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Weaving group faces marketing challenge

Ms Chansamay Sorsaengsouliyan politely answers a customer's question about the quality, and the background, of the cotton woven napkins she is displaying at her booth at Lao-ITECC, in Vientiane.

Ms Chansamay, is a member of the Lao Silk and Cotton Handicraft Group in Khamyard village, Xanasomboun district, Champassak province. The province is located in the south of Laos some 700 km from Vientiane.

She talked to a reporter when she was displaying her products at One District One Product (ODOP) fair organised in Vientiane. She is hoping that this fair will be one of many ways to effectively promote her products.

Ms Chansamay Sorsaengsouliyan shows ODOP certificate. --Photos Somchanh Bouapha

The group can produce very many products if the market is there. However, the challenge the group faces today is that the group does not have experience in marketing and distributing their products. Members of the group do not have any knowledge on marketing, especially in selling their products to customers in other provinces. The group has many completed products that remain unsold, as only a small quantity of their products is sold each day.

For this reason, weaving product sales currently do not assist members in having a better life, with the income from selling weaving products too low. The money is used for daily spending only, instead of providing enough income for them to save for tomorrow.

Today, weaving products are on the rise nationwide due to the government support for establishing production groups, especially with respect to community-centred products. The government's schemes aim to encourage women who already have expertise to weave products for sale.

This can be one of many channels by which women can earn extra income for their family. However, many weaving groups are faced with very real challenges in marketing their products. This is because some of them cannot find business partners or product agents for selling their products in other provinces, even though their products are designed in a range of different patterns and colours.

However, she is optimistic that if more Lao people choose to use Lao cotton to decorate their homes, with products such as curtains, bed sheets, sofa-covers, and other household decorations, it will help local weavers to have more income from selling their products.

“If cotton products are ordered by customers rise, then it will reduce the capital required for producing cotton products. That will help the price of products to go down, and that will directly benefit customers,” said Ms Chansamay.

When in Champassak, customers can buy the products from weaving group of Ms Chansamay at Khamyard village, Xanasomboun district.

In the past, she also had an opportunity to display weaving products from the group in Vientiane many times. But market's demand for her group remains low, especially when compared to the daily production capacity of the group members.

For this reason, Ms Chansamay wants the relevant government sectors to assist in marketing to ensure sustainable income for this female weaving handicraft group in Khamyard village.

The products from silk and cotton weaving handicraft group in Khamyard village consists of napkins, sashes, phakhaoma , cotton cloth for tailoring, and sinh that made by cotton and silk. These products retail starting from 3,000 kip to 3 million kip. All products made by Ms Chansamay's group are made with natural dyes.

The quality of the product from the group has already been approved by the ODOP certificate last year.

“Receiving ODOP recognition is an outstanding outcome of all women in the group,” she said.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update July 8 , 2017 )

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