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The Blog Updates & Inspiration

Chiang Mai's Markets

Chiang Mai is the cultural capital of Thailand and one of the best places to visit if you love local markets and shopping. Ethnic Lanna was started as a direct result of our owner, Carlos Mantilla, falling completely in love with the handbags, jewelry, and apparel available at the markets. These markets are not only great places to shop and pass the time, but where we often go to find inspiration. We've met so many great people and have made so many connections with the artisans at these markets, and we hope you feel the same way if you ever make your way to Chiang Mai. Get in touch if you want a guide, as we love to share our knowledge and experience with anyone who shares our passion!

How is Your Bag Made?

We've recently been asked by customers about how are bags are constructed and if they really are all handmade. We pride ourselves in the amount of time and care each bag we make is given, and they are indeed all lovingly hand crafted. So with the help of La, our Burmese Artisan, we put together a quick little video on how we make one of our best selling bags. We hope you appreciate the insight, and if you have any questions, or would like to order this bag, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Artisan Profile - Rungrudee

In this installment of our Artisan Profile series, we would like to introduce you to Rungrudee, one of our most skilled and prolific Artisan Jewelry Partners. Rungrudee has been working for Ethnic Lanna for 5 years, and is our most trusted jewellery artisan. From a small stall to her own store front, our partnership has been mutually beneficial, and we are so happy and lucky to have found someone as inspiring as Rungrudee to grow with.

Artisan Profile - Pranee

In this installment of our Artisan Profile series, we would like to introduce you to Pranee, one of our oldest and most trusted Artisan partners. Pranee has been working for Ethnic Lanna for 6 years, and in that time has become one of our most capable Artisan partners. It is therefore our pleasure and honor to share this short clip of an interview we had with her, as well as providing a quick tour of her workshop.

5 Must Have Summer Clutches

Upcycled Styles’ collection of Clutches are perfect for the summer, but these 5 absolutely stand out as some of our personal favorites that are on trend this season!

Embroidered Indian Patchwork Clutch

BG306WC-68C2 – MSRP $39.99 This Beautiful Clutch is made from Upcycled Handmade Hmong Fabrics and Vintage Burmese Coins. Bright, Fun, and Eco-Friendly, this high end bag is on trend right now, and with its use of colors can be paired with any summer look.  

The G-Diamond Fringe Clutch

BG4395-30C2 – MSRP $49.99 This Boho Clutch with Symmetrical Leather Fringe Accent is perfect for a night out on the town or to tote your essentials with you at your favorite summer festival. The bright geometric pattern used in this clutch is inspired by the indigenous Guatemalan Communities we are working with as we expand into Central America. Utilizing high end Nappa Leather, this bag exudes class while highlighting your unique style!  

The Pretty in Purple Carnival Clutch

BG289P - MSRP $29.99 This Carnival Clutch is absolutely Pretty in Purple. Available in a plethora of different colors this clutch is special because of the amount of love and care taken to design the embroidered pattern featured on both sides of this bag. We take only the most exquisite embroideries from our Designers and turn them into these works of art. Just a touch of leather on the zipper tab takes this clutch from Fun to Fabulous.  

Our Vintage Coin Cool Colored Clutch

BG306WC-72P30 - MSRP $39.99 This is my favorite summer night’s clutch. Cool, Sexy, and Sophisticated. Available in a variety of different colors, this colorway is my choice for the fashion forward boho look. This clutch features Vintage Chinese Coins and can also be had with a detachable leather strap allowing it to convert into a sleek shoulder bag.  

South Beach Multi-Diamond Clutch

BG5343-5C7 – MSRP $39.99 The Multi-Diamond Clutch is one of our Best-Sellers and this color-way is perfect for the summer. Bright and playful, while also featuring on trend Purple and Aqua accents makes this clutch pop. Big enough for your iPad Mini or Kindle so you can carry your beach reading with you in style.

Ordained as a Monk: Q&A w/ Ang

Last month one of our newest staff members, Ang, sent us a photo while he was taking a few days off, that really piqued our curiosity! We thought you guys might be interested too, so with the help of our Graphic Designer, Kra’Taai, conducting the interview in Thai, and our Director of Logistics, David, helping out with the English translation, we did a little Q & A to find out more about this awesome picture.

So what is going on here Ang? Is this a buddhist sacrament or rite?
This is the ceremony Buddhists go through to be ordained as a monk.  

Is this a regular occurrence, to be ordained as a monk?
Yes, many men are ordained as a monk for various reasons throughout their life. For example,it is quite common to become a monk for a short time when one of your parents passes away. Some men become a monk at a very young age and will remain a monk for their entire life. It is also common for older men to become a monk in preparation for death and re-birth.  

Can you become a monk only during this time of year?
No, but in Thailand many Buddhists are ordained as a monk at this time of year in honor of the king’s birthday.

Where did you get ordained?

The name of the temple is Panom Kwan, it is located in Nong Ha village in Phrae province.  

