"Hello, my name is Mimik Sriningsih from Boyolali, Central Java. I was born in 1974 to an artisan family. So this work actually is a heritage from our ancestors. Most people in my neighborhood are coppersmiths. I learned this craft by observing my father's workers and also our neighbors from when I was just a little girl.
"In the past, our grandparents made traditional kitchenwares from brass and copper and sold them to the local market. Eventually there were some inquiries from overseas asking for many different kinds of products like sculpture, lampshades, etc. so we developed products in many categories.
"After I graduated from an economics academy in Jogjakarta, I married one of my father's employees when I was 21. Then we decided to join this business too so we would have income. My father has passed away, but my mother is still active in the business . I manage the workers myself according their ability, skills and talents. I have 10 full-time workers that work every day in our workshop, and 30 part-timers work in their own homes.
"God blessed me with 2 boys and 1 girl. I am supporting them in their studies until they complete university. It was a while until we had our first child; we waited more than 5 years, and life felt so empty. Being a mother is what makes a woman perfect; having them makes my life complete and more colorful. They also motivate me to work harder and better, for the sake of their future.
"I had a hard time when Indonesia had its financial crisis in 1997-1998. But I think everyone was affected by that, so we were not alone, and we passed the hard times wisely. But we were also cheated by one of our clients from abroad that made us suffer a loss of around $30,000 USD. We almost couldn’t continue the business, but God was watching us and helping us. Slowly but surely our business recovered, and now it is even better. I also got wise words from my parents that I have to be more careful and not so easy in trusting people.
"We work with just manual tools like hammers, chisels, scissors, etc. The copper slabs, our main material, are bought from Germany or Bulgaria. For food-contact items, we only use a natural finish; while the ones that are only for decor can receive various types of finishes.
"I hope that, by joining NOVICA, we will have better marketing so that customers worldwide can see the potential of our crafts.”