Meet the team

Meet The Team

What started as a small group of 5 weavers and the two co-founders, has grown over the years to be a dynamic international team with over 45 members. Ock Pop Tok values each team member for their unique contribution and the company is committed to everybody’s wellbeing and to ensuring that each team member has opportunities for professional and social development through their employment. Meet the people who make Ock Pop Tok what it is today.

Meet The Co-Founders

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Veomanee Douangdala​

Veomanee Douangdala learnt how to weave from her mother when she was 8 years old. She is the youngest of four children and the only daughter. This position in the family brought many responsibilities. Veo became an accomplished weaver and her exceptional skill has helped her support her family. When she was 24 she took the adventurous step of co-founding Ock Pop Tok.

Veo has become a natural ambassador for Lao textiles, both meeting global dignitaries and inspiring young Lao women to follow in her footsteps and to empower themselves with their weaving skills. Veo is on the board of the chamber of commerce and has chaired the Luang Prabang Handicraft group. Veo leads the OPT weaving team, oversees the management of our Living Crafts Centre, and is responsible for of our Heritage textile collection.

In November 2017 Veo was invited to speak at a Ted-X Talk in Vientiane, focused on the theme “Reimagine” with the objective of empowering and celebrating women nationwide in Laos. Veo was able to share the story of Ock Pop Tok and how a small idea 18 years ago, has now grown into one of the biggest social enterprises in the textile industry in Laos. You can have a longer read here!

Veo leads the Ock Pop Tok product design and weaving teams, oversees the management of our Living Crafts Centre, and is responsible for of our Heritage textile collection. In her free time, you’ll find Veo tending to her garden at home, where she organically grows herbs and vegetables and even has a chicken coop and a fish pond! Veo loves spending time with her family but makes sure to meditate and do yoga, to balance her mind and body.

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Joanna Smith

Jo has a BA in Fine Arts, specialising in sculpture and photography. A photography contract with an E.U funded development project brought her to Laos in 1999. While here in Laos, Jo was becoming increasingly enamored with the intricate weavings and the women who produced them.Veo’s creativity attracted Jo like a magnet. She had been looking for like-minded artists with whom to collaborate.

Both women shared a love for the traditional hand loomed textiles and were committed to preserving and promoting these textiles to the rest of the world. These shared interests led the two to co-found Ock Pop Tok in 2000.

In 2002 Jo initiated Ock Pop Tok’s rural development programme, the Village Weaver Projects whose goal is to alleviate poverty in rural areas. This has led to numerous consultancies in Value Chain Analysis for Lao government projects. This project currently employs over 400 artisans around Laos.

Jo has spoken about Ock Pop Tok’s mission at academic and museum conferences from Sydney to Washington D.C.. Recently she made a presentation about Lao textiles (in the Lao language) at Tinkuy, an international Textiles Conference in Cusco, Peru.

Jo now oversees the creative and strategic development of the company. You’ll find her buzzing around in her bright yellow scooter searching for new culinary ideas for Ock Pop Tok’s café or discovering more innovative products for the stores.  She relaxes by playing football on the many athletic fields in Luang Prabang!

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Meet the Team: Back Office

Soulinda (Lear) Philiminda

Head of Production & Design

A Luang Prabang native, Lear started working at Ock Pop Tok in 2000 as the very first employee and has remained an integral part of the company. She now leads the entire Production and Design team. Her highest priority is that her staff are happy and busy. You will find Lear planning ahead and making sure everyone is engaged in the work at hand! Lear loves that Ock Pop Tok is a company that supports women in Laos and allows them to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families. She is a self-taught designer who uses Illustrator and Photoshop to interpret weavers’ ideas as well as reinvent traditional motifs to create modern designs. As a mark of her achievements, Lear and master weaver Ms. Liew won the “most prestigious design award” of the Luang Prabang Handicraft Association in 2012 for their Organza Design. When Lear isn’t at work, she loves spending her time with her two children, playing badminton and dreaming of new textile designs.

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Vin Souvanthone

Assistant Sales & Marketing Manager

If you’ve ever ordered from our webshop then you most likely have already “met” Vin. As Assistant Sales & Marketing Manager, he deals with all our websale and wholesale customers. But Vin can also do it all! Tours, classes, front desk, you name it, Vin can do it. Since he joined Ock Pop Tok in 2015, Vin had the opportunity to grow within the company. Originally from Phoukhoun District, Vin moved to Luang Prabag in 2014 after studying English for Tourism & Hospitality in Vientiane. He started at Ock Pop Tok as a waiter, then joined the retail team before joining the Activities team giving tours and classes. In 2017, Vin joined the marketing team as Sales & Marketing Coordinator. If he first found communicating in English difficult, through training and conversations with our guests, Vin has now mastered the language. Making it easier for him to share about Laos and its beautiful traditions with visitors. This is definitely Vin’s favorite part of his job. This and learning about different cultures from our guests. When Vin is not working, you’ll find him spending time in his kitchen garden or fishing.

