For Pitcha “Maye” Thanalongkorn, her dynamic vision for the family-owned empire – which evolved from Thailand’s first lingerie company – has led to a powerhouse brand that’s now also a leader in e-commerce.
Situated on Arun-Amarin Road, Sabina’s headquarters has all the makings of a family affair. The glass-clad, low-rise is the only modern structure among the surrounding shophouses in the historical Bangkok Noi district. The walls of the third-floor meeting room are lined with brightly coloured, rainbow-themed bralettes and basics – a stark contrast to the demure conference room furniture, and a nod to Maye’s dynamic vision for Sabina. Prestige met up with the vibrant entrepreneur to discover more about her inspirations, what led her to create her own brand and her response to a meaning of life.
Her Grandmother is Her Biggest Inspiration
She recalls the early days of her first exposure to the family business, rotating through different departments and learning to hand-sew bra cups during her summer breaks. “My dad used to bring me here all the time.” And even as a young child, she would offer her opinion on Sabina’s product lines. “He wanted honest comments from someone close in age to his consumers. He was always keen to hear my feedback and made sure I was heard.”
Maye’s father’s encouragement continues to this day, allowing her – unhindered – the freedom to make decisions at work and lead through her own lens. Despite him being the person who fostered her go-getter attitude, she credits her grandmother, Jintana Thanalongkorn, as her biggest inspiration.
“My grandmother was the breadwinner of our family. After seeing all the imported lingerie lines at a store in Talad Phlu, she decided to create her own brand. She learned sewing and pattern-making by herself and sold her hand-sewn innerwear at a street market, launching her namesake brand Jintana – the first lingerie brand in Thailand. This enterprise eventually evolved into Sabina.”
Her Interest in British Designers Led Her to the UK
“At the time, I didn’t really know what exactly I was going to do, but I was obsessed with British designers. Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood were at the top of their game, and I was completely mesmerised by their work.”
Mad Moiselle Intimates is Maye’s Vision of Modern Perception on Lingerie
Gratitude is At the Core of Both Her Professional and Personal Life
Besides empowering women through her lingerie, Maye is also passionate about uplifting women in her community. Some of the CSR initiatives she has continuously worked on at Sabina include donating bra cups through the company’s own foundation to help raise awareness on breast cancer.
Since her brother was involved in a car accident, she has developed a carpe diem attitude and fully believes one shouldn’t take anything for granted, and live life to the fullest. “If I want to do something in life or say sorry to someone, I don’t want to wait until it’s too late.”
Her Love for Travelling is a Healthy Response to the Meaning of Life
“The healthiest response to life is joy,” she declares. “To be engaged in the here and now. Instead of calling it ‘work’, realise it’s play…”
Photographer: Vatcharasith Wichyanrat
Location: Villa Deva Resort and Hotel
Read the full interview in the April issue of Prestige Thailand.
Visit shop.burdathailand.com to purchase or subscribe for the magazine.