Carol Cassidy, an American entrepreneur, is dedicated to reviving the Laotian craft of silk weaving. When she arrived in Vientiane in 1989 as a textile expert for the United Nations, the art of Laotian weaving was an endangered tradition of the country’s past.
“The challenge,” says Cassidy, “was to bring Lao textiles into the future. I wanted to combine my 20 years of experience with hundreds of years of Laotian heritage.” In 1990, when Cassidy received a license from the government to start Lao Textiles, she became the first American to run a business in the communist country.
"There is always a market for quality," says Cassidy. "It's not how much you sell or what something costs that counts. What matters is the gratification of the customer who will live with what you've created."