The Jakarta Post
Established in 2007, the California-based Banana Cottage has become a popular supplier of bridesmaid gifts and accessories. (bananacottage.com/File)
Having started her business as a hobby, an Indonesian named Murwati "Ati" Dwaileebee is currently running her own brand of custom-made purses and clutches, called Banana Cottage, in the United States.
Established in 2007, the California-based Banana Cottage has become a popular supplier of bridesmaid gifts and accessories. With prices ranging from US$25 to $55, customers can request a personalized messages or photographs printed in their orders. The products are marketed online and are thus available to customers outside of the US.
Concerning the brand name, Ati says that it reflects her background. “I was born and raised in Indonesia. ‘Cottage’ represents houses in the villages, while banana is a tropical symbol,” she told kompas.com.
Having lived in the US for 11 years, Ati says that she taught herself the ability to design and produce bags. Before selling them online, she had created purses for her friends. She currently produces about 2,000 purses a year and she still handles most of the production herself.
When asked about her keys to success, Ati mentions that one was doing what she loves, so she does not give up easily. “You just need to keep on doing it. If you have new ideas, do it right away, or else you will forget,” she said, adding that it was also important to have confidence to reach out.
“If we knock on thousands of doors, at least a hundred doors will open for us. So, don’t get tired of knocking on doors.”
Aside from being sold online, Banana Cottage products can also be found offline, such as in the Modern Mouse handmade crafts store in Alameda, California. Store owner Eleen Hsu Agustin says that her customers are very fond of the items. “Their various styles and colors gives added value to our commodities,” Agustin said. (mas/kes)