Sunday, 31 May 2009

Home in Bali

My front garden ends on a cliff face above a steep river ravine. If you descend the steps hewn out of the soft pumice stone cliff, you can go down to a beautiful tropical river, with waterfalls, caves and beaches. Above the river a tucked into a mossy alcove there is a small bathing temple built hundreds of years ago around a natural fresh water spring that bubbles forth from the dark volcanic rocks.

The small temple is still used every day for bathing and washing clothes by the people of the village where we live. Bathing hours are always in the morning or late afternoon. The Balinese believe the guardian of the river is at large in the middle of the day, so they never go down at that time. I like to take Lilie down in the middle of the day when it’s so quiet it’s like having our own private paradise.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Still Part of Part I....

I just LOVE this jacket, the embroidery black on black leather with a damask like black silk screened motif. It's another amazing Ernte creation.
I don't really like to do logo work in my shop. Factories with huge machines with 20 to 30 heads hammering away in great cavernous sheds are the people to see about logos. That's the work my competitors here do. Amazingly they have managed to do this come hell or high water for the last 5 years without rising their prices. (or their wages for that matter).
In the beginning I took on all comers, desperate for customers, whatever the job. Besides making very little profit with orders for logos, it was boring! I remember the day I decided to go for a different kind of client. Our shop had an order in from the electricity company. They wanted their uniforms embroidered with their new logo stating "Keeping World Standards". As usual they wanted it yesterday. We went straight to work the next day and barely had the second run through when the electricity went off!
This does happen at intervals in Indonesia; an event frequent enough that it is usually greeted with silent apathy by the locals. I called their "hot line". "Might be on at 2pm" was the offhand answer once I managed to talk to someone. Later at 5pm that day, our electricity company client swans in the door wanting his "world standards" uniform. The electricity had only just come on at 4pm, only enough time for us to make a sample for him.
"Keeping 3rd World Standards"
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My favorite Customers: Part 1

One of our favorite clients Ernte Fashion Systems designed this black leather jacket, silk screened in black with a damask like pattern and then embroidered in red over the top! This is the kind of work we love to do!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Post of the Blank Page

I think I've sat here sitting staring at this blank page for the good part of an hour. Who was it that said "there is no more challenging environment then the blank page"? Whoever they were, they were right. It was probably the only thing they ever wrote.

Sitting and Staring hasn't helped.

A relatively privileged background as regards to education and freedom of thought hasn't helped. Beer hasn't helped. The blank page definitely hasn't helped.

So really I'm left with nothing else to do but continue with a litany of idiotic excuses or to plow right in. Seeing that I don't enjoy portraying myself as an idiot any more than the next fellow, you're in luck and I shall plow right in.

For the past five years I've run a small embroidery and garment production studio in Bali, Indonesia. I love to create unusual and unique things. Years ago, I ran my own garment factory in the north of Denpasar. I closed down shop during the Asian financial crisis of 1998. After a few years of working for others I decided to try running my own shop again in 2004, with the addition of a digital embroidery machine.

Ours isn't a huge factory with rows of machines and platoons of staff. We have a small 'shop' (and yes, we do sweat in it) with a beautiful Tajima 4 head 9 color embroidery machine and a small staff to produce embroidery and samples for our garment production. We can make all kinds of things, from sheets, to art smocks, toys, bags, banners, yoga wear, baby clothes, jewellry and gift boxes and even on paintings.

We design, program and produce embroidery for clothing designers according to their design and specifications. We also create garments made to our customers specifications, with or without embroidery, screen printing and general bending over backwards.

Since December last year, we have experienced a downturn in the embroidery side of our business, and this, although not without it's stress, has created some new opportunities for me as a business owner. I have had to take stock of my business and think seriously about taking it in a new direction. I'm now on the look out for new ideas that could help send my business into an abundant future!<

I guess this blog (today at least) is a way for me to test the waters with some of these new ideas... At some point I could have what I think is a brilliant idea, and post it on this blog, giving any number of readers the opportunity of writing back and saying "Are you daft!? That'll never work...!" or "Brilliant! I'd run with that one!" or "What about, trying it but with this sort of an adjustment?" That's rather more dynamic than just sitting and staring at a blank page isn't it?

And, that said, it appears this page is no longer blank.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Welcome to lilie and kit

More beautifulness coming soon...