"I am very happy that my work is recognized and appreciated by people from outside Indonesia… My helpers are mostly mothers who live in my neighborhood."
"I was born in East Java, in a remote village surrounded by fertile farmland. You can see the wide fields filled with rubber, coffee, cacao and tobacco plantations. My father was a tobacco trader and my mother was a homemaker. I am the only son in the family, and have three lovely sisters. They said I was the favorite child at that time and even my grandparents sometimes asked my parents to send me to their house, as they wanted to help take care of me. We spent our childhood in the natural area and played traditional games. It was great.
"Through high school, I studied in my hometown but, when I graduated, I went to Yogyakarta, the student city, to pursue my dream of studying in the best university in Indonesia. I finally managed to get into this university and majored in agriculture engineering. When I finished my studies, I become an agriculture business consultant. That's why I always love this quote — 'Power is gained by sharing knowledge not hoarding it.' I also found myself falling in love with bamboo and, at the same time, I also love music very much. So along with my job in agriculture, I also designed decorative musical instruments from bamboo and tried to sell them.
"After some time, I finally found a buyer from the Netherlands and they bought a lot of my bamboo instruments. I am very happy that my work is recognized and appreciated by people from outside Indonesia. Years passed and the orders changed from musical instruments to decorative accessories. I then challenged myself to innovate with other decorative accessories.
"At first, this was very hard for me and my wife, but then I started to design home décor accents such as tableware and sculptures.
"Now, we have a small workshop and hope to get a bigger one in the near future. My helpers are mostly mothers who live in my neighborhood. I love working with them! They pay serious attention to the details and very neat in their work. When I have new design, I prepare easy step by step crafting techniques so it can be delivered easily to the women who work from their homes.
"My only problem at this moment is the availability of my materials, because I need to select the best quality of bamboo so it can bend easily but also remain strong. I have to keep my eyes open for the sourcing it in new places."