Hi, my name is Siew Hoon and I am first a traveller, second a travel journalist. I first came across Lanjia Craft when, as an event organiser, I was looking for different and creative ways to bring the community experience into conferences. 

Other than offering the standard plastic or cloth lanyards to delegates, could we showcase the beautiful craft work made by local communities in Asia? That way, we share an important story and connection with our customers. 

I knew about the intricate, embroidery work of the Hmong and Lisu hilltribes and I asked if they could make lanyards for my events. They jumped at the opportunity. But because these were bulk orders, they needed sewing machines. We donated 15 sewing machines. The women love designing and making the lanyards, our customers love them and our sponsors appreciated them. 

Watching the women at work, chatting, laughing, while their children play around them, I realize that a place like Lanjia Craft provides the space around which the villagers gather. It is the heart of the community.