On the move: Big plans for Shinta Mani artisan market
Siem Reap’s Made in Cambodia artisan market pitched its tents for the last time yesterday on the grounds of the Shinta Mani hotel. The market, which hosted 53 stalls, will reopen with expanded hours, events and vendors at Kings Road Angkor at the end of July.
Organisers say the market had outgrown the site at Shinta Mani and the move may be a boon for the local craft sellers, who offer a large variety of Khmer traditional handicrafts (from jewellery and fabrics to “artisan” liqueur) – often with original or contemporary designs not found at the old market.
“Shinta Mani has other plans for the land, but Kings Road is a very central location and they are very keen, hoping to make it something big,” said Christian de Boer, a former Shinta Mani general manager who headed up the initiative.
For longstanding vendors, the change signals a new commitment to the market’s original vision. “The main point of [the market] was to provide jobs for Khmer people,” said Madeline Green, who runs a handmade jewellery business with a stall at the market, Ammo Jewellery.
“A lot of the store holders can’t afford to rent a shop in town, and it’s difficult to get a foot in the door with retailers, but they have really high standards.”
“I think it’s good for very small Khmer businesses to be recognised under such a big brand,” Green added. “And some of us have said that Kings Road, it’s lucky to have us.