For this month's featured Discovered artisan, we'll introduce you to the Indonesian Mars Rizkia and her brand Kimilatta Jewelry & Craft. She tells us more about the story behind her handmade artisan dreamcatchers, the inspiration behind the boho accessories and the Indonesian artisans behind the products.
Kimilatta is a unique name. Does it have a meaning?
Yup! Kimilatta was the name of Mars Rizkia’s childhood imaginary friend. Mars Rizkia is our founder and her 'friend' was portrayed as an adventurous young girl who lived in a fictional world and loved crafting.
Can you tell us more about Kimilatta Jewelry & Craft?
Kimilatta is a handmade jewelry & craft brand from Surabaya, Indonesia. We have a wide range of unique and eclectic handmade goods such as dreamcatchers, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and home decors.
We actually didn’t start the company on purpose. Originally, Mars Rizkia is really keen on crafting, especially making accessories. In 2008, she received a lot of orders for customized accessories from her close friends, which later attracted other customers. This continued until 2011 when Mars finally encouraged herself to take her hobby to the next level.Psychedelia Dreamcatcher Necklace - $46 and Luxezic Dreamcatcher Car Hanging - $42
What is a ‘dreamcatcher’?
A dreamcatcher is a cultural heritage from Native America which is believed to get rid of nightmares and bad dreams from its owners when hung above their beds. For us, dreamcatchers more functions than just home decorations. We developed the dreamcatcher concept and implemented them into other product varieties such as unique accessories.
Your products are colorful and have bohemian feel. What inspires you to make the products in this style?
To be honest, I didn't intend to make Kimilatta a 'bohemian' brand. When I design, I personally find it a bit lacking when the design is too simple or not colorful. Perhaps this is a matter of a personal style since I originally love colors and extraordinary, eccentric designs. I don’t follow a specific style genre, but since a lot of people have said that Kimilatta is ‘bohemian’, I'll go with it as long as I’m still fascinated with colorful & eclectic design.
Who are the artisans you work with?
Our artisans are local housewives who are in their late 30's and who are from Indonesia. They mostly come from middle-low class and they are working in order to support their families. Also, most of them have particular crafting skill such as knitting or scrapbooking, so it is easier for us to teach them how to make the dreamcatchers and accessories.
What impact has Kimilatta as a business on the artisans’ lives?
Compared to other brands who sell handmade goods, our prices are maybe a bit more expensive, since we only use fine materials. All of our goods also incorporate complex and innovative design feature with a high degree of artistry. For this reason, we are able to pay our artisans higher than the other home brands. This actually improves the life of our artisans, who are able to receive better medical treatment and send their sons and daughters to school.
Last but not least – what is your dream?
We have many dreams. First, we hope that Kimilatta will be always thriving in the next years and be an international brand. Second, we want to make a cool collaboration project with local or global artisans (anyone? :p). Lastly, we do hope that more youngsters are getting to love crafting so that they can appreciate it more.