“I am Heru Wijanarka. I was born in Mengwi, Bali to a family of teachers. I am the third child of five. As a child in a large family, I wanted to be self-sufficient very quickly. With this motivation, I became an ice peddler when I was still in junior high. I also worked at a chicken farm. I saved some money from those jobs, and after I graduated high school, I worked even more jobs until I finally landed a position at an airport.
"Working in the airport, I encountered many interesting handcrafted products from all over Indonesia. I especially liked the handbags. We have some really nice embroidered handbags with motifs from different areas in Indonesia. The Aceh and Kalimantan motifs are my favorites. Since I had a friend that worked in this business, I learned how to make them and started my own workshop.
"In my workshop, I provide the raw materials and do quality control for the items produced by my artisans. I work with five women and one man. Sometimes, I give development advice and change designs according to modern fashions. The materials we use are fabrics, threads, and zippers, which are easily found in Java. We make our accessories using manual sewing machines.
"I like arts and sports. I am married and have a daughter and two sons. My children give me motivation to work on achieving a better life and education for them.”