SeungKhmer: Empowering rural women through employment

Cambodia has a long and rich history in the production of silk as well as the art of weaving that dates back more than a thousand years. Southern Cambodian women keep looms in their houses and continue an artistic tradition that has been handed down from their mothers and grandmothers.

Silk and Seung are two types of cloth that the Khmer people have chosen for making Samput (also known as a sarong or skirt) for well over a hundred years. Silk and Seung are both produced on handlooms, however, the production of silk requires more skill than that of Seung.

Khmer people often wear clothes made of cotton or silk that are called Seung or Kronev. This fabric has almost entirely disappeared from the market. 

Pheakdey, who works with local women to offer a new and unique combination of handwoven traditional Cambodian fabrics combined with cotton or linen fabrics turned into casual style or resort wear with a high-quality and elegant look, promotes sustainable fashion that empowers rural artisans and women in Cambodia.

In 2016, Pheakdey launched a local business named Seung Khmer. She founded the firm with the goal of marketing Cambodian variants of traditional Khmer textiles such as seung or silk. She was able to expand her business across the country and internationally as a result of her dedication and diligence.

Happy Customers

Both the quality of the materials and the design are extremely important to us. Our company conducts research on the most recent developments in the market. 

“We put a modern twist on our products so that people can wear them on a regular basis and still feel appropriate for an official function. We add value by telling the story of the beneficiaries, who are women who make these textiles. Our customers feel proud when they buy from us and appreciate that we support the community,” Pheakdey told The Better Cambodia.

She continued, “When I started the business, we faced a lot of difficulties. However, I always inspire myself to be confident by engaging in my passion and appreciating what I do. I worked hard to communicate with and motivate our business partners, like designers and weavers.”

“I wanted to create a company that was both sustainable and profitable, which means I had to find a way to bring together a great team of artisans and create products that people would buy. It was hard at first because I wasn’t exactly sure how to make it work. It took some time, but we decided we wanted to focus on creating ethical products that are beautiful and make someone feel special when they wear them.”

Pheakdey, Founder of SeungKhmer

“Our initial strategy consisted of developing fashion designs that could be customized to match the needs of the client. With a larger storefront, we want to get new customers and expand our business.”

Lastly, I’d like to thank the young entrepreneurs who are pioneering the development of innovative new business concepts. As I see it, the only way to reap the benefits of your passion is to remain positive, stick to the plan, and set long-term goals, even if it involves making short-term sacrifices.

SeungKhmer products at Satcha, new incubation center for Cambodiaian handicraft products in SiemReap.

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SeungKhmer products are now available at Made in Cambodia Market and Satcha, new incubation center for Cambodiaian handicraft products in SiemReap.

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