Cambodian artisans whose livelihoods were devastated by the pandemic are being thrown a lifeline as the nation’s first handicrafts incubator center opens its doors in Siem Reap.
Beyond Retail Business Cambodia (B.R.B), a local company specializing in promoting Cambodia through its talents, culture, and know-how, continues its development in the iconic city of Siem Reap with the soft opening on Wednesday of SATCHA.
B.R.B said in a press release that this is a bold project to support and revitalize the handicraft sector, which was dramatically damaged by the Covid-19 crisis, while providing Siem Reap with a new attraction with unique architecture.
“Cambodia is a land of resources, talents and know-how, ranging from natural wellness products and food to arts and handicrafts know-hows,” the press release said, adding that since 2020, B.R.B. Cambodia has supported and promoted arts and crafts.
Since its launch, B.R.B. Cambodia has positioned itself as the leading hub for Khmer craftsmanship through four main lines of business: acting as a wholesaler between producers and retailers, organizing or participating in domestic and international fairs, producing on demand custom-made products, and spreading news about Cambodia through international media.
For the next phase of its mission, B.R.B. decided to host independent crafts people under the same roof, providing them with workshops, equipment, tools, and a three-year onsite entrepreneur incubation program.
Located in a lush one-hectare park in downtown Siem Reap, SATCHA includes six large workshops with a unique design that demonstrates Khmer talents, a showroom, and coffee shop.
The workshops’ design and construction are the result of a close partnership with Green Bamboo Cambodia, a development company whose mission is to revive the bamboo value chain in Cambodia and promote its physical characteristics as a sustainable material for construction with great design opportunities.
B.R.B. added that it aims to support local craftsmanship by empowering talented people, sharpening their technical skills, providing them with sustainable work and income, and generating positive social, environmental and economic impacts.
The next step is to provide them with entrepreneurship training through daily classes at the center. Arts and crafts are not only a significant part of the local economy, but also essential pillars of Khmer identity, B.R.B said.
Access to the park and its workshops is free for local and international visitors.