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Creative Director, Neato

Matthew Hunt

I'm a writer, traveler, computer person, and longtime animal lover living in Thailand for the last 5 years.

Since living here, I have had extraordinary opportunities to connect with local communities all over the Kingdom, and in doing so, I have come to know the meaning of a keystone of Thai culture and society: เกรงใจ/น้ำใจ.

เกรงใจ/น้ำใจ ("greng-jai") is characterized as the spirit of giving and generosity to one another. This feeling of necessity in consideration of other people and things is ingrained in Thai society and held high as one of the key values by which people conduct themselves.

While building my own company, I believe that it is important to stay aligned with philanthropy, and that is why I started #ShopLocalThailand- a social media campaign intended to promote local businesses that are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns.

This campaign has seen a lot of organic success on social media since I started sending out colorful tweets of food and locally-owned accommodations. As it has grown, I've made a point of aligning my own local Thai business (Neato) with philanthropy and the spirit of giving as much as I possibly can- and that that is what this project aims to do.

Shop Local Thailand is starting small with elephant masks- but myself and my team @Neato have big plans to continue to work with local vendors as much as possible to make this project a staple of our mission statement as we build our company—and community—in Thailand.

Thank you so much for your support of this philanthropy, my own local business, and each of the vendors that benefit as you shop on our site.

If you'd like to get in touch, you can reach out to me on my Twitter (@WritingByMatt), or by submitting the contact form here.