Matta from Thailand
"My name is Matta Nandrakwang, I was born and raised in Chiang Rai, the northernmost province in Thailand next to the border with Myanmar (Burma). I grew up appreciating this naturally beautiful area, home to rich and diverse cultures as well as many ancient ethnic tribes. Since the area is rich with gems and the main activity was their trade, I began to learn and develop a passion for the various gemstones.
"My sister and I have always enjoyed visiting jewelry shops. We would buy what we could afford, and admire the higher price pieces. I realized I had much to learn about gems and jewelry, and decided to enroll in gemology school. There I learned all about gems and jewelry making. I learned on my own about bead-making. This passion is still with me after many years. I have opened my own studio now, and I derive great joy from sharing my enthusiasm and knowledge of gems and jewelry with my visitors."