Ma Té Sai Expands to Singapore


Social enterprise Ma Té Sai is expanding into Singapore, bringing their range of fair trade Lao handicrafts to an international market. The first pop up stand at Chevron House at Raffles Place, will open November 2018, with additional pop-up shops planned in different Singapore locations throughout 2019.

“Ma Té Sai has always had a strong Singapore customer base, with visitors to our Luang Prabang shop recognising the quality and craftsmanship of products made in villages,” said Ma Té Sai Co-Founder and Managing Director Emi Weir. “We’ve also had an overwhelmingly positive response from Singapore customers to our range of modern designs that we co-created with artisans from ethnic groups across Laos. Opening in Singapore makes sense, and the new channel will generate additional income for the villages.”

The modern designs include the Sabai homewares and accessories range of luxe cottons that have been naturally dyed, handwoven and sewn in an ethnic Tai Lue villages in northern Laos, three hours from Luang Prabang. The range includes cushion covers, blankets, table runners, sarongs and towels. Ma Té Sai sent four women from these villages to learn how to sew in Vientiane. By developing this additional skill, all production can remain in the village and the women have another way to earn income.

The Singapore retail stand will also include Ma Te Sai’s signature products such as recycled bomb metal jewellery cast in Ban Naphia, “the spoon village” in Xieng Khouang Province, bamboo handicrafts from villages in Vientiane and soft cotton scarves from a cooperative in Oudomxay. The complete Ma Té Sai catalogue is available online. The expansion into Singapore means the social enterprise can sell beyond the limited, seasonal tourist trade at their shop in Luang Prabang.

“Having travelled widely in Southeast Asia, I can see what an impact can be made at a village level by purchasing locally made goods” says May-Sze Lee, Ma Té Sai’s Singapore representative and a long standing professional in the tourism and aviation industry.

About Ma Té Sai

Ma Té Sai means “where is it from?” in Lao language. Started by Emi Weir and Cleménce Pabion in 2010, the Luang Prabang-based social enterprise works closely with local weavers and artisans. Ma Té Sai’s motto “from the village, for the village” highlights their ethos in keeping production in the village, working in development and raising funds to provide training opportunities for women in rural communities. By providing fair wage and sustainable income, their goal is to keep traditional craft alive and inspire the preservation of knowledge for the next generation.

Pop-Up Details:

From 5 to 30 November, open Monday to Friday 11am to 7pm.

Pushcart No. 7, Change Alley

Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place, Singapore


For more information visit

Social Media: Facebook @mate.sai or Instagram @ma_te_sai


Luang Prabang, Laos

Emi Weir, Managing Director


T: +856 20 22 959 091



May-Sze Lee, Director


T: +65 9030 7349