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October 23, 2016 1 min read

Thank you to Iris Lillian for interviewing jewellery designer Rany Som in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Rany and her story were the catalyst for Temples and Markets. She is the epitome of reslience and has built up a beautiful designer brand against the odds. Judith 

Cambodian designer beats odds to establish international business, by Iris Lillian

On my recent trip to Cambodia – in aid of creating this (IMHO) epic travel guide – I had the pleasure of meeting a talented local jewellery designer. From outward appearances you would have no idea of the suffering she has endured and how much she has had to overcome to build her kickass business.


Jewellery Designer Rany Som 

Meet Rany Som, designer of delicate statement jewellery made from seeds and grains found in the countryside in and around Siem Reap, Cambodia. Check out the collection here Not just a talented designer, Som is undeniably industrious, humble and charming. Here is her story.

Leaving Life & Love Behind: Rock Bottom

Som grew up in Cambodia and moved to India in 1997 with her husband. After four years she was forced to return to her home town of Siem Reap because the marriage failed. Som had no choice but to leave her son behind.

Her mother and father disapproved of the divorce and refused to support her. She had nowhere to live and limited job prospects. Depression and desperation became her daily reality.

One afternoon as she rode down a dusty path in the Cambodian countryside, her eyes were drawn to a sprinkling of bright red seeds under a tree – small beads of hope. She immediately recognised their potential.

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