Spotlight on Women Entrepreneurs Event
A diverse group of Irish and Non-Irish, women and men joined us at our second Spotlight event. The hospitable crew at Bourbon Street laid on some delicious finger foods and made sure we were well taken care of.
Our speakers for the evening were 2 members of the Irish Women’s group who have started businesses in Thailand.
Emer Gannon is the Founder and President of Avitez, pronounced like the French! She gave a brief presentation about how her company buys a plant-based resin, blows it into bottles and fills them in Kanchanaburi. Her market is the luxury hotel and tourism industry who are committing to sustainable standards all over SE Asia.
We didn’t let her off the hook that quickly, as she fielded 20 minutes of questions from our curious group. We learned about her background (not water bottling), her motivation (her kids), and her plans (BIG!). She explained how difficult it is to work with this material, and that it took several tries and clever engineering to make a strong bottle. We remarked on her distinctive branding, and learned about the Italian design student who designed the bottle. We discussed sustainable consumption and recycling efforts in SE Asia, noting that the relatively high cost of producing this bottle will put it out of consumer range for the time being. We were all energized by Emer’s passion for her company and her mission!
Emma Boudah had us all intrigued by the supplies and gems she had lined up by the podium. We launched into a quick talk about her company before learning all about the bling she brought. Emma is a gemologist and started Spokes Jewelry services 8 years ago. Their factory employs 25 people and produces high end, small run pieces for other brands, as well as custom pieces for private clients.
Gems are a passion for Emma, and she brought her collection of pretty but fake, as well as pretty and real opals, sapphires and rubies. The loupes were passed around and we squinted awkwardly through the glass. Emma can quickly and confidently assess a gem’s structure, but it took our group a bit longer. We were taught to look for striations, dye in the facets, as well as the very telling bubble! From now on, we will always ask for a loupe when gem shopping. Whether or not we will use it properly remains to be seen but surely we will look like we know what we are on about.
The night concluded soon after, with everyone catching up, exchanging details and polishing off the selection of cakes we were offered.