When wading through the mire of less than genuine human characters, fate can introduce you to the purest of souls. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Lòi. These kind, caring and hardworking optimists, forgo the common practice of the skin tax, and set an equal price for both local Vietnamese and foreigners. Their open, honest, and diligent demeanor have made them the best kept secret of the expatriates of Da Nang.
With nimble fingers and the dexterity of a practiced surgeon, Mr. and Mrs. Loi transform ordinary pieces of cloth into well-fitted elegant attire. Interested in the backstory behind a couple who have graciously gifted me with being their first customer of the Lunar New Year, I sought answers for the process that resulted in the composition of two such amazing human beings.
A brilliant student, Mr. Lòi, became a teacher, an offshore oilrig engineer, a tailor, and a husband. After graduating university with a degree in mechanical engineering, education became the business of our tailor. Insignificant pay eventually resulted in a strange journey to the dark waters of the North Sea–an offshore oilrig had beckoned his name. Nine months in freezing weather and a diet of flavorless salmon had Mr. Lòi clamoring to get back to the beautiful, and most definitely, flavorful Vietnam.
Becoming an apprentice to his tailor uncle, Mr. Lòi took two years to master the needle and thread. Following his apprenticeship, Mr. Lòi transitioned to Da Nang, where he and his brother ran a tailor shop. Eventually they parted ways, and our man of many talents opened his first solo business. It was here were he gained not only a new apprentice but partner for life. Enter Mrs. Lòi, two kids, and an amazing business.
Nowadays, Mr. and Mrs. Lòi can be seen producing beautiful garments that support his daughter’s recently achieved dream of gaining a philosopher’s doctorate in chemistry at the University of Texas A and M.
If you’re ever in Da Nang, and you need clothes, or perhaps a renewed faith in the kindness of humanity, stop by 39 Tran Cao Van Street.