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Bangkok Faces: Maneeporn Puangla, Owner, Manee Piñatas

Your Name: Maneeporn Puangla
Your Business: Manee Piñatas, Manee Paper Arts

What is your background?
I am from Thailand and I grew up in Bangkok. I graduated from Rachapat Bansomdejchaopraya University in its tourism and hotel industry program, but I have always loved arts. I had a foreign friend who told me about pinatas and I liked the concept of a piñata so I learned how to make them by looking at books and YouTube.  I have had a piñata business for 6 years.

I am also interested in different kinds of finer paper arts, and I sometime work on paper sculptures for weeks. After years of making pinatas and paper crafts I have branched out into another art form – Mexican alebrijes – which I made as decorations for a Mexican restaurant in Bangkok. My most major project was when I installed an enormous paper flower display from the top to the bottom of Central World for the Queen’s birthday. I’ve also made plenty of paper flower backdrops, including one for a celebrity Thai bride who wanted me to decorate her wedding stage with paper flowers and paper animal sculptures. Also, the Thai fashion companies Disaya and Sretsis have used my work and Disaya even used my piñatas for decoration on the catwalk.

How did you start your business or profession?
I learned how to make piñatas as a hobby and I had many in my room when I first started before I tried to sell them. I contacted all of the Mexican restaurants and Sunrise Tacos was the first one who went for it. They used many of my piñatas for decorations and they wanted to know if they could sell some and that was my only way of selling them at first. Later, I decided to increase my business by making my own website and getting my customers to recommend my piñatas to their friends.

How do you see your role?
I create piñatas for children or even adults to make them smile and laugh, to have fun together. There’s a sense of joy when people hit the piñatas, especially when they burst open.

What is the best part about this job? The most challenging part?
The most challenging time is when I get a new paper art order to create something that I haven’t made before, and the best part is to see when a new art project or new design work is finished and they come out beautifully.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by nature, colors from nature.

Only a Bangkok local would know… 
The Bang Kae area is where I grew up, so I really love eating the local food there at places like at Klong Lad Mayom market, which is becoming more popular now, and going to the temples around there. It’s my home area so it’s special to me.

Learn more at www.maneepinatas.com.

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