Handmade toys empower disadvantaged women

Handmade toys empower disadvantaged women

After first-hand witnessing a lot of struggles of undocumented Vietnamese working overseas and being inspired by the hand-crocheted children’s toys, RMIT Bachelor of Design (Multimedia Systems) alumnus Nguyen Tran Van Thuy founded Bobi Craft, an enterprise with a strong commitment to social responsibility.

Thuy graduated from RMIT Vietnam in 2009 and embarked on an international career in Australia and the UK.

Alt Text is not present for this image, Taking dc:title 'nguyen-tran-van-thuy-1' RMIT Bachelor of Design (Multimedia Systems) alumnus and Founder of Bobi Craft, Nguyen Tran Van Thuy

“My friends and I established our first business, a travel agency in London after graduating from RMIT University in Vietnam,” Thuy shared.

“One time, during a police break-in at a drug house, an undocumented Vietnamese woman had a heart attack and passed away. Her family contacted us to ask for help to bring her remains home to Vietnam.

“And that was the first time I experienced the loss of family. That lady, she didn't have any good education, she went to London without speaking English and lived under a very poor condition. And I was wondering why people from Vietnam had to do that.

“Mostly because they had to make a living and they hoped for a better life. But sometimes they didn't know it cost them their own life.”

That event reinforced Thuy’s belief that women really need good education and pivoted her to pursue a journey where Thuy vowed to help her home country and specially create jobs for women and for those living with disabilities and disadvantage.

“Because I was given the chance to pursue a good education and to have a good career, I want to help all women to be able to achieve the same, to live their lives to the fullest, to be able to do what they want to do,” Thuy said.

Alt Text is not present for this image, Taking dc:title 'nguyen-tran-van-thuy-2' Bobi Craft now employs 550 staff across five factories in Vietnam with 98% employees being women.

Thuy then came back to Vietnam, and in 2015, she started Bobi Craft, now a market leader in exporting and distributing branded premium crochet children’s toys and organic baby clothes, bedding and accessories using quality material (wool, organic cotton) and recycled materials in Vietnam.

Today Bobi craft has sold over 14 million products in more than 24 countries around the world.

All Bobi Craft's products are manufactured in line with EN71 standard, the set of specific safety requirements for toys sold in the European Union. Bobi Craft products highly focus on quality, design, and concept, which well presents the company’s targeted competitive strategy.

Bobi Craft employs 550 staff across five factories in Vietnam with 98% employees being women.

“I think what I appreciate most from the education at RMIT is that it gave me a lot of confidence so that I can go out and do things. I hope in the next five or ten years, Bobi Craft will be able to employ more people. We will be able to inspire and get inspired by more and more women,” Thuy concluded.


In celebration of Vietnamese Women’s Day, RMIT Vietnam proudly presents stories of transformation and impact our alumni have made to the community we serve and beyond.

Watch the video about Nguyen Tran Van Thuy.

Watch the full playlist.

Story: Ha Hoang

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