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She innovated a zero-waste product line to tide over the pandemic.

Wida Sadrahwati
Indonesia

For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about tulatali (string/cordage in Sundanese). I would often engage in combining corded string ornaments with natural materials, such as water hyacinth, for a line of unique and sustainable products. However, it wasn’t until a trip to Tasikmalaya, West Java, which acquainted me with other local artisans and their quality and nifty talent, that I thought of exploring this as a fulltime business. Thus, was born Tulatali Craft.

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She wants the world to experience the joy of handmade and sustainable products.

With a strong desire to let the world enjoy the handicrafts, I promoted the products in exhibitions and bazaars. I also turned to Facebook and Instagram. My brand grew significantly, and even saw itself being featured in European art exhibitions. In fact, The Department of Trade and Industry of West Java approached me to be part of the Bandung Weekend Market in tourist paradise, Bali. WhatsApp gave me a spot in its 50 Women Entrepreneur catalog, which features businesses managed by women. This also included an invitation to the #WanWir Femina training in April 2021, a WhatsApp-supported program that develops the role of women in Indonesia’s economic recovery.

Besides bazaars and exhibitions, Facebook and Instagram helped promote her business.

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As with most entrepreneurs, I had to overcome some hurdles to get to where I am today. The production of products was weather-dependent as I worked with the water hyacinth plant and it needed ample sunlight to grow. However, during the rainy season, as it wasn’t always available, the production would be limited. During the pandemic, the demand for my items reduced and I had to let go of some team members. I currently work with outsourced local artisans who help me with production. But that didn’t deter me. I channeled my market knowledge, weaving skills, and advocacy for a sustainable lifestyle to turn leftover rags into other zero-waste products.

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She is focused on traveling and upskilling to improve her craft.

Despite the challenges, I am keen to bounce back. One of the first things on my mind now that the restrictions are easing is building back my team and showcasing my products at exhibitions. I am also hopeful of bringing my own store to life. Besides that, I have my eyes set on international exports, as well as an upcoming workshop and gallery. I believe that by learning new trends and analyzing the market, any passion can be uplifted and be turned into an opportunity.

@tulatali
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