I’m so glad you stumbled on this page so I can say hello! My name is Evie and I’d like to share with you how Kahmai came about.
It all started in 2013 when I decided to sell most of my belongings, pack a bag, leave my home in beautiful San Diego, California, and head off to Southeast Asia. I had a need to explore that I just had to fulfill. I didn’t have any kids or no real responsibilities so I said, “why not!”
I traveled all throughout Southeast Asia and stayed for 6 life-changing months. I was so grateful to make friends with the locals and explore their world from the traditional Balinese wedding that I was invited to, eating home cooked Thai food, and being the first woman foreigner to step foot in this small Thai village called Payao.
It was in that village where I experienced first hand how these amazing women hand crafted these beautiful bags with such skill. I was hooked on these gorgeous bags from the instant I saw them and now even more so that I met the women who crafted them!
But now things are different…
Fast forward 4 years….after all those years and getting stopped everywhere I went from people asking me where they could get a bag like mine, I decided it was time to share this with all of you!
I now have a little boy, Easton. He is my whole world and my reason for everything I do. Naturally, I wanted to include him in this journey so I named the company for him. Kahmai means “my son” in the Luiseño tribe. The traditional spelling is Kaamay but there are variations like Kahmai.
I LOVE that I have a fair trade business and get to help support these women and their families by buying and sharing their art with you!
Say hello to Kahmai
I am SO proud to say that Kahmai Is a fair trade company! When you make a purchase from Kahmai, not only do you get something unique and beautiful that’s full of culture and tradition, you help to keep and create needed jobs for our talented artisans. It’s a win-win!
Breaking the language barrier with smiles!
What makes our bags special? They are hand crafted with LOVE by our skilled artisans from the Hmong hilltribe from Payao in Northern Thailand. Payao is a very small village that I traveled to and I am humbled to have been the first woman foreigner to ever go there. I saw first hand every step of craftmanship and let me tell you, it took my breath away!
The bags are made from vintage hilltribe fabric and our artisans use passed down ancient techniques like patchwork, cross-stitching, batik printing, and indigo dyeing. You can’t help but feel connected to the Hmong people when you carry your bag. Every bag has a story to tell. What will yours be?