Veerada “Nan” Siripong grew up in a family that owns a small factory in San Kamphaeng that produces frames, doors and windows, so woodworking has been part of Veerada’s life since childhood. After receiving a degree in architecture from Chiang Mai University, she began her career as an architect.
At one point she started noticing a huge pile of waste wood in the factory that would be sold for charcoal for prices as low as five baht per sack. She felt that it was such a waste when she considered the trees that had been cut down to provide the wood. Using her knowledge of design combined with her ingenuity, she determined to add value to this waste.
The first piece she created was a tri scale (triangular ruler) that is a must-have item for any architect. That these are typically made of plastic while hers are made of wood makes them distinctive; that customers can have their names engraved on them is an added selling point. She started out by hiring workers from her family’s factory who were interested in making a bit of extra income to create these pieces, which are delicate and difficult to make — every millimeter must be precise. Her workers didn’t think they would sell, even scoffing a little at the idea, Veerada said, but their attitudes changed when the tri scales began to sell in the thousands.
“We would never use new wood. A tree takes can take many decades to grow and when its life ends, we should make the most of every bit and piece that remains,” said Veerada.
When the first design was launched on Facebook, the response was overwhelming. She received a hundred orders overnight and ever since orders have been increasing. She now works full-time on ’carpenter studio, which emphasizes its carpentry skills by replacing the letter “t” in its logo with a hammer icon. The studio has almost reached its tenth anniversary and now offers a variety of products.
Shortly after ’carpenter studio was established, Veerada was invited by the Thailand Creative Design Center to speak about the “go-green” concept, which, in turn, gave her brand recognition. The Association of Siamese Architects chose her tri scale as a souvenir at ASA 2014. ’carpenter studio has now produced 12 generations of its tri scales, with some customers collecting every version. Products are now diversified and include calendars, accessories, stationery, notebooks, stamps, toys, games, home decor, gadgets, surfskates and balance boards. Occasionally, they produce furniture using materials from a dismantled house to make a limited collection.
In addition to their distinctive designs, ’carpenter studio’s products are eco-friendly. The zero-waste concept means quality control procedures are intense. Works that do not meet the standard will be cut into smaller pieces to be turned into accessories such as key chains. Veerada no longer uses only waste from her family’s factory but brings it in from other places. With a goal to maximize the value of resources, she has collaborated with other brands and factories to incorporate waste in their production. One of them is a jewelry producer who makes things out of gold scraps. ’carpenter studio can also incorporate scrap metal, leather and fabric with their woodwork to create lifestyle products. With slogans like “from WASTE to WORTH” and “USE US = SAVE THE EARTH”, ’carpenter studio is truly one of the brands answering to the BCG (Bio-Circular-Green) Economy Model.