From a Brand Maker to an Owner of Leather Work School
Learning about Khlongsan District has led us to meet Mr.Bank, the owner of MHA leather work school.
Charoenrat road in Khlongsan. It has long been a hub of leather work in Thonburi area, Bangkok, for generations. It gathers all types of leather, equipment and leather technician.
However, the area has received less popularity since online marketplaces disrupt traditional business. Fewer people come to the area as they can shop online for cheaper products, causing many local shops to close down. Mr.Bank’s family, a long generation of a highly skilled leather technician, has discovered a new career in other fields. Mr.Bank has been working as a brand maker and a designer before he comes back to open MHA leather work school in Khlongsan district.
How Mr.Bank turns from a “brand maker” to the owner of MHA leather work school
“I grew up in Khlongsan district and has seen the changes in the community from time to time. Small local shops are unable to compete with online marketplaces as it offers cheaper product, wide range of choices and home delivery.”
Therefore, many shops have to close down and the local community has become less lively. In order to support and preserve the local charm, he opened “MHA leather work school” and coffee shop 4 years ago. When more students come from Thailand and abroad, “WYH. Boutique and Design Hostel” is opened to serve the need for accommodations in the area.
Every month, the school offers a “Leather work walking tour” within Khlongsan district. Students get to explore the source of leather materials and equipment. Leather shops get to learn about the new generation of leather design which can fuel their business idea.
Mr.Bank stands by his strong intention towards ‘MHA leather work school’ standpoint. “My intention is to make ‘MHA leather work school’ as a gateway for local businesses in Khlongsan district. By integrating graphic design, brand making, and entrepreneurship, the school aims to add more value to leather work. In order to represent the charm of a handcrafted product which cannot be replaced by robots.”
Please follow up on this project that Happy Hub, School of Architecture and Design (KMUTT) and MHA leather work school are going to generate the interesting activities soon.
Date: June 25th, 2018
Photo credit: Hua Namtip