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Meet the Team: Living Crafts Centre

Sengchan Chanthavong

Hospitality Manager

If you’re coming by our Living Crafts Centre for a course or free tour, you will most likely interact with Sengchan at some point during your visit. Her warm energy and love for Lao textiles adds to the experience of visiting Ock Pop Tok! She began working here in 2004. Sengchan is truly a company ambassador and has been an essential pillar in establishing new programs. She initiated the Fibre2Fabric Heritage Textile Collection and has since curated and collected over 1,000 unique pieces. When she’s not curating or leading classes (her personal favorite is the dyeing class) you can find Sengchan spending time with her two boys or in her flower garden.

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Ae Saiyasith

Assistant Hospitality Manager

Originally from Ngoi District, Ae moved to Luang Prabang in 2006 to become a monk. He decided to take a new direction in 2010. With the hopes of increasing his chances of working in tourism – Luang Prabang being a UNESCO heritage town, its hospitality scene offered many opportunities – Ae decided to study English. He joined Ock Pop Tok in 2012 then left in 2017 when he was Cafe Supervisor to gain some more experience. Ae rejoined the Ock Pop Tok family at the end of 2022 as Assistant Hospitality Manager. Ae loves that his job gives him the opportunity to learn new things every day while meeting people from all over the world. In his spare time, you will find Ae fishing on the banks of the Mekong or meeting up with friends to chill.

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Oun Youngmaneevong

Visitor Experience Coordinator

Oun moved from Phoukhoun District in 2014 to study English at Xayadeth College. Like many, he wanted to work in tourism & hospitality and learning English improves your chances of getting a good job. He joined Ock Pop Tok and the Activities team in 2016 and enjoyed giving tours of our Living Crafts Centre and leading classes for 3 years. During the pandemic, he went back to his village and came back to Ock Pop Tok at the end of 2022 as Visitor Experience Coordinator. Like many young Lao, Oun loves sharing about his country with visitors and his job at Ock Pop Tok is the perfect platform to do so. When he’s not working, Oun enjoys reading about Laos and taking care of his baby girl. Fun fact; Oun met his spouse Phonesouk while working at Ock Pop Tok.

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Meet the Team: Silk Road Café

Orlaphai (Namfon) Bouphasili

Restaurant Supervisor​

Namfon was born and grew up in Luang Prabang city. She studied at the Finance College, not even 100m from our Living Crafts Centre. She joined Ock Pop Tok in May 2022, just as the borders opened and we started welcoming tourists again. As Restaurant Supervisor, she likes meeting guests from other cultures and sharing about culinary traditions. Namfon appreciates that as a young professional woman, she’s given the opportunity to improve her skills while working alongside other empowered women at Ock Pop Tok. When she’s not working, you’ll find Namfon spending time with her friends enjoying a bowl or Orlam, her favorite traditional Lao dish.

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Vongphan (Vong) Ounvanna

Head Chef at Silk Road Café

Vongphan, known as Chef Vong is originally from Luang Namtha Province. She moved to Luang Prabang in 2002 to complete high school. Her love for cooking led her to work as a cook helper right after high school. She joined the Ock Pop Tok family in 2012 as cook helper and cooked her way to the position of Head Chef in 2021. Chef Vong can spend hours in the kitchen learning about new ingredients and improving her cooking skills. She likes that working at Ock Pop Tok’s Silk Road Café allows her to get creative. If you come by the Silk Road Café, Chef Vong insists that you try the fish with tamarind sauce and the famous Oua Si Khai (lemongrass with chicken). When she’s not working (or cooking), Chef Vong can be found in her garden, tending to her vegetables and flowers or browsing through cookbooks…

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Meet the Team: Retail

Viengkhone (Moonoy) Kodpathoum

Retail Manager

Viengkhone, known as Moonoy, has a background in marketing and communications and worked with a national newspaper prior to Ock Pop Tok. Originally from Pakse province, Moonoy moved to Luang Prabang after completing her two degrees in Education and Business Studies at Vientiane College. She was drawn here by her love for culture and textiles. She joined us as shop supervisor and is now Manager of the Retail staff. She has represented Ock Pop Tok as a textile ambassador traveling as far away as Japan, China, and the United States.  She is appreciative of the opportunities Ock Pop Tok has given her to expand her management skills as well. When she’s not rearranging the retail shops, helping customers or traveling, you can find Moonoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen or crafting her own textile jewelry which she loves making for friends and family.

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Soudakone (Kone) Indavan

Shop Supervisor

Our Shop Supervisor, Soudakone, known as Kone, was born and raised in Chompet, just a short ferry drive from Luang Prabang city. Kone studied English at the Faculty of Languages at Souphanouvong University in Luang Prabang in hopes of becoming an English teacher. She joined Ock Pop Tok in 2018 to gain some work experience while practicing English. She ended up loving the work so much that she decided to stay. Whenever she’s not telling the story of Lao textiles to visiting guests, Kone spends time learning more about… Lao textiles. At home, Kone enjoys cooking for her little family.

Want to work with us?

We are now hiring full time positions and accepting applications for interns!

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