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NOVICA Artisan Nell


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I'm from Jogjakarta in central Java and I love it here. Many people from around the world come here to study and learn our language and culture. That's why Jogjakarta is also known as the 'City of Students.'

I grew up in a big family, where education is very important. I am the youngest of three sisters and seven brothers. My dad was a soldier and my mother was a homemaker.

"I was faced with very difficult times when I divorced my husband, and also my workshop went bankrupt about the same time. I'm a divorced woman and single mother of a daughter and two sons. Having children has taught me many things, including how to be more responsible as well as more mature in thinking and attitude. When I was low and feeling depressed, everyone seemed to ignore me and so I had to swallow all the pain and deal with it by myself.

"With great effort and lots of tough experiences, my venture slowly began picking up and it got better until, finally, things were back to normal. What I learned from this experience is that your success and happiness only depends on yourself. No one else.

"I work with a good team and we use linen, woven fabrics and leather as our main materials.

"I design and do some aspects of crafting, and the rest is done by artisans who collaborate with me. I try to include elements from our culture, traditional classic motifs in my designs to distinguish them. We work with manual tools only. We don't use any huge machinery."