“My name is Dewi Rinawati Hady. I was born in Yogyakarta, which is a very special city. Besides being famous for its customs, culture, arts, and education, Yogyakarta is also famous for having an important role in Indonesian history. Once, Yogyakarta was the capital of Indonesia, and at the beginning of the Indonesian independence, Yogyakarta contributed 5 million guilders to the Indonesian government. I was born in the Yogyakarta palace, because I was a royal descendant of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono III (the third king of Yogyakarta), so it can be said that I am a noblewoman; but for me being a noble is not a special thing. In fact, we live just like other people; we need jobs to earn money. My father is a civil servant and my mother is a housewife.
“I am the fourth child of six, and I am my parents’ only daughter. I went to college in Yogyakarta. I started earning my own income when I helped lecturers with their research in a village south of Yogyakarta. My research focused on the handicraft business there. Through this research, I became interested in entering Yogyakarta’s world of handicrafts, because I saw the enormous potential of the people of Yogyakarta, as well as the potential of the various materials available. So, one day my artisan friend Diana Dewi introduced me to Novica.
“For me, life is hard work. Even though I was Jeng Dewi throughout my childhood (Jeng being an affectionate name for noble children), I still feel the same as others. Noble family life does not encourage being single, but I have been a single parent for the past seven years, and I'm fine. I have one daughter who is 22 years old, and a son who is eight years old.
“My personality began to form when I was in the student senate at Gajah Mada University. Introducing students to the movement during the reformation taught me that being a happy human is not enough; you must also benefit others. My work as a consultant is fulfilling the teachings of my parents to help others. As a consultant, I get to know a lot of Indonesian crafts that are cool and worth exporting. Other countries may have sophisticated technology, but Indonesia has a special culture and people. I am very happy with my current job; as a consultant I can help people progress in their work. Besides that, I also have my own craft so that I can channel my creativity.
“The hardest moment in my life was when I first became a single parent, but I have lived through it and learned the lesson that what happens to us today will be the provision to face future events. The most comfortable moments for me are when I can be with my children and make them happy by spending more vacation time together.
“The best part of my craft is its originality. So, designing is the hardest part of my process. We only use reclaimed or recycled materials, namely the coconut shell, so that we are always “green”. The materials we use are easy to get, and we also use many human resources. My motto is to always be healthy, uplifting, happy and beneficial to others. I always try to be justly balanced. People around me know me as a person who is passionate, wise and helpful.
“My craft is related to culture, tradition and environmental preservation, because almost every one of my designs has an influence from local traditions, and my use of materials is in line with my mission for environmental conservation.”