Watch the behind-the-scenes video of Tirawan Taechaubol's photoshoot.
During an interview published in Prestige Thailand's October 2015 issue, Tirawan "Waew" Taechaubol talked life, love and family. Here are our favourite parts.
She's never been promoted...
"I’ve never been promoted, not since my first day on the job. The company’s been very tough on me,” Tirawan “Waew” Taechaubol laughs.
Officially, she is Kasemkij Company’s “Project Development Manager”. She’s had that title for her entire seven-year career at the company, despite now taking on land acquisition as well as parts of marketing and operations of the large hospitality and real estate company. (“There are already very good, smart and capable people in charge of those things,” she humbly says of her roles in Marketing and Operations.)
Despite the relatively disproportionate title-to-power ratio, she isn’t a disgruntled employee – she’s being, as it seems to be reflexive for her, facetious and modest at the same time.
Kasemkij is her family’s company, headed mainly by her father Tirapongse. The company’s properties are extensive – they consist of hotels, serviced and non-serviced apartments, offices, factories and warehouses scattered across much of Thailand, but they are most well known for the high-end Cape and Kantary Collection hotels.
An executive who loves art...
“I was like most kids in Thailand who studied hard – they wanted to aim for something challenging. People usually went for law or engineering, and I didn’t want to be a doctor, so I chose engineering,” she says. “Halfway through, I realised I didn’t like it at all!”
After she graduated Chulalongkorn University with a BA in Engineering, she made sure to approach her father after her graduation. “I told my father I wanted to do something I was really passionate about and liked. Then I found courses at Sotheby’s Institute of Art on art history and art appreciation…”
Her MSC in Management at the Imperial College of London was next, and she followed up with a position at Unilever Thailand. “Unilever was a very good ‘school’...I learned everything about relationships with people, and I learned a good work ethic: what I’d have to do to get what I wanted, having to push and having to work hard. They taught me about marketing. But above all they taught me discipline and motivation.”
Her personal style...
As for her personal style, Waew says she likes simpler items. “I don’t usually wear floaty, girly things,” she says, and she was pleasantly surprised she was able to pull off the gowns at the photoshoot. The strands of art deco-style tennis bracelets, paired with her blush gown, also caught her eye. “The jewellery is beautiful and modern.” Otherwise, she tends towards the stylings of Missoni, Chanel, Lanvin, Gianbattista Valli, and for casual moments, James Perse.
A jetsetter settles down...
The event-goer, jetsetter and “It Girl” became a mother in early 2014.
“Everything changed. Before, I used to wake up later, but now the first thing I think about is, what will my son eat for breakfast this morning? I have to get up quickly to prepare his breakfast,” she reflects. “I used to go out until quite late, to dinner with friends or with my husband. Now I want to stay home.”
He’s clearly a favourite topic, and she relishes the opportunities for plain, simple silliness that her child offers. “My family gives him so many nicknames,” she says. “Like ‘Fatty’. Horrible names, all the time!” she chuckles, the mild teasing clearly coming from a loving place. “If my friends go to Korea, they’ll have a Korean nickname for him. Or to Italy, they’ll have an Italian nickname for him. They play with him like he’s some sort of doll creature.”
The ties that bind...
The Pangsrivongses are tight-knit, and at least five times a week, Waew and her son dine with her maternal grandparents (on the Sarasin side) and parents. It’s precious time for family bonding.
She counts her cousin as her best friend, and she even helped start a chain of gourmet noodle restaurants, Nuer Koo (punning on the Thai word for soulmate and beef), with several members of the family.
“Neur Koo is actually shared between seven people: my cousins on my mother’s side and my brothers. But the people who are doing it are me and [cousin] Gap, because if everyone were to do it we’d argue. So we chose people who got along and were the fussiest in the family – and the bossiest!”
Her deeply-held values...
“I’m not saying this just because people might think it sounds good, but when it comes to values, and when it comes to me and my family, we have a great deal of respect for the King and the royal family and what they do,” she says. Both she and her mother attended Chitralada School, which was created for the children of the royal household and aristocrats, initiated by His Majesty the King and opened by Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya. Both her and her son’s names were graciously bestowed upon them by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. “I will always be grateful for these things.”
Photographer: Apichart Chaichulla
Stylist: Jantima Smithavej
Makeup artist: Nichakan Sungwian
Hair stylist: Thanon Songsil
Venue: Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River