Market Overview

Indonesia Handicrafts Soar at 2018 NY NOW


Indonesia Handicrafts Soar at 2018 NY NOW

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Indonesian Pavilion "IDentities" has attracted hundreds of potential buyers at 2018 NY NOW. This event is held from 12 - 15 August 2018 at the Javits Center, New York City. IDentities is taking "Handmade Contemporary Treasures from Indonesian's 17,000 Islands of Imagination" theme, sparking the uniqueness and finesse of eight brands from Indonesia. The products have come from a long journey through strict selection and intense discussion since March. As a result, Kana GoodsIndo RisaktiSackai BagsSijiKayouPala NusantaraNoesa, and Jenggala have proved themselves as the pride of the islands of imagination.

By participating the trade show, these brands not only promote the products and sales, but also aim for a higher goal. Joshua Simandjuntak, Chairman Deputy for Marketing Bekraf (Indonesia Agency for Creative Economy) stated that the Bekraf and Indonesia brands' main purpose is to build strong ties with buyers for the sake of long term business connection so that Indonesian brands could expand their business in the US.

"For creative products such as these, whose US is the biggest market, NY NOW is the gateway to enter the market. NY NOW's visitors are not only from the US, but also from Asia. There are also merchandisers who come from Japan, Korea and other countries," said Joshua.

Usually, potential buyers do not buy on the spot. They will look for brands which display their desired products and then make deals with the owners for bigger purchase inquiries. Alexandre Alvin Handoyo, owner of Kayou, said it is his second year participating the 2018 NY NOW event. Last year, he got a customer who continuously repeated purchase orders throughout the year. This year, as well as hopes for new buyers, he planned to meet this customer to talk about the future partnership, like what kinds of products he wants to buy.

Turning Creativity into Competitive Advantage

The local exhibiting brands are set to compete with some of the leading products from other countries. In fact, Kana Goods, Siji, Jenggala, Sackai Bags, Noesa, Indo Risakti, and Kayou have been shortlisted for the Best New Product Award. Galeri Batik Jawa, a natural indigo batik designer from Yogyakarta, has been awarded the Best New Product Award Artisan Resource Summer 2018. The award was given directly to the founder of Galeri Batik Jawa, Mayasari Sekarlaranti (Nita) by the NY NOW stakeholders.

Nita has continuously empowered local batik artists from Yogyakarta since 2007 and is specialized in hand-painted batik using 100% natural dye from Indigofera tinctoria plant which yields attractive shades of blue that are applied into fashionable women's and men's wear.

Meanwhile, Kayou, is looking for opportunities to collaborate with other brands. "As an initial foray into the US market, we want to work together with existing brands. But in the future, we really want to be on par with other leading brands, if not better," said Alvin, who is also a cofounder of Kayou.

"Creative and cultural products from Indonesia will soon get a bigger slice of the overseas market. Our products are made with quality craftmanship and come from diverse cultures. Those aspects will add more values to each product," Alvin concluded.

"This year, the buyers' responses has been phenomenal. The amount of attention we have received so far really put Indonesia's handcrafted products on the map," said Jennifer Isaacson, Accessories Buyer and Merchandising Advisor at Cultural Revival, who consults with Bekraf on advising  Indonesian designers to market their products to wholesalers all over the US.

Having consistently assisted Indonesia's SMEs at NY NOW for the past three years, Jennifer knows the drill. According to Jennifer, US buyers are paying attention to the stories that go with the product. They want to know who made it and where it's coming from. "This year, we are focusing on having artisans tell stories behind their products. The authenticity and cultural identity are what matter most," she explained.

Presi Madari, the owner of Sackai Bags shared that there was a potential buyer who would have wanted to buy if the zip holder, which was made of leather, had changed. The buyer's reason for the demand is because using leather to make bags is not environmentally friendly. It is contrary to the message the bags are carrying in their graphic designs, which is about animals.

The achievement from 2018 NY NOW is a result of the positioning strategy pulled off by Bekraf. Joshua stated that the placement of Indonesian products at one integrated booth under the name of IDentities was directly instructed by President Joko Widodo. The eight curated products supported by Bekraf and other products supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affair, BI and BRI have shared the same booth. This united showcase has helped Indonesia gain a more significant presence than if they were scattered.

"In 2016, our first time in NY NOW, the booths (from different supported sources) were scattered. There were Bekraf's and also other ministry's (booth). Last year, we started coordinating the booths to become (an integrated) one," stated Joshua.

Joshua added that in the future, Bekraf would preserve the one integrated booth strategy aligned to the president's instruction. Joined showcase means joined resources, as well as better booth, bigger crowd and more product choices.

Media Contact:

Boni Pudjianto

BEKRAF's Director of International Market Development


Mariaman Purba

BEKRAF's Head Bureau of Legal and Public Communication



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SOURCE Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy (BEKRAF)

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