Supunnee Pargul, better known as Nee, is invaluable to the work of Same Thread. She oversees our artisans in Thailand and serves as our cultural liaison as we seek to provide economic empowerment to women in Isaan.
Nee grew up in Baan Sam Prow, a village in Northeast Thailand. Upon completing upper secondary school, Nee’s brother encouraged her to get out and see the world. According to Nee, very few women ever get the opportunity to leave the village in their lives. With his help, Nee left her village for Bangkok at the age of nineteen. After living in Bangkok for eight years, Nee moved to the United States where she lived an additional eight years and received her Master's degree in International Development at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. It was there that Nee developed a friendship with both Danielle and Katie, co-founders of Same Thread.
After spending 16 years away from Baan Sam Prow, Nee decided to return to her village as she believed her cultural experience and education would help her to be a catalyst for change. Having been away for so long, returning at first was difficult. When asked what was most challenging about the transition back, Nee laughed as she told me about the roosters that seem to crow at all hours of the night. She later expressed the difficulty she experienced in reconnecting with her family. It was especially hard for them to understand her passion for empowering young women with the knowledge and tools to see their full potential.
Nee currently works as Same Thread’s on-site program manager and also runs a tutoring program for school age girls in the village. She believes not only in creating quality apparel, but in challenging the traditional female role in her village by creating an alternative employment opportunity. For Nee, Same Thread stands as a hope for people to realize the possibilities available to them, “if they would open their eyes and heart”.