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Market & Museum, established in 2012 by PT Nasa Utama Kreasindo, is a company that brought forward a new type of retail bazaar: a thematic market for young entrepreneurs.

What sets Market & Museum apart from other retail bazaar events and organizers is its never-ending quest to come up with a unique concept. Its bazaars also feature art exhibits, which is why they label themselves "Museum" after the word "Market". Along with the retail market, Market & Museum offers entertaining and educational activities.

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The Jakarta-based firm has always been successful in attracting more than 120,000 visitors (and growing) over the course of a weekend in each of its events, but they initially started much smaller.

Started from tiny steps

Namira Syarfuan and Sara S. Tirtohadiguno first met when they were in high school. The two friends, who happen to be of the same age, started their business in December 2012 as organizers of a small bazaar. As time went by, they began to gain more clients and eventually, they were able to find a large source of funding.

"Our initial goal was to support local designers in Indonesia to promote their products. We have a lot of designers, the quality of their goods is good. Unfortunately, the platforms that can support them, such as bazaars, are still few," Namira said in an interview.

These two friends had worked corporate jobs after graduating from college but decided to quit to focus on working on a business together. Namira, who graduated from the Department of Marketing Communication at Pelita Harapan University, had a chance to run a clothing business. Meanwhile, Sara, a graduate of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, later went into the home décor business.

Both of them have marketed their products by participating in a bazaar, but they found it lacking and uninteresting. Namira and Sara concluded that the lack of themes was the weakness of most bazaars in Indonesia at that time. Prospective buyers only come to see the goods, buy them only if interested, but there is no common thread that unites all of them.

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This personal encounter inspired Namira and Sara to establish Market & Museum and specialize in thematic bazaars. Market & Museum vendors are finally dominated by young entrepreneurs, ranging from those who have just finished college or graduated and are now entering the creative business to young families who are just learning to market their products.

Balancing impressive revenue and a passion for the greater good

Market & Museum's revenue per bazaar is remarkable, ranging from hundreds of millions to even one billion rupiahs. What distinguishes the firm from other EOs is its quality, consistency, promotion, and treatment of tourists.

"We are quite picky about which sellers can enter the Market & Museum," Sara explained. The thematic market is also known to be featured in Tokopedia as one of its curatorial events.

Each event they organize is always conceptionally fresh and provides a new exhilaration for young entrepreneurs to offer their work to the public. According to Sara, Market & Museum does not favor certain brands in each of its bazaars but instead focuses on themes such as workshops, exhibitions, or retail bazaars. They receive hundreds of email proposals every day, but only a handful of vendors can be chosen.

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As Namira focuses more on marketing and Sara on design, disagreements are inevitable for the joint venture's success. Satisfaction for them is when they see vendors become more confident to expand their business after participating in the bazaar with Market & Museum.

"For us, passion is something that could be nurtured, used for good causes, and valuable to others," Sara explained.



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