When Anyapreeda was growing up in the seaside town of Songkhla in Southern Thailand, she told her mom that one day she wanted to see the world. “Preeda” as she is known to her western friends, made good on that dream. For over a decade now the lithe and friendly artist with a captivating smile has enjoyed American citizenship while maintaining her Thai family roots. Today you might find Anyapreeda “Dao” Kanjanaphen presenting her handmade Thai Temple Jewelry Collection just outside the entrance of The Big Cheese Restaurant.
“If you are not lazy, you can achieve anything you want in this country,” said Preeda. “I have dual citizenship now and so I can work hard here and also help my family in Thailand.” Her sister arrived in the U.S. first and helped her settle in and find work. Preema works at Siam Palace Thai Restaurant in addition to running her own jewelry line.
“I love jewelry and fashion. I keep up with fashion magazines and use colorful beadwork like you would see in the temples of Thailand. I designed to design an affordable modern collection. Those of us who cannot spend a lot of money on fashion want to look beautiful too. ”
Judging by the frequent admirers at her Big Cheese display, it appears she has an appealing sense of style. Jody Gache and Sherry Briccolaj selected a coral red stone and brass drop necklace with matching bracelet. “I have never seen anything like this,” said Briccolaj. “It has a cultural flair and the detailed bead work is stylish and modern. I can make the accessories the center of my clothing so this will complete an outfit nicely.”
The opera length necklaces, chokers, and drop styles with varied matching pieces in earrings and bracelets in bold colors or subtle hues could be the centerpiece of any attire. Stone rings adjustable to fit complete the collection. From classic to trendy, they appeal to a variety of looks. Prices range from $5 to $55 for more elaborately stitched accessories.
“I tell my customers to make sure the piece makes them happy before they buy it so it is money well spent,” said Preeda. “They will then appreciate it more when they wear it. I want women to feel joy when they wear the jewelry; to look beautiful and be happy with their purchase.”
Since opening her pop-up location at The Big Cheese in January, she has developed a following with return clients coming back for gifts. Preeda’s boyfriend, retired police officer Andy Dixon is a close friend of restaurant owner Bill Archer who welcomed the idea of her entrepreneurial adventure at the South Miami location.
“They make me feel like family,” said Preeda. “They help me set up, bring me drinks and meals, you can see their heart and I am very grateful.”
To find out more about Preeda’s Thai Temple Jewelry Collection and hours of operation call 305-910-5212 or email ThaiTempleJewelry@yahoo.com.
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