Jakarta, March 31, 2019 --- The BUMN (State-Owned Enterprises) Creative Class held by BNI in Banyuwangi, East Java, Sunday (March 31, 2019) not only presented successful millennial businessmen such as Mas Danu from Raja Cendol, but also introduced some hard-working young entrepreneurs from Banyuwangi. They were not only creative and innovative but also inspiring as they are very generous in sharing business knowledge.
Let's look at two of the young entrepreneurs who were lucky enough to be invited to open up a stand in the SOEs Creative Class Event.
Don't Dare to Complain Before Fighting as Hard as Hadi
This piece of batik fabric is so rich in motifs, hung on one corner of the Suruh Temurose booth, a traditional batik brand from Banyuwangi. There are Galaran batik motifs, the Broken coffee motif, Totogan motif, Melik Scales, and Para Gempal motif. These are the designs that emerged from the mind of a young man, Hadi Ardan (27).
For the father of a toddler, every piece of batik fabric he produces represents the struggle of his life. During his teens, Hadi became homeless as he had run out of money after sailing in Denpasar, Bali. He also worked in security but was dismissed after he was absent for 4 days because he contracted malaria.
Hadi’s choice of batik as a source of income was not easily determined. In his last place of work, namely at a cargo company in Banyuwangi, Hadi oversaw and assessed the products sold the most. Plus, he possessed a talent for painting. Hadi hopes that Batik will be his future. Although there were already many batik entrepreneurs in Banyuwangi at that time, several months after Eid 2016.
With capital of Rp. 150,000, a white cloth from a senior batik entrepreneur who was kind enough to lend it, and a cauldron to paint batik borrowed from his mother, Hadi began his adventure with Batik.
"I used the loaned shroud to express my batik ideas and designs. When it was completed, I showed them to the batik entrepreneur who lent me the fabric. He liked it and bought it for Rp. 300,000. I immediately paid my debts and bought new materials," he said.
Almost four years later, he now has 18 canting employees (who draw dots and lines with a spouted tool) and 4 employees to do batik printing. Hadi has confidently priced his written batik at a price between IDR650,000 and IDR1 million per sheet, while he sells his printed batik from IDR85,000 to IDR150,000 per sheet.
Every line and color of the batik has its own meaning. This is the strength of the Suruh Temurose batik, which also means the tip of the lemongrass leaves. The tip of the lemongrass leaves is associated with the geographical location of Banyuwangi which is indeed at the easternmost point of the island of Java. It is the place where the sun first illuminated the earth from the east. Thus, Hadi had his noble dreams.
Some events have made Hadi more enthusiastic about his business. Such as when President Joko Widodo appeared with a head-piece made of his creation. Or when First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo was willing to show the cloth and take a photo special for Hadi's social media account. And also when Banyuwangi residents’ beloved Regent, Abdullah Azwar Anas took the time to visit his stand. Every opportunity is important for the development of the Suruh Temurose.
As a millennial entrepreneur, Hadi surely understands the strategic meaning of social media. For new entrepreneurs such as himself, product galleries are very important. For this reason, social media accounts are used as galleries, a place where people can ask anything about batik. It is also a place for people to get tips on taking care of good batik. Hadi is ready to share his knowledge with all those batik enthusiasts.
The importance of this gallery is what drives Hadi to thank BNI. This company has invited Hadi and other small business owners in Banyuwangi to be literate in internet marketing through training at BNI's SOE Creative House (RKB, Rumah Kreatif BUMN). The bank has also often invited Hadi to join exhibitions.
"With more and more people wanting to know about batik, it will increase the prestige of batik. Finally, it will increase the value of batik itself and raise its price," Hadi said while showing his Istagram account in the Banyuwangi Regent Hall, in the BNI Creative Class Event, Sunday (March 31, 2019).
Riri's Story, Surviving with Handicrafts
Riri has been in business for 19 years, since 1999 to be exact. Starting out in Bali, he became a souvenir craftsman who made typical handicrafts of the Island of the Gods. However, fierce competition in Bali took him to Banyuwangi in 2012. Being a little traumatized by the souvenir business, Riri tried to sell clothes at Dlimo Market, Banyuwangi, while helping his beloved wife who was fond of marketing clothes.
A year later, Riri was shocked by the confession of his friend, a miniature sculpture painter artist Gandrung Banyuwangi. It turned out that he had to purchase a statue of a gandrung dancer that had not yet been painted from Yogyakarta. It was weird since the Gandrung Dance is a traditional Banyuwangi dance, the cultural identity of Blambangan land. This fact drew Riri back to be creative in the world of crafts.
"At that time, there were 3 miniature sculpture painters, but none of them were the sculpture’s craftsmen. Then I made the statue. The painters were happy as the price was lower than what he usually gets," Riri stated.
Since 2013, Riri has continued to be a craftsman. He is proud of his brand until today, namely Renk Raas Creative. Renk Raas means a person from Raas, an island near Madura Island, his hometown.
Whatever order comes, he tries to make it happen. The buyer often comes only with ideas, without bringing a sample of the product. Riri's ideas and desires were realized by making samples made from sengon wood or simply only by drawing pictures. Upon agreement, more sculptures were then produced.
In 2018, for example, there was a buyer who was a lecturer from Korea. He brought along 100 students to Banyuwangi. This lecturer asked Riri to make a souvenir in the form of a miniature statue of himself. And Riri was able to complete the Korean lecturer's order in 10 days. A total of 200 miniatures were done on time.
"The Korean lecturer knows he can easily order from China, but with me, he can ordered as little as he needed. If he placed order in China, he must order thousands of miniatures. I can do it with the same quality, and made them according to the quantity he needs. This is the advantage of Banyuwangi craftsmen," he said.
Now, handicrafts from Riri's skilled hands can be found in various Banyuwangi gift shops. For example, in Sun Osing, a souvenir shop that is very close to Blimbingsari airport, Banyuwangi. It is also available in Osing Deles, a souvenir shop slash cafe that offers coffee tasting experiences in Banyuwangi.
Almost all of his works, either key chains, contemporary leather bracelets, miniature sculptures, or alarm clocks have been made with sand ornaments which was taken from the beaches of Banyuwangi. Except for the traditional ship miniatures of Slerek Banyuwangi. This one is only available in Riri's gallery. Aside from being made exactly mirroring the original ship, this Slerek Muncar Boat is made out of teak wood and has a mini machine that makes it really move on water. For this one, Riri has set a price of IDR700,000 for one unit.
Aside from displaying his craft in souvenir shops, Riri is still very dependent on exhibitions at various events. Crowd like the Muncar Picking Festival held every 15th of Muharam is often a mainstay in sales.
"I also store products to sell at the State-Owned Enterprises Creative Home store managed by BNI in Banyuwangi. All of my paths are maximized to expand sales," Riri said.
His motivation was not to be afraid to be bold in starting a business. "All of my business friends were bold when starting their business in Banyuwangi. The important thing is to maintain friendship so that the business continues to grow," he stated when seen at the State-Owned Enterprises Creative Class Stand held by BNI at Sabha Swagata Blambangan Hall, Banyuwangi, East Java, on Sunday (Mar 31, 2019).