"While traveling, all our money was stolen. It was all we had and we didn't know what to do… The universe was telling us something — we just didn't know what."
"I'm from East Java. People know me as a happy and friendly woman who always enjoys life. I was making hammocks back in 1998 before I met my husband. He was crafting hammock holders and we ended up working on a project together.
"I had a small shop in Bali but I was only selling about one hammock a week. That really wasn't enough! Hammocks were something new here and I had to explain how the hammock worked. I started putting other handicraft items in the shop, hoping to sell more. But we both thought we might make the shop into a restaurant instead.
"One weekend, we went to Java to buy craft items for the shop. We had very little money — just enough to take the bus, buy some pieces and get back home. Unfortunately, while traveling, all our money was stolen. It was all we had and we didn't know what to do.
"Finally, we went back home and decided that we didn't really want to open a restaurant or sell handicrafts. The universe was telling us something — we just didn't know what. We both had a background in hammocks and we felt that was the right path for us.
"Right after that, by chance, we found some money hidden in a wall in our house! It was extraordinary! We knew that was a sign that we were going in the right direction. We used the money to make more hammocks and put all our energy into them, but nothing happened for four or five months — no sales, no customers. It was a stressful time.
"Then, we got an order for one hundred hammocks. We were so excited. It was a very big order for us. We worked so hard on those hundred pieces, just my husband and I with one other person who helped with the sewing. When I packed up the last box, I was so relieved. We had done it! It was really a big deal for us. Then, a few weeks later, that same customer ordered a thousand hammocks, and kept ordering. We're still working with her today, after all these years.
"We use nylon parachute fabric, rope and stainless steel as materials. All are purchased from suppliers in Indonesia, as we do not make any of the materials ourselves. We use the leftover fabric cuttings from the hammocks to make our smaller accessory items such as Frisbees and shopping bags, and the pouches that each item comes in.
"I work with my husband and my cousin, Cipta. We also have artisans who collaborate with us and we consider them our family. They have all been working with us at least seven years and most of them have been working with us for more than ten years. Our earliest helpers have been with us since 2001.
"Cipta came to work with us at the very beginning. She wanted to join the Army and her mother called me to ask if she could come stay and work with me instead, because her mom didn't want her to join the Army. She came to stay for a short time but, after all these years, she's still here. In the beginning, it was just the three of us doing everything, trying to figure it all out together.
"Our workshop provides jobs and a good living for our staff. We have seen them grow, get married and have children. They have been with us every step of the way and we have been able to grow and improve our lives together."