Chompoo – Kanchana Chanathepaporn’ the founder of BWILD ISAN, and Isan Kai Baan bag – has been fascinated in craft works since she was a child. She started her business from her passion and always believes in presenting her real self for branding in the modern days.

To run a business in the past and to run the business in the present are totally different. In the past, we needed to create the good brand images, but nowadays, “The truth and reality are needed in competitions”. The concept has been changed and this reminds me of one fashion entrepreneur. She is a confident woman who has grown up in Udonthani Province. She has a lot of passion in Isan being and believes that the root of each person can create the good value in their own patterns.

‘Chompoo – Kanchanathepaporn’, the founder of BWILD ISAN and the owner of Kai Baan bag which was on the VersaThai stage in Malaysia. She told The People about the story before becoming a unique ‘Kai Baan bag’ which presents real Isan being as many people have mentioned about. The idea just popped up without plans.

Finance Lady who loves Fashion

Chompoo – Kanchana graduated with a degree in finance and administration, and she has been interested in fashion, craft works and handmade products since she was young. She said, “I grew up in Udonthani Province, but my father’s family is in Bangkok and my mother’s family is in Chachoengsao.” Therefore, during a semester break, I would visit my relatives in Bangkok and stay with my parents. It was fun every time because my mom took me to walk around department stores, night markets, and Chatuchak Market. I saw variety of stuff and thought that this must be the reason why I love craft works.

“I was so excited and happy just to see the crafts and I believe that it is still like that until I grow up. As I see more crafts from different parts of the world, I am more fascinated in them. It’s even more special to see craftsmen working on their projects. I think it’s an art. Normally, I am not interested in brand name items. I only have a few pieces of brand name items. I rather like works made by designers. I like their styles and the feeling of wearing clothes that are not like others.”

Her favor and passion have been melted into Chompoo – Kanchana. She has chosen and decided to start her business on what she loves. It is because she can run the business happily every day and has passion to continue and step forward with no hesitations. Before becoming Chompoo-BWILD ISAN, she had another fashion business.

Before Becoming ‘BWILD ISAN’ Brand

“Not long after I got married (I was about 25 or 26 years), I started learning about my husband’s business of selling cloths. I didn’t quite get it because the cloths were for men and male suits. I remembered that my father-in-law took me to Sampheng and saw a lot of female clothes. I thought that men do not buy as many clothes as women, so I finally decided to learn about cloths walking around the biggest cloth market and took garment courses.”

“The real purpose of going to classes was to find out who could be my clients and what brands of fusible webs other garment shops used, so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. After that, I had an idea of replace the male garment shop to female one. At that time, I was learning and understood that apart from fashion, female garment shops also deal with daily items such as spare parts, lining cloths and glue. These items will never be out of date.

All those things Chompoo has learned about and studied remind her that she was the girl who loved drawing, designing and she has been interested in clothing since she could remember stuff. For example, when there were activities at her school, she as a primary school girl always chose to go to the garment shop to get some fabric for cutting and sewing. This is to show that she has had designer blood and started loving fashion since she was young.

The Origin of Kai (Chicken) Bag Brand

Chompoo said, “The idea of establishing BWILD Isan started during Covid 19 (in the late 2019). I only thought that I should gather Isan designers and craftsmen to work on something at ‘By Heart’. Then I thought about and worked on it slowly because I also had already had another business to take care of.

“At that time, I was considering what I could do. Although there was no clear plans, I knew that I had to continue so that the 10 lives together with their families could move on. I then decided to start BWILD ISAN seriously at the beginning of 2020. I thought that at least gathering everyone to cooperatively think and work so that we could create works and that could help us pass the crises without leaving anybody behind.

The name of the brand ‘BWILD ISAN’ arrives from ‘B-WILD’ which means ‘courage’. Chompoo was courage to think outside the box and do it to create something new. The word, ‘ISAN’ is added at the end to show that the purpose of the brand is to add value to Isan region.

Chompoo told us the reason why she designed ‘Kai Bag’. The “Kai Bag” was first created when I participated in ‘Phor Laew Dee, The Cretor,’ which is the project that business persons teach entrepreneurs and provide the knowledge based on Sufficiency Economy Philosophy”.

