One of the main reasons I created this site and one of the best parts by far about working on posts like these is getting to know the people and meaning behind each shoppe, designer and artist on a deeper level. I'm talking about the part where we interact, swap stories, share monumental moments and setbacks.

I'm really excited to introduce you to today's Shoppe Spotlight, DAO Collective. Not only because it was started by a dear friend of mine, but because it was started out of passion, love and true grit.

DAO Collective is an accessories, home decor and apparel online shop inspired by heritage, a desire for working with artisanal textiles and a passion for social good. 

Growing up with a mom who was a pattern maker and seamstress, founder Ruji Ochajaroen found herself tagging along on her mother's adventures in New York City's Garment Center. "My mom made most of our clothes growing up and taught me how to sew, although I have never perfected the skill, this idea [DAO] has been with me since I was a young girl!" 

A fascination with manufacturing and artisanal design paired with a deep connection to her Thai roots is the heartbeat of DAO and is what drove Ruji to finally make her childhood idea come to life.

"That's my mom at work on our hmong inspired skirts. Life is a full circle journey and I am so grateful to have had this exposure of creativity in my life. I love my mom. I love my family."

Working directly with women in the villages of Thailand, DAO is able to provide them with income opportunity while preserving weaving traditions. This is such a beautiful way to give back to the people and country she holds so dear to her heart.

Ruji recently relaunched the DAO Collective website featuring even more unique items such as pillows, keychains and kids accessories. I love supporting small shops, especially when there is so much craftsmanship, passion and social responsibility. 

DAO translates to "star" in Thai. 

"The brightest stars are those that shine for the benefit of others".  We couldn't agree more. 

Shop some of my favorite items below and make sure to follow DAO for more inspiration :  INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // PINTEREST