to source the silk.  She was very particular about both the quality and the variety of colors she wanted.  We eventually located a factory that met her specifications in Nakhon Ratchasima province.  The owner walked us through the entire production process and was happy to let me take photos.


Since returning home ten months ago, Trish set up her website, TealLotus.com, and started filling orders for customers.  While back in Kansas City this summer, I did a photo shoot for her to get pictures of several different outfits modeled by friends and family members, including my sister and grandmother.

The purpose of the shoot was so Trish could pull together an advertisement (pictured below) in a local Kansas City magazine.


While taking the pictures, I mentioned to Trish that when I originally wrote about her visit to Thailand last November, I received several inquiries from readers about the availability of Teal Lotus outfits.  Because of this interest, I asked Trish whether she would be willing to offer a promotional discount to readers of my blog.  Of course she said yes.

So, dear readers, here is my own form of economic stimulus, well-timed since the holidays (and all the parties that the holidays bring about) are coming soon.  Please feel free to visit Trish’s site at TealLotus.com.  If you see anything that you would like to order, please send me a message before you complete the order and I’ll be happy to share the code for a 20% discount with you.

Remember, each Teal Lotus garment is custom made to your exact measurements (or the exact measurements of the special lady for whom you are buying it), ensuring a flattering fit.  And each garment is made from 100% Thai silk, the most beautiful silk in the world.

If you have any questions, please let me know.