Snguon Lopez is changing the fashion scene in Cambodia. Lopez is putting body shaming to rest and the notion that a bigger body can’t be sexy. The search for stylish plus-size clothing is a struggle in Cambodia with petite body types being idealized. Lopez is using her recourses to make a change in the fashion industry in Cambodia by adding a variety of fashionable looks for women with a little extra to hold on to. Find out how Snguon Lopez is starting ‘Fat Story’ her plus-size clothing store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Hi Snguon, how did you come up for the idea for Fat Story?
SL: The idea for opening Fat Story is because I thought about girls in Cambodia and even a few foreigners, it is hard to find plus size fashion. So when I went to Thailand and saw plus size people and the many options for plus size fashion, I wanted to bring those opportunities to Cambodia. I want women here to be able to find clothes to be confident in, and in turn be more confident in themselves.
Is it going to be an online store or a walk-in store?
SL: First step is to go online and then the next step, if we have a lot of customers, is to open a small shop.
When are you thinking about opening Fat Story?
SL: Right now, I am concerned with how the public is reacting. I want to see how many girls are interested, and then see if this is something that I can expand. So at the moment I’m looking at the demographic and interest to then move forward from there. If I see positive feedback, I will look into the percentage of women who want plus-size fashion in Cambodia and go from there.
Who is choosing the style and designing the clothes?
SL: At the beginning we will import clothes from Thailand. In the future if the business increases, we will want to work with a designer for original pieces to have in the showroom.
What has been one of the biggest struggles or hurdles so far in this process of starting a business?
SL: Just a few problems with importing fashion, but other than that it has been going really well. We have made connections with stores in Thailand and some have given special discounts because they are supportive of what I am starting and want to be a part of it.
Will the store only hold larger sizes or smaller sizes as well?
SL: Yes, fat story will only hold plus size clothing; large and up.
I know a lot of Khmer women who have been looking for something like this and are eager to see it in Cambodia, what kind of feedback have you gotten so far?
SL: After posting it on Facebook, I have already received customers interested in prices and the style of the clothes. People have been sending private messages saying they are ashamed of their weight and are intrigued by what we are doing and what clothes we have to offer. It’s also more than just clothes; it’s about having a positive environment where women can feel happy and confident. Plus size women are sexy too!
What is your dream? What would you like to see this evolve into?
SL: In the future, I want this to encourage plus size people to not be ashamed anymore to attend the party, birthday party, or wedding; to go out and be happy! I want them to know they look good and to in turn feel good within.
Visa cardholders to enjoy exclusive VIP privileges with epic experiences program
Phnom Penh, 4 April, 2019 – Visa cardholders are in for a treat as the global payments technology company introduces a program of exclusive privileges
Phnom Penh, 4 April, 2019 – Visa cardholders are in for a treat as the global payments technology company introduces a program of exclusive privileges and discounts with the launch of epic experiences program in Cambodia. Through this platform, all Visa cardholders, including tourists from all over the world, can easily discover wonderful trips, entertainment and gastronomic experiences by presenting their Visa card at over 150 locations nationwide as well as health and wellness tourism in Thailand.
Ms. Chum Monika, Visa Country Manager for Cambodia, said: “Providing the best experiences in dining out, entertainment, travelling and healthcare are just some of the ways we’re delivering increased value to Visa cardholders and driving the growth of electronic payments in Cambodia. With this in mind, we are introducing the epic experiences program. Cambodian Visa cardholders and tourists from all over the world will be able to enjoy exclusive privileges, where they can create unforgettable life memories with their families and loved ones, simply by using their Visa cards.”
Visa cardholders can enjoy epic dining offers from sought-after establishments like Uy Kuyteav, World Dining, The Pizza Company, Bar B Q Plaza, Swensen’s, Dairy Queen, Krispy Kreme, The Asian Kitchen, TOUS les JOURS, and Lotteria. This year especially, fine dining restaurants such as Yi Sang, Sevensea, and Kanji Japanese Restaurant are introduced into the epic experiences affluent platform with Visa signature dishes. The dining offers are up to 30% discount on special days at some establishments.
In addition to dining merchants, Visa cardholders can also enjoy up to US$ 10 discount when shopping online at La Rue website and up to 30% at Legend Cinema branches. Visa’s epic experiences platform also includes travel offers such as US$8 off for ticket booking through www.bangkokair.com/visakh and US$ 8 discount for ticket purchase at www.thaiairways.com/kh on every 15th of the month. Above that, Visa cardholders are entitled to enjoy US$10 off the purchase of travel package worth US$199 and above from Paramount Angkor Travel & Tours and 10% discount at www.booking.com.
Medical tourism is attracting the attention of travelers worldwide and Cambodian Visa cardholders will be offered special discounts for specific health check and screening packages at Paolo Hospital, Samitivej Hospital, and BNH Hospital in Thailand.
“Cambodia recently joined a growing list of countries across the region where QR payments have been implemented. QR payments allow Visa cardholders to use their mobile phones to make cashless purchases and pay bills wherever Visa QR payments are accepted. QR payments provides consumers with a brand-new payment experience that is secure, convenient and fast,” added Monika.
The unique perks of Visa’s epic experiences program are available to all Visa cards issued anywhere in the world. Visa cardholders can enjoy all the offers on Visa’s epic experience platform today until September 30, 2019.
Terms and conditions apply. To see the full list of offers, please visit https://www.visa.com.kh/en_KH/pay-with-visa/visa-offers-and-perks.html.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, https://usa.visa.com/visa-everywhere/blog.html and @VisaNews.
