Choose the right market

It’s same like most other people, Jakarta is the center of the work. Just come to Jakarta, we will get a job. So about that’s in mind the couples Subagiyo Toto (38) and Niken Pudyati (35) when they comes to Jakarta in the early 1980s.

Couples who came from Sukoharjo, Central Java, they thought will soon get a job in office at Jakarta. The fact, Long time after to find a career at office that they desire was not obtained. How would not they have to do something to survive because they does not have income or salary.

"Finally I decided to make a wall decoration from goat skin. Decoration such as is already done my family since long. In mind, I want to get another job, but because I always can not find it, finally I’m back again to make wall decoration from the goat skin", said Toto who see the goat skin is not used by more people Jakarta.

Pioneer wall decoration business in Jakarta is not the easy thing. They do not have the capital. "Our capital the first is only Rp 1 million. We also be ridiculed by relatives and friends because the capital is too small. In fact, if someone want to start business, he must prepare capital at least Rp 20 million. Actually, we also are not sure. But it must be tried, rather than nothing to eat, " Niken tell the story how they started their small business in 1983.

Wall decorations that they make is the goatskin painted image scenery or puppet. Then, the skin was given a wooden frame with a rope tied. The capital Rp 1 million used to buy 10 pieces of goat skin and other materials. They make the wall decoration that just both because of they do not have the money to engage workers. Niken follow involved to work it, although to make such decorations are usually made more men.

"After it finish, we tried to offer to the shops. In fact many shops deny. Fortunately there is one store that would like to receive, but the sistem is kind sale, not purchased (They are paid when the goods sale). Ups ..just one week they put it in the store, someone bought it. From there their business began to growlike now, " Toto reminded that story, that Toto get four children from his wedding with Niken.

Only sell out one of decorations, they start out two, ten, and one hundred, and eventually more and more. From there, the buyer and the bid shall be on the increase. Coincidence, they also get a bid exhibition widen the door of their business.

"We started to follow exhibition in the small bazar. Then from there we met new buyers, "said Toto. At the time, Toto saw the puppet garnish start less attractive. The buyers may be limited to the Javanese or puppet hobbies. Toto feel need to change the design so that the target market more increasingly large.

Toto finally decided to change the design, the image of a puppet to becalligraphy. Toto see calligraphy has a larger market than the puppet. "Our labor feel it’s easier to make calligraphy than to make a puppet. Now we are difficelt to find paver manufacturer puppet. We should still create puppet, so the art is not lost, "said Toto that now have 10 labor.

Presumably the decision to change the design to be the right decision. Their sales figures increasing the longer, let alone, finally, They have fixed the buyer from various regions in Indonesia. There are buyers from Tanjung Pinang, Medan, Makassar, Surabaya and other cities in Indonesia.

In addition to some bazars, they also opened a small stall (counter) in Jatinegara, East Jakarta. This counter is helping them widen the market because the Jatinegara market is including wholesale market that many
buyers were from outside Jakarta.

Successfully penetrate the local market, this couple began to try markets abroad. Early, it was not planned. Suddenly they have 600 pieces decorations because they are not taken by the orderer. Accident, they saw an ad to participate in exhibitions in Singapore. They decided to try while try the other market. Appeared in Singapore, all the wall decoration is out of stock.

From Singapore they try to market Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and the Middle East. Theyknow Middle East market is very large market considering the countries in the Middle East is a Muslim country. "Currently we have no longer participate in the exhibition because we still haveloyal buyers from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Every month we send at least one container, "said Niken.

Delivery to Turkey and the Arab is, according Niken, still have not reached yet the amount ordered. For example, the order is 7,000 pieces, they are only able to send 1,000 pieces. "In fact we are able to create 7,000 units, but we are difficult to get raw materials and working capital," said Niken.

Concerning labor, Niken said, that, they are not difficult to find them, because they often educate people to make the goat skin decoration. In addition, their big family mostly also make the same decoration. the most difficult of raw materials are the goatskin. Even though they already know the major selling goatskin, they can not take all the skin. The skin must be really good that can be used as wall decorations.

They are also having difficulties working capital. "If before, the buyer dare to give down payment up to half from transaction value, but now there are not buyers want to do it again. If the transaction value of Rp 200 million, they only want to give down payment Rp 5 million. This make us difficult, said Niken that now began approaching the bank to look for additional capital.

The difficulty make them now no longer follow exhibition craft. "Now we are overwhelmed, unable to meet all orders. If you participate in the exhibition again, we are worry we can not concentrate on the existing order, " Niken said. They are selling this decoration from Rp 15,000 to Rp 150,000 per piece.

For the cost of production, now they are using the latest technology sablon. In addition to a cheaper labor cost, time also becomes shorter. "early we write all calligraphy with our own hands. In fact one day only
one decoration. While the sablon, can be 100 a day, "said Toto.

Usage sablon this is also done so tha prices can compete with another crafter. "Sometimes the buyer does not care about this handmade or sablon, the important, that they get a cheaper price. However, we still serve buyers who ask for the original handwriting, "said Toto who claim to always explain to the buyer where handmade decorations, decorations which sablon. (ARN)

Source: Newspaper K o m p a s

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