“The project caused BWILD ISAN to search and find out the balance and sufficiency in running business and not to only think of making profits, but also developing people, communities and environments at the same time.”

“Chompoo has learnt what her passion and Ikigai are to turn her passion into the purpose of the brand. She has also learnt who her clients are so that she can design the products that meets what the clients want. Therefore, when the brand and who the clients of the brand are clear, it will result in the right point for running the business. Then we won’t overload on our abilities.

“The good point is when I could find the balance of myself and my business, I have more time to develop products and serve the society at the same time. As a result, the knowledge I’ve got from this project is thought to be the origin of my new determination of creating works from Isan ways of life. The common things and stories that are overlooked have been remade and retold so they are more special and more notable.”

Chompoo added, “It has become ‘Kai Baan Bag’ because of the inspiration of Isan way of life that has been related to raising chickens since the ancient time. It’s discovered that the origin of native chickens around the world was from Isan region of Thailand. As a consequence, Kai Baan or native roosters which are good at fighting will be chosen and trained to be ‘fighting roosters’. The good fighting roosters will be kept as breeders and will be given to descendants who love fightning. Kai Baan or native chickens have reflected Isan people’s ways of life because Isan people are also good at fighting and patient like the fighting roosters.

Marketing strategy of BWILD ISAN is quite interesting because the brand believes that, ‘The right client will find us’, so it’s hard to see the brand presented their products on booths or in events.

“We intend to depend on ourselves, so we sell our products on our websites. The first reason is that it is low in cost and needs no ones to sell at the shops. Another reason is that everyone in the team can have time to spend their own lives, build up their future, make their dreams come true and spend time with their families”.

However, deal closing of BWILD ISAN from the past till now is not usual because the clients are from both domestic and international countries like the USA, Italy, Canada, Taiwan, Sweden and Britain.

My Business Runner Idol

Chompoo has admired ‘Dr.Sirikul Laokaikul’ or Pee Nui, the founder of Por Laew Dee, The Creator Project as her role model in running business. She has similar ideas as Chompoo that they both are patriot and try to apply their knowledge and abilities to develop others to become powerful resources for the country.

“P Nui has admonished, given moral support, and taught me how to find the balance in running business and spending life. P Nui has assured that no matter how small we are, we can always create value. She is the person behind the success of many business people who do not care only making profits out of their business but also wanting to change the societies and create value to the lives of other people at the same time.”

Although BWILD ISAN is the premium bag brand, we also have projects to support our society. For example, out last project is to share the profit of selling ‘Kan Baan bags’ with children in remote school by providing them chicken lunch meals.

“We expect that the existence of BWILD ISAN will help build the future of and create the opportunity for Isan new generations and eat well so that they can see their future and have better living conditions in our Isan homeland.

Fashion that should (not) mass

Normally, fashion businesses compete each other for the premium but need to be accessed easily. In Chompoo’s point of view, on the other hand, “Fashion is a creative work. If you need to design a unique and out of the box items, but they are mass produced, you fail. We are finally nothing and the products belong to no ones. Money is used for making everything. To produce products that will not be used causes fashion waste. I don’t agree with the idea of hiring media influencers to carry our bags so that we can sell our products and need to pay them hundred thousand baht each time. BWILD ISAN team do not believe that this kind of promotion will last, so we have never hired any influencers. The earned media of the brand is from people who truly love the brand.”

Apart from that, Chompoo also mentioned that to build a brand these days is different from the past. Nowadays, you need to show your reality. In the past, you may need the agencies to do for you and they always have you in the image of being kind, love children and being calm. The brand would then automatically presented in the way that the agencies have fixed for you.

To brand in the present is different. If we do not love kids, but they told us to, it’s fake and can easily be noticed. Therefore, it’s a better idea to show our true selves although it might not be perfect. As long as we pay attention and do it well and be our real selves, our clients can feel that we said right, and we are real. This is how the modern marketing is and people can be successful from this marketing model.

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