From suits to face masks – how one local business is adapting to survive

From suits to face masks - how one local business is adapting to survive
Photo: Vannoten Tailors

The impact of lockdown measures implemented across Thailand has hit thousands of small businesses hard, many of which survive month-to-month.

While restrictions are slowly being lifted and some businesses may trade again, the longterm effects from events over the past months mean many companies must adapt to survive.

One such adaptation is found at a small tailor shop located in Patong on the popular tourist island of Phuket.

Vannoten Tailors has been established in the area since 1981, serving mainly tourists who come to Phuket for the sandy beaches, lively nightlife, and cheap custom-made suits.

However, since the island went into complete lockdown at the beginning of April, the tailor shop has lost its main source of revenue. Nobody is thinking about buying tailored suits anymore.

The dilemma facing owner, Anil Paradhan, was straightforward – adapt or lose the business he has built and nurtured for almost four decades.

As an employer of more than 10 local staff, Mr. Paradhan knew there was only one option – to adapt and find a way to keep his business afloat until tourism returns to Phuket.

The business owner decided to use his stock of high-quality materials to design, stitch, and create a collection of face masks and sell them at an affordable price point for people who needed protection.

Vannoten Tailors Face Masks

He ventured into creating face masks as a business opportunity, but also because he wants to help people fight the virus that is ruling the day-to-day life of people worldwide. He said:

“The main reason I’m selling face is to protect people around the world from Coronavirus.”

Starting at only 30 baht apiece, the handcrafted facemasks offer better value than standard masks sold in stores. They are also crafted from expensive materials that won’t cause skin irritation when worn. Mr. Paradhan explains:

“My safety facial mask products are made from high-quality lightweight Egyptian cotton. They are 2 ply masks, offering supreme protection at a cheap price. That’s why people are buying.”

Vannoten Tailors Face Masks

While the face masks are enough to keep his business afloat, for now, Mr. Paradhan doesn’t foresee Vannoten Tailors recovering until at least next year. However, he remains hopeful that people will return to Phuket in the future, saying:

“Right now we don’t know the exact timeline [for when my business will recover], I hope next year. I am hopeful that tourists will return because Phuket is beautiful.”

Vannoten Tailors is offering free shipping worldwide for all face mask orders. You can place an order by contacting Anil by phone or WhatsApp on +66 81 606 9236.

In support of: Vannoten Tailors

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