On the first floor of Pansodan Street, in old Yangon, just near the corner of Merchant, something beautiful is happening.
First, it’s a beautiful and wonderful space to walk into especially coming from the wonder and chaos of downtown Yangon.
When you climb up the old wooden stairs from the street and into the store, the light and the colors are just remarkable – and there’s air conditioning which is pretty welcome too. The smiles that great you are friendly and sincere, and that’s just the beginning. Because Hla Day, beautiful in Burmese, is about more than beautiful product and great store.
In 2012, when I first came to Burma to trace my father’s life, and death here, there was the need for a store like this, and in fact, some friends of mine and I talked about how it would be amazing to have a store like this, but Ulla and her amazing team created it, and I am so happy that Hla Day is one of three initial recipients from funds from the sale of the limited edition hardcover version of “Floating.”
First, if you ever come to Burma, you need to shop here.
It’s the best store I have found in not only Burma, but all of Southeast Asia in terms of the quality of product and the mission. Because Ulla and her team now work with more than 40 producer groups – offering them not only a marketplace for their goods, but also design, technical and business help to make their companies grow.
The incredible assistance and help that Ulla and her team provide means groups like Sone Tu weaving, show in the pictures, are all growing fast. Established in 2012 to help preserve traditional weaving skills, and patterns, Sone Tu now employs over 100 weavers and has drawn international attention from organizations such as National Geographic.
Projects large and small draw Hla Day’s support – and in fact one of the great things about the book is not only will sales benefit Hla Day and their efforts (for every one of the limited hardcover first editions sold, $25 will go directly to Hla Day) the team at Hla Day is actually also making a beautiful unique fabric wrapping for the book.
So if you are in Yangon, head to Pansodan Street and up the stairs. If you are not, two things, one thanks to HUUUG, please consider purchasing a copy of “Floating” and choosing Hla Day as your recipient.
And stay tuned, because HUUUG and I are working to bring a major pop up shop of Hla Day product to a city near you.