FINDING HAPPINESS BY EMPOWERING WOMEN IN COASTAL AREA
Combining social entrepreneurship and the arts of crafting to help others
Kharolin Hilda Amazona (Olin) is the Founder and CEO of Menganyam Pesisir (Coastal Weaving) social enterprise. She tells us how she is very passionate about social entrepreneurship and the arts of crafting. Her high spirit in helping others deserves to be appreciated. Let’s sit and talk together with Olin. Hopefully, you can accept her positivity by reading our interview with her.
How did you get your idea or concept for this community?
When I was in junior high school, I often joined a charity program at my school in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. I learned about people's characteristics, and I saw many poverties there, especially in coastal areas. On the other side, Gunung Kidul is rich in screw pines, which have not been used optimally. Afterward, I had an idea to use the screw pines to be something that has selling values by empowering people around there. Firstly, we made a hand-woven bag from screw pines.
In 2017, I made it more severe by starting Menganyam Pesisir with my funds. I just thought, whatever happens, at least I made the first step. I don't care whether it works or not. I will consider it later.
I tried to contact my friends to join, but none of my friends accepted my proposal due to the need for a big fund, too risky, and the location is quite far. Then I did an independent mini-research with my friend. We built a symbiotic relationship that mutually gives benefits to each other. From the mini-research that I conducted, I understood better the frequent problems that occurred on the coast, and most importantly, I also found gender inequality.
What was your mission at the outset?
First, we want to alleviate poverty in coastal areas in Gunung Kidul and Bantul by empowering women through entrepreneurship. Second, reducing gender inequality, which very common, happens out there. We realize that women on the coast need significant support from us, but isolated locations and difficulty to access are obstructing the process.
Women here need encouragement that makes them more confident. If they have confidence and proper skills, they can have a better future and be free from the shackles of gender inequality.
What service(s) or product(s) that Menganyampesisir offered?
We teach them how to make the hand-woven bag from screwpines until it's ready to sell and other products, like strap-mask. We are also conducting entrepreneur skills training.
We provide technical skills like basic photography, video editing, and social media marketing for those who already have businesses. We also launched our latest product, Indigofera, which is natural dyes from the coast.
How do you define success?
Defining success for me is when I can be beneficial to others. I feel happy when my life is helpful to others. It may sound cliché, but that's how I think.
What are your community goals?
We want our community to have better access, do what they want, and grow as entrepreneurs. In the long term, we hope they can be financially independent.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting, what would it be?
Whatever you are about to start or do, do what you love doing what you are passionate about, follow your heart, and take action.
Do you have any plans to sell your products outside Indonesia?
Yes, for sure, considering west people like hand-made products, we indeed plan to sell our products on the marketplace.