See you Yen Nguyen – founder of design studio specializing in sustainable creation Traqué on a cool Saigon morning, we had a talk that was not too long but really evocative, from a beginning, but according to She described it sounding “romantic”, about creating sustainable livelihoods for local people to the very real difficulties of sustainable handicraft products.
During her career years, she has devoted herself to the craft and creative ecosystem of Vietnam, participating in lectures to motivate her around innovation, creativity, design, branding and communication. She loves working and collaborating with local artists, designers and producers to help spread local brands to the world.
1. Traqué is a brand with an effort to dedicate itself to the creative and craft ecosystem in Vietnam. So what fate and motivation made you create Traqué?
In 2008, there is a program of the Politburo “Vietnamese people prefer to use Vietnamese goods”She was led by that project, bringing Vietnamese goods to the countryside. She has been working for 4 years, seeing genuine Vietnamese goods are better, people know that there are good and quality products. I think my experience should stop here. And because you see a loop:
Rural people, they plant trees, they fish. Their children left, might not come back and send money home from work. And they use that money plus their own money to buy technology products (instant noodles, fish sauce …). It is the old cycle of people leaving their hometowns to make a living because they cannot create a local livelihood to return. She thinks that loop is a bit wrong and wants to try to find a way to connect the market with local people so that they can still have a livelihood, still start a business with local resources. She set up a company, took local handicrafts for commerce and created a livelihood.
2. Where does your love for crafts come from?
Her mother was a seamstress, she remembers when she was ten years old when she used to pay her to fix buttons and squeeze customers. Until the afternoon of the 30th Tet, we still have to go to deliver things She wondered why she had to do it all the time, she had headache, backache, she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t even pay with it.
However, there is a group of manual manipulators full of passion, intelligence, even very wise. I see her mother as the most intelligent person I have ever known about governance. Administer the next ten craftsmen, chains, craft groups. How can you manage like that, but you can also buy a house, and be loved by many customers. She saw that her mother was very professional, very creative. Back then, it was not called creativity because her mother said she could not model. But building a framework for everyone, smooth operation is already innovative! And crafts are certainly part of sustainable creation.
3. What is sustainable development for you?
Sustainable Development is a great campaign of United Nations in all sectors and fields with 17 sustainable development goals. I think following this direction will have progress in society and the environment in which I live.
Values will revolve in the end to help people develop, help the next generation to develop and the current generation does not invest in what the future is. She is very fond of her philosophy of sustainable development Vu Kim Hanh (Director of Center for Business Research and Business Support – BSA) is “Sustainable development is enough to spend.”
4. Sustainability does not have a fixed formula, what about the consequences or consequences of its solution?
I have a YOLO, I have to try it. If there is a problem, we fix it, or have people join together to fix it. I think so. From the beginning I thought I would make many mistakes, I should not do it, otherwise I would correct it. But that must understand first. For sustainability, we have to go from the inside, we have to know what level we are at, don’t try or we will drown, naturally everything it will sort out fine.
5. What is sustainable innovation? Why did you choose sustainable creative development as a guideline for Traqué brand?
I think that sustainable creation is enough, it is just right. Choosing sustainable creation is that we tell stories from product understanding, user understanding. Do they need that product? How far should it be? Design needs to understand the product and should only communicate properly without overdoing it.
When choosing to be a sustainable design studio, you choose to return to our view of creativity, how we have used creativity to navigate users. Utilizing design to tell a great story about a product will somehow manipulate buyer behavior. If I understand the power of creativity I will be able to navigate the market.
The pinnacle of creativity is innovation. She often requires that you design when looking at products to find the inheritance of the brand, especially with large corporate teams or longstanding brands. People who come after must grasp the spirit of the brand, not feel bad, and then make a completely new one. To inherit you must imitate, grasp its god, and then re-create a new version.
6. How does crafts play a role in the sustainable development orientation of Traqué brand?
Handicraft is when we identify in a value chain from “nothing” to a product in the hands of consumers, people participate in a part of it. Sometimes we only see the marketing, the salesman, and if we want to understand the rhythm of the production line, we must have samples. It is the craftsmen who create their own molds for replication and craftsmanship that know how much effort is put into it.
She chooses to pursue handicrafts but it must be sustainable, that is to create energy, the next value, have a team of successors, scalable, must have income to reinvest for this group and its team me. Instead of doing it manually, it’s always done by hand.
I can optimize my manual actions by observing which sections take a lot of hours and time, then think about how to cut them down. In order to optimize the manual business model, it is she who takes care of the customer, the price will be higher, the business model is re-streamed to balance the model. This is not difficult.
7. Craft has a price disadvantage, so is this a weakness of Traqué?
It’s just a disadvantage, not a weakness, because I’m doing something quite beautiful. She wants to change buyers’ behavior, when people accept sustainable crafts and understand. Immediate understanding, may not choose.
She has met many customers, because the price is high so they recommend other more capable people. So if you keep your criteria, you will have an advantage in terms of “forging” the market despite the disadvantage of price. If I choose the lower segment of fast consumers, they will not make any effort to change their own behavior. Maybe this dish is a bit of money, it takes 3-4 days to think about whether or not, but after thinking about it, the concept of sustainability has begun to “stick” in the mind. They slowly begin to change their behavior, and by the time they decide to buy a sustainable product, they feel proud and pass it on to others.
8. What bright future is there for sustainable craft innovation in Vietnam?
This sentence has been thinking a lot! Traqué is like an experiment of her, business is business, but when I see the project with revenue and behavioral interaction, I listen to the market. In Vietnam, the project of sustainable development is still very complex. Not the fault of the employee, not the fault of the rich supporting, but I can completely connect our products with the tastes of the market. And the force in the middle is the creative, business group that has to hook up and trade to create a suitable product.
9. What do you think and what do you want to say to young people who love handicraft work?
It’s not a bad thing I like to do by hand. For some people, they want their children to do very big things, but why do they stitch the windows or screen print. There are things that are hobbies and hobbies but some are jobs, people choose to do jobs. For those of you who like handicraft, I think it is good, if the item can be bought or sold, she will join the chain for the committee to rotate. If you do not support, you do not have the capital to be able to continue, to be creative.
iDesign Thank you for your talk, about the beautiful mission that you are pursuing. Wishing you more confidence and happiness on the path of building human values, further expanding the field of positive impacts on sustainable development and creativity in the future on the community.
Designer: Uyen Nguyen