How long does it take to become ordained?
Most boys will stay in the temple for a minimum of 7 days and up to 15 days, though some stay as long as 3 months - until the end of Buddhist lent.  

What are the steps involved in becoming a monk?
  1. First your mother and father must shave your head and shave off your eyebrows.
  2. Then they ceremoniously pour water over their sons head as a symbol of purification.
  3. Then the parents will offer food to their son.
  4. After this the son must beg his parents for forgiveness for all of his previous sins.
  5. Then the son must change into a white shirt and pants (this is the ceremonial outfit of a novice monk).
  6. Then he must walk around the temple three times while reciting a prayer.
  7. After this he must go inside to start the ordination process. This consists of paying respect to the Buddha, and chanting, then The senior monk administers 
    the Three Refuges and the Ten Precepts or training rules.
  8. After this the boy is officially recognized as an ordained monk.
What was your favourite part of the ceremony?
My favorite part was receiving alms because it was very humbling. It also made me feel very proud to be a Thai person, and see how many Thai people 
show respect to Buddha, and make merit and offerings everyday.

Thanks for talking to us Ang, and congratulations on getting ordained!


ethnic-lanna-wholesale-1422503486It's officially time to unveil our new independent retail site! Upcycled Styles is now live! We've been hard at work creating an exclusive shopping experience we think you'll absolutely love. Help us achieve our mission of supporting the most amazing sustainable and socially conscious Artisans in Chiang Mai and the Hill Tribes of Thailand! Be it wholesale or retail, we strive to be ethical, while also being resourceful and creative. Inspired by the Hill Tribes and Artisans of Thailand, we believe in taking what is vintage and beloved, and re-purposing it into something unique, exciting, and stylish. Upcycle_960x420pxTo celebrate the launch of Upcycled Stlyes we are taking 20% OFF our entire store until the end of this month. It's our small way of saying thank you to everyone who supported us throughout the years! IMG_0036So the next time you decide to buy a gift or want to treat yourself to something beautiful, take a look at our site. We know you'll love what we have to offer and that you'll feel good after you make your purchase knowing every penny you spent is going towards a good cause!

Check Out Our Expanded Office!

We’d like to take this moment to give you a brief introduction to our newly expanded offices in Chiang Mai. We’re so excited to share with you our home, and how much we’ve grown. We had an amazing 2014, and we know that this couldn’t have been done without you. So without further ado, please watch the video, or better yet, come visit us so you can see it with your own eyes!

We’ll be launching our Retail Site on February 2015, so if you see anything you like, check your local boutique, or get in touch with us directly and we’ll send you the link once the website goes live and we’ll give you a special discount if you mention this blog! Happy 2015 Everyone!

Custom Textile Spotlight - Deco Jaw

1 Today we’d like to show you one of our first custom designed embroidery created in-house with Olga! This textile was created by our head of IT Lewis. While not a designer by profession, he is proof positive that anyone who feels a little inspired can turn their design into a reality. 2   Lewis saw a similar print on a pattern his girlfriend was wearing, and thought it was new and fresh and nothing like any of Ethnic Lanna’s textiles. With that inspiration he went to work designing the pattern and after a little trial and error, the design that is now one of our best sellers is what emerged.10423959_734399086598009_8404896651720748905_n We at Ethnic Lanna are very happy and excited by this fabulous new fabric, and by the overwhelming positive response from our customers! If you have been inspired at all recently, don’t hesitate to forward your ideas to us.

Charitable Projects: Agape Home

Today we’d like to highlight the Agape Home and the next step for the charitable side of our business, the launch of www.EthnicLannaHelps.com! 15b5a28276ab11e2bf3622000a9f1886_7 We are really proud of the partnerships we’ve made here in Northern Thailand. The Artisans we work with first hand, our friends at the Elephant Sanctuary, and the generous people at Agape Home, who are all doing some truly amazing work and are limited only by the fact that they rely on mostly public donations to accomplish their goals. Today we'd like to particularly highlight the Agape Home, and specifically their founder Avis Rideout, who has helped an immense number of the literally hundreds of thousands of foster children in Thailand afflicted with HIV/Aids since her organizations founding in 1996. Through her 18 years of service, Avis and her organization have touched the lives of countless children. 9f3b9a_7bbcd5396977f7e3dcbc2ffde534ce3f Support at the Agape Home lasts a lifetime, often supporting foster children into their 20’s. Many children spend their whole lives at the Agape Home, and because of that, the facilities are in constant need of expanding to accommodate the ever-growing number of residents. Avis goes above and beyond the call of duty and we hope you match her generosity this holiday season. Consider making a $25, $50, or $100 dollar donation to contribute a little bit and help make their dreams come true. Thanks in advance to everyone who contributes, and remember, the fastest and easiest way to place a wholesale order is on our website at www.EthnicLanna.com/wholesale! And keep an eye out for our retail site launching in early 2015! To donate directly to the Agape Home, visit their website at http://www.nikkisplace.org/

Get updates on all our projects Get updates on all our projects - and who you're helping - straight to your inbox by joining the Ethnic Lanna Helps Newsletter!

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