I'm Hester, I'm Dutch and have been living in Asia since 2011. I'm the partner of colorful Teun, and mom of deliciously wise Jhana (4) and awoke kind Frits (6). Here are some words I'd use to introduce myself: positive, innovator, sensitive, spiritual, traveler, connected with nature, dancer, singer, playful, see'er of beauty, space holder, make a difference, expressive and also loves quiet.
My life purpose is to bring more value to the world by giving voice to women across cultures trough social entrepreneurship. My journey brought me to Pai, Thailand (near the Burma border) where I work with local communities, live a simple life and started a family. What I love about my life here is the connection with the land and the elements, and sharing this magic with my communities. A favorite thing about where I live is my neighbor the ‘cow herder’. This man is so connected to his land and his cows. I love watching him. He has the most beautiful smile and I love how gentle and caring he is with his cows. He leads a simple but satisfying life. I feel that in ‘the West’ we have lost a connection to nature that can be found in other cultures such as my surroundings. My background is in ‘development work’, although I don't like that term. I believe in human connection, and see value where others might see hardships and injustice. I’m not ignoring that reality but choose to shed light on the beauty and chances this world has to offer and in doing so I believe we can change the world one bit at the time. I founded my fabrics project to share that beauty to the western world (and to actively embody and strengthen a human centered approach to development.
About the project
We are an embodiment of a new model of business. One that values the feminine qualities of collaboration, global connections and nurturing of communities and the Earth. It’s an ethical fashion brand with a unique approach. We connect global customers, creatives and marginalized artisans. Together designers and artisans work to co-create what neither could do alone - to create exclusive fashion collections.
With these collections we support and value traditional Shan hand-woven fabrics and local craftsmanship. We commit to ethically-sourced and produced products created through connections around the world. Our efforts result in greater personal agency, entrepreneurship and preservation of traditional skills. Our base is in the Jungle of northern Thailand where we live and work and where our fabrics are being tailored. We make yearly trips (as often as required) to a remote area in Myanmar (in Shan state) where our partner and her cooperative of artisan weavers are based. At the heart the project is the belief that we are all connected, all worthy, and all Love. We create spaces where these values can thrive. Our focus is one of abundance and we live everyday in the belief that we have everything we need. We don’t settle for “fair” trade. We can do so much better than fair.
Our mission is to change the global narrative surrounding marginalized groups from one of fear, lack and pity to one of human connection, worthiness and abundance. We believe that through connection we can see each other as one and that this will change the way that we respond, on a global level, to discrimination and inequality.
By connecting designers and artisan weavers from marginalized groups we are creating a future fashion industry that values our individual choices and honors the spaces of creativity where products are created. We feel that this is only possible through co-creation; a Magical process of human connection and abundance. We see a world that does not look at marginalized groups and see a deficit. We are challenging the global humanitarian aid model to focus on all people as innately valuable and worthy and are demonstrating this through fashion. In connecting people through fashion, we create a space of mutual empowerment where we recognize ourselves in each other and co-create a new story. It’s about power. It’s about choice. It’s about co-creating the world that we want to live in.
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
I live a very local life in the jungle of Northern Thailand. My local friends are local Thai from the village I live in or come from the Karen village 'Mae Ping' nearby. Both my kids are completely taken in as one of theirs.
The valley of Pai is surrounded by a lot of hilltribe villages. Also a lot of foreigner families are living and manifesting their dreams here. The valley of Pai is also known for the hippy/backpackers scene. It's a beautiful place to be in - every year it attracts amazing people from all over the world (artisans, musicians etc).
Ideally I would be your big sister and take you along with me in my life. My life consists of the following: morning practice Kundalini yoga (7-8am) up to you! :) , feed kids and bring to school (8.30am - the school is a parent-run school waldorf based and kids learn English & Thai), work on the project, or as a life-coach and I sometimes also give healing treatments (Chi Nei Tsang & Watsu). Pick up kids (4pm), have some fun in town, make food, jump in our hotspring pool, read stories and sleep. In an ideal week I have: danced a lot, made music, did 1 or 2 nature hikes, made a bonfire in my garden, possibly made art, worked in my garden.
Marketing & Sales. I envision that you are great at building online presence: facebook, instagram, etsy & possibly pinterest. Creating and executing an excellent marketing strategy. Writing beautiful posts, setting up systems and growing followers to grow sales. The goal is to market our FON Top & Vest Collections.
Workshop Development. Possibly you can help with creating personal development workshops & teacher trainings that will be given in Myanmar first quarter of 2020.
Our collections are a co-creation with Shan artisan weavers from Myanmar. We support young local women by giving personal development workshops. We also support young ambitious women living in Yangon with personal development workshops with our partners. These workshops train young ethnic women and men towards leadership by supporting their values, gifts, skills and passion.
Large beautiful, clean, private bungalow with lots of artwork in an amazing setting amidst rice-paddies 360 view. Big covered porch with couch, fast wifi, desk, private bathroom with bath and little kitchen. Hot-springs pool, big garden, motorbike included. My intention is to have 1 excellent volunteer at the time. Ideally we do our practice together every morning in the bungalow as it is also set up as yoga space. You could join me in my Kundalini practice and I'm open to learn any practice you might have <3.
The volunteer can join in with the family for 2 meals a day during the days that the volunteer helps.
I have a motorbike available for you. We have 2 hot-springs pools on the property. We live quite an inspired life surrounded with many amazing friends (families) that are all building their dreams: a permaculture farm, a spiritual community place, a parent-run school that is Waldorf inspired etc. Usually i go for hikes with my kids in weekends - you are so welcome to join. There are places with yoga, fire-spinning, musicians etc. This is Pai!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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