I’m Thai-Australian, born and raised in Australia, the majority of it in Melbourne (foodie town). I’m a bit crazy but also driven and creative. I am highly social but also
extremely private (if that makes sense). My passions are eating, travelling, writing and anything to do with the modern world of marketing
Why did you decide to settle in Bangkok?
I settled in Bangkok over 11 years ago to be closer to my parents and also become reacquainted with my Thai side. The original plan was to stay for three to six months, but Bangkok happened, and I took the opportunity to explore the possibilities here. With some successes and many failures, it has been a turbulent journey, and I believe there are more adventures to come.
You are running Extrovert P.R & Marketing, numerous Facebook communities, Vivin and BangkokFoodies.com: how are you fnding the time?
First and foremost I have a partner, my husband and business partner: we are each other’s rock and support. And although our activities are quite separated now from different priorities, we can not build our mini-empires without one another. Secondly, I have a small but very efficient team. I’m notorious for perpetually looking for staff, not because I can’t fnd people but because I’m looking for the perfect ft. Therefore, I always have my eyes open for fresh meat as the demand expands.
When was your frst big break? What was it?
I never really had one. I’m still battling my way through. But I believe that elusive big breaks come from working your butt off. I’m not one to believe in chance or luck; I’m an advocate of getting out there and grabbing life by the ovaries. This is what I’d like to pass onto the women of Bangkok. Not to expect a straighter nose or shinier hair or lighter skin or relying on fnding stability in a partner for future success like we have been led to believe by mass media and multi corps. We are capable of doing so much more. It is about time we see more funded programmes and idols which stand for and encourage critical thinking and business leadership and initiatives for mums and single mums working from home. This is what I hope to continue to do with Women Professionals & Entrepreneurs Club (WP&E Club): bringing women together to empower each other, not only in business but for moral support while having some fun (okay, a lot of fun) along the way.
The most challenging aspect of my career to date is to be accepted into the Thai society. I am impulsive. I tend to say whatever I want. Also, being a woman entrepreneur, I did everything on my own when I started. I would often show up alone (still do) at events, where I usually felt ostracised or alienated, but I didn’t let that stop me. After some time, people began to understand my nature, even if it is a bit bold or unconventional. Plus, I refuse to go away, so they may as well get used to me. But basically, that’s how I became a public relations (and marketing) person and an inﬂuencer; not by ftting a mold but simply by being me. I’m proud to say I’ve met the most amazing and funloving people in this industry. Don’t be afraid to get out there and do the same.
Bangkok Foodies was created to serve two purposes: 1) passion and 2) necessity. I already developed a successful group called Desperately Seeking Bangkok (DSBKK). I saw the demand for food inquiries in Bangkok, so much so that I opened a sister group. From there, it grew exponentially. We now have 15,000 genuine members (we moderate heavily and screen every application) and recently launched Phuket Foodies Offcial, Hanoi Foodies Offcial, London Foodies Offcial, Hua Hin Foodies Offcial and our latest, Myanmar - Yangon Foodies Offcial. My proudest achievement is the launch of our frst Foodies brand website: www.bangkokfoodies.com. On the frst day of launch, it crashed because we had too many visitors (not a bad problem to have), but we updated immediately and everything is running smoothly now.
How do you relax? Or do you ever relax?
Ha! Probably the best question I’ve had in an interview so far. I think it’s widely known among friends and the community that I rarely relax, but I do fnd the occasional
private time to chill with the hubby by going to the park or lazing at home and tormenting the cat or a casual dinner and drinks with good friends. I do manage to save (a bit of) time for that. It’s a must!
What of the competitors?
I don’t see any direct competition. We are purely food focused. We are unique. The Bangkok Foodies website offers breaking news, interviews with chefs, a restaurant directory, event calendars and travel activities. I often see similar projects popping up which are a total or direct ripoff. It annoys me for fve seconds, then I just kept on doing what I’m doing with blinders on.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Treat others how you want to be treated.
What else can we expect from Samantha Proyrungtong?
Keep your eye on www.bangkokfoodies.com and WP&E Club activities is all I have to say. Oh, and maybe some world domination on the side.