With a strong environmental mission, her fashion business sewed the way to sustainable success.
I am Dinni Nurhayati, the founder of Deandrahandmade, a clothing line. On “Dress down” day, my daughter, Deandra, like most Indonesian children, wasn’t exactly spoilt for choice with the choicest attire for Muslims. I wanted to do something about it so I used my passion for sewing to create an outfit for her.
The dress, inspired by nature, was met with compliments at school, and soon, orders started to flow in. Individual orders gradually turned into small batches and today, I run a successful business. Deandrahandmade features collections for Muslims and locally inspired batik embroideries for children and adults alike.
Social media helped her upskill and connected her to other entrepreneurs.
In addition to using eco-friendly materials, such as natural cotton cloth, my collections are launched in exclusive limited drops to ensure there’s no overproduction.
To grow my business, I enrolled in Facebook’s Scaleup program and the #SheMeansBusiness Wanita Wirausaha Femina Training – an initiative in partnership with the Femina magazine that promotes innovation for entrepreneurial Indonesian women. I then started a Facebook page and converted my personal Instagram handle into a business one and posted updates and product pictures regularly. Business boomed, and I began getting orders from countries such as Singapore. In March 2021, I applied for a spot in the Modest Fashion Founders Fund, a capital accelerator by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy that helps Indonesian fashion brands go global and was selected as one of Indonesia’s top 100 brands.
She not only uses eco-friendly materials to make her garments but also ensures there is no overproduction.
Despite a fulfilling journey, I have faced several challenges along the way, but faced them head on. The biggest one was finding the right team. Fortunately, I managed to build a strong one and even opened doors to freelancers as orders increased. Things were sailing smoothly until the COVID-19 pandemic struck and my store at the local shopping center had to shut. I wanted to do everything in my capacity to make things work, so, in search of a pivot, I began making personal protective garments for doctors and nurses at a local hospital. This allowed me to provide more job opportunities for tailors, bringing my team to where it is today.
She helped create more jobs for tailors during the pandemic.
As Indonesia has begun to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions, I am hopeful that I can revisit my retail dream – opening a store in a Bandung Shopping Centre. And while in the pursuit of that, I want to ink Deandrahandmade’s name as one of the world’s proudly sustainable slow fashion brands. I will get there, one day.