Andrea and Nyoman share their hopes for a clean, peaceful and just planet, where people appreciate each other for their similarities and differences, and work together for the benefit of all.
Nyoman Suma Artha was born on December 24, 1968 in Bali, and Andrea Phillips was born on January 20, 1961 in Los Angeles, California. Not only are they married, they have also become a team with a mission to design and craft a variety of textile eco-friendly handicrafts.
Andrea says, "I'm usually always busy making something, I am very enthusiastic, and also picky, whereas as Nyoman is a problem solver, a good teacher, and he is always smiling and joking.
"I'm proud to say that though more than once I've had to start over again with nothing due to some circumstance beyond my control, I always say to myself that I still have a creative mind and these two hands - let's get to work."
Nyoman says, "I've had almost the same experiences, where sometimes I feel that I'm hitting a dead end. I always say to myself 'do your best in the worst situation and it will be over eventually.'"
"Living in Indonesia has not been without its funny moments," confides Andrea. "For example, Bahasa is a relatively simple language, but I've had some very embarrassing moments when I get some words mixed up, like kacang (bean or nut), kencang (tight), kucing (cat), kancing (button), kencing, (pee) kentang (potato), kantong (pocket)… see what I mean?!"
Andrea and Nyoman share their hopes for a clean, peaceful and just planet, where people appreciate each other for their similarities and differences, and work together for the benefit of all. "This is what we're doing now and how we work, and what we create. We hope more and more people get enlightened, live a simple life and be happy to help others: be creative and efficient in every area of life," says Andrea
"I've always loved arts, in fact that was my major. For Nyoman it was different, he got into this field through his work experience with other companies. He taught himself, and now he teaches others about green-crafting, product development, production and management.
"I make the designs and test the samples until they are ready to share with the talented artisans that help us. I am very conceptual and think outside the box, using traditional material or techniques in new and unexpected ways. My artisan partners are much more conservative in their thinking but do much neater work than I can.
"To learn this art one needs a lot of practice, the more you do the better you get and but I don't believe we ever really 'master' anything. The hard part is to make a product that fits your taste and at the same time matches what customers like.
"We only use ecological and sustainable materials. We try to recycle and re-use as much of our materials as possible. Sometimes it's hard to source materials when you are committed to them being planet-friendly.
"My favorite thing about our craft is designing new collections, making everything coordinate and be at a good price so the customer can enjoy without spending a fortune. I also enjoy working together with our artisan partners to make something new and solve problems together."
Nyoman says, "Our products are environmentally friendly, colorful, useful, and beneficial to all parties involved. The most challenging part is organizing team-work with people coming from different cultures and educational backgrounds.
"Our inspiration comes from nature, books, magazines, fashion, museums, kids, dreams, requests from customer, etc. What I like best about having our own venture is that we can express ourselves freely without limitations."
Andrea continues, "My dad was an entrepreneur and it comes naturally to have my own venture, but I don't do it alone. My husband Nyoman worries about getting orders to be able to keep providing work. We are working with family members, and each of us who work as part of our in-house team, have our own specific jobs and responsibilities. Some are our own family members – moms, brother, friends. It's great to be able to offer something extra so they can make extra income at home.
"When we work with other artisans, I always look for people who are willing to improve their work, their lives, their community and their environment. I look for people who are diligent and not afraid to try something new. They should be open minded and willing to continue to improve the quality, esthetic and efficiency of their work. Caring about others and the environment is a must.
"Our work benefits our local community because we are providing work for people, helping them develop their craft, design, and their management skills so they can build their own business. We are concerned with providing education to our community to strive for the sustainability of their livelihoods and culture, as well as help them improve their quality of live."