“I was born in a village called Sumber Tetes, which means “source of drops”, located in the Gunungkidul district. Gunungkidul Regency is in the southeast part of the province of Yogyakarta. The Gunungkidul area is heavily forested with teak, and that is why I am very familiar with teakwood and wood products from my area. Because the wood is abundant, everyone in my village crafts wooden products, whether it is furniture or handicrafts.
“Both my parents were civil servants when I was born, but they did not demand that I be a civil servant as well. They educated me well, and emphasized that I should live a life of honesty. They told me to always do good to others and to build good relationships with family and neighbors.
“As a kid I loved to make various toys from all the materials around, like leaves and wood. My friends liked me because I made them a lot of toys. My parents were aware of my skills and creativity in making toys since childhood, so they approved my choice to go to a vocational high school for wooden crafts. I pursued my schooling seriously, and even before graduating from vocational school I started to produce wooden crafts and sell them in a limited environment.
“After graduating from vocational high school, I started my business by producing various designs of wooden crafts. I sent samples to companies and attended exhibitions. I had some difficulties at times, with things such as working capital, labor, and production space.
“I live with my wife and 3 children, and I am very happy. My wife strongly supports all the activities that I do. She's a beautiful and kind wife. Taking care of the kids and the household well is her skill and talent. Living in the village gives me peace while I am designing and creating.
“Now I realize that what my parents told me, about the way I treat others, pays me back in a good way. Thanks to my good relationships with my neighbors, I was able to work through all the difficulties. All the workers in my workshop are my neighbors. They are happy to work with me, and I am happy to help improve the community with my work.”