Name: U Than Thei, Daw War War Mynt & Min Panya (family business)
From: Pyin Oo Lwin & Mandalay
Job: Tailoring & Alterations Workshop –  ‘Pan Pyo Hlet’ (Flower Fostering Hand)



U Than Thei learned sewing from his father. My father had a clothing repair and sewing workshop in Pyin Oo Lwin; this is where I grew up. When I was older, I moved to Mandalay, the hometown of my wife Daw War War Mynt.

Since 1995 we own a little workshop in front of our house. I work together with my wife and oldest son, Min Panya. Min Panya is 20 years old and studies chemistry, in his free time he works in the workshop. They also have another son, Min Tormon, who is 11 years old and in primary school.

Before I opened my workshop, I worked as an assistant trainer teaching sewing and design to young women. The name of my workshop originates from this period; fostering – training/ flower – women/ hand – my helping hand.

I decided I didn’t want to design clothes anymore as the business is difficult, and the income is never guaranteed. Therefore, I changed my focus to repairing clothes and bags instead and opened this shop.


I was approached by WHOW to make some sample bags. We got in contact as we live in the same neighbourhood. Usually, I don’t make items anymore but only repair clothes and bags.

I thought, let’s help them with making a sample as a one-off. However, the result was good and ever since I collaborate with WHOW.  When I heard the concept of WHOW I thought this could also be interesting for my son, and it means future business.


My wish is to open a shop for my son Min Panya in Pyin Oo Lwin, my hometown. The quality of life is better, and the rent for a shop or price for land is much cheaper. I think a very good business for him would be to make school uniforms because this has limited risks. If you don’t sell the uniforms this year, you can sell them next year. There will be no waste.

The answer to the question if Min Panya thinks the same about this: “My son does not really have a plan, and therefore everything is sort of ok for him. Also, chemistry is a difficult subject to find a job in Myanmar. With this plan, I would like to create some security for him, we will see how it goes.”