Published on June 19th, 2019 | by Ramona Sarac0
Norwegian bunad, with love. Meet Orn, the thai seamstress who is making beautiful traditional Norwegian costumes
In 2007, when she came to Norway from Thailand, invited by her future husband, Orn Risvik did not even imagine how her life would change completely. 12 years after that moment, with a beautiful family, her husband, two children and her own prosperous business, Orn is happy and very grateful. Loves Norway and all the chances she had here, and loves her work. In her own tailor workshop, she makes wonderful traditional bunad, both tailoring and embroidery all by herself. And her work is highly appreciated. The biggest local producer in bunad industry collaborates with her, sending her clients, although her workshop is opened only by a few months.
Orn’s love story with handmade is very old, she always loved doing something nice with her hands. In 2006, when her future husband got to Thailand as a tourist, she made handmade jewelry and had her own business, a small shop where she sold them. It was love at first side and the story went on. One year later, he invited her to visit him in Norway. And her soul remained here from that very first visit. “When I first came it was summer, warm weather, fresh air and a lot of flowers, it was so beautiful and I said to myself – Wow, this is paradise”, she remembers, smiling.
They got married, had two wonderful children, and her life started to change completely. She started from scratch, working in a hotel, then they asked her to do the upholstery for the chairs in their restaurant. And they loved her work, so she did the same job for many others.
After giving birth to the second baby, she started working in a tailor workshop in Sola. It’s the place where she made the first bunad, without any kind of courses in this field before. She just saw one exposed, took the measures, looked carefully how it was made and then made one for herself. People she was working with were impressed.
“I didn’t know anything about bunad. It was my first “meeting”, the first bunad that I’ve seen, and I said wow, I love it, I could make one for myself. I measured, then I copied the model”, she says. And did the embroidery all by herself, she is doing the same thing today. And she is very, very good and talented in this.
Her own business
After that tailor workshop she had a collaboration with a shop in Stavanger, then had a tailor workshop at home. This year, in January, she succeeded in opening her own business, a tailor workshop in Stavanger, Fru Risvik Systue.
“I’m so lucky!”, she says, with a huge smile all over her face. Lucky to do what she loves, every day, with very good results. Nordaker Bunader, the biggest local producer in bunad industry, collaborates with her, sending her clients to make bunads for them. “I just love my work, I think it’s my life. When I work with hands I relax, I’m thinking what else I could do, I have a lot of ideas, this is my world”, she says.
Beyond her work with bunad, she has another reason of professional pride. Last year, when Mariah Carey had a concert in Stavanger, she was the one chosen to repair her clothes. “I fixed the dresses used in the concert, for her and her dancers, also”, she says.
Orn and Norway. Home
Moving to Norway was a huge change for Orn, not only regarding her personal life. She came from a very poor country to one with a completely different system. “Thailand and Norway are very different. Coming from a very poor country, my life is very calm here. In Thailand you have to take care of yourself and work for your family, from 8 o’clock till 11 o’clock in the evening. I love Norway, I don’t want to go back, this is my home, Thailand is just for visit”, she says.
But a piece of her native country will always be in her heart. The farm where she lived with her family, the life when things did not happen “fast forward”, childhood without telephone, TV and worries. Sometimes, just closes her eyes and almost feels the smell, touches those unique feelings with her heart. “Now I have a big house and everything but I miss that feeling in my heart”, she says.
Her family still has that farm and she goes to visit, from time to time. “I want to do things I used to do, to come back to those moments when I was younger. A part of the soul is there, but my home is here, my life is here”, she says.
You can find out more about Orn’s tailor shop on her Facebook Page, HERE
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