For further media information, please contact:
Red Dot, on behalf of Visa Inc.
Phone: +855 11 733 368
Visa Worldwide Pte. Limited
Phone: +84 28 3520 7439
“You have to tell and teach people they are strong enough to stand for who they are.”
The intelligent and genuine Marie Cammal graced Ladies Magazine with an inside view on
The intelligent and genuine Marie Cammal graced Ladies Magazine with an inside view on running her own NGO Sok Sabay. The day to day is never easy but very rewarding to see the lives of Cambodian children evolving into successful and smart Cambodian adults who are given kindness and opportunity to further their lives. Marie Cammal has a great gift of knowing what others are capable. She is an incredible woman in business in Cambodia and someone the Ladies team admires greatly for her courage and humble love.
Can you tell me what you do?
I have a shelter for mistreated children, so people who have been enslaved, abandoned, starved or in chains by the parents. It’s mostly domestic violence and the children come to my NGO. It’s like a boarding school. Kids go outside but also inside for school in a shelter. My NGO is called Sok Sabay. I have been running the shelter for over 20 years now. SO the first student I rescued now has her bachelor’s degree, 4 year lawyer degree, tourism, and one from rape. So I am quite happy.
How did you get to that level of success? How did you build it up?
I trust on their capacity. They are very clever so I push them to study. They study very hard during the day and also at night. They have math, biology, physics, chemistry and study until 8pm. They have holidays but otherwise they stay in the center. I run it like a big family, so the big teach the small; the small teach the smaller. So we are very open to music, classical music. Most of them play an instrument from clarinet, drums, piano, violin, recorder. We do local arts and have an art exhibition once a year. We are very connected to Singapore and get lots of funds through Singapore. We go once a year to a charity night in Singapore.
How did you come up with the idea?
It’s a long, long story, but I spent a few years in a refugee camp so an Asian refugee camp holding people from Laos, Cambodian, Vietnam, but to the Khmer refugee camp. So I really felt the Khmer needed my help of training as a nurse and tropical medicine. I learned Khmer at the university of London, so I spent a few years in South East Asia for refugee people then I studied to come to Cambodia and was back and forth from Cambodia for over two decades
And it’s just grown since then?
Yes, well I don’t take anymore. My last rescue were just one year ago. Last year I rescued 15 more children from the rubbage dump and that’s too much. I like to rescue one and increase the integrity of the shelter before rescuing another one. But last year was special because I went to a new rubbage dump where kids were starving, mistreated, parents with a lot of alcoholism. So I rescued them, but now I am very busy with Laos program at the moment and cannot rescue any more kids. Most of my children go to university. You have to push the students to give them a better life. They cannot go back to square one. They come from very extreme poverty, extreme domestic violence. If you give education to the youngest, they can change that community, they can change that family, they can buy a house and land for their parents and their parents can die in dignity. It is really to slow down the process of poverty in Cambodia. A better future, responsible citizens, they can vote, they can be part of the society and not put in apartheid. The poor people have no voice, but once you have education you have a voice as a woman.
For people who don’t know about this, what can they do to help?
Well of course funds are the best. If we have funds we can promote more education. Like, last year we were struggling, so we had lesser sports and things. If we don’t have money, we can’t fund our program. No work is silly; you have to be the best at what you are doing. They need to learn to push themselves to be better and want to be better. I am less like a mother and more like a coach.
What advice to you have for other women who want to do what you are doing?
You need lots of courage, lots of self confidence, lots of strength, and a little bit of crazy. (not sure how much *chuckles*). You know when you start you never know where you will end up. And when you start you are like I cannot do that, but when the children are there then you just do, you have to push for her, you have to push for him, and eventually you have to push for them. When you get old it gets harder because you are tired
What makes me happy is when they come to see me, they have a job, and you become like the moon. You become their uncle. And when they come back to see you once or twice every year, or two years because they know I am strong, I am for them, I will never cheat them, so I am like an uncle. I am their uncle. It’s kind of cool you know? Because then they get me thinking Wow! I have achieved a lot. Some of them are taller than me *laughs*. It’s an exhausting job and I work every day, but at the end of the day I am happy. You have to fight not only for you but for the mothers, the children. etc. You have to tell and teach people they are strong enough to stand for who they are. Help people to be strong, especially female. Start small, fight for yourself and fight for your people and then you will succeed. For me, where there’s a will there’s a way anywhere in the world.
Survival Tips for Female Entrepreneurs
How to get to the top
How to get to the top
1. Learn to say ‘Yes’
It’s not everyday that opportunities are presented on a silver platter so when it does happen, don’t be afraid to say yes. You can always figure out the who, what, when, where, how, later. Never let fear hold you back. Be open to new opportunities, you never know where it will lead.
2. Be Visible
Get yourself out there, get your product out there. If you won’t toot your own horn, who will? Let social media help you in getting the word out. Tap on the viral effect for optimal result
3. Identify Your Goal
Set accessible goals every step along the way, as well as, the timeframe within which to get there. This helps chart your overall growth and prevents you from getting derailed along the way.
4. Trust Your Gut Instinct
If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Tune in to your inner sanity for a rescue line. Check with industry insiders for credibility of would-be collaborators or potential business partners
5. Have Fun
Yes, you work real hard but don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it. Otherwise, you’re more susceptible to burning out before arriving at the finish line.
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