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Dharu, an Electrical Engineering Graduate Turned to Wooden Batik Entrepreneur

  • 2024 Feb 20
  • Posted By : Editor

Dharu, a man from Krebet and a graduate in Electrical Engineering, has chosen not to use the knowledge he acquired during his college years as a means of livelihood. His childhood interest in art has been his foundation for earning a living. Since 1998, while studying, he has been working for a sizable wooden batik company. His skills in design and coloring were honed there for 5 years.

In 2003, Dharu joined a Japanese batik fabric company. In the color formulation research department of the company, he was challenged to produce products with beautiful color patterns. However, the imported Japanese colors could only be applied to products for Japan, so he could not experiment further. Moreover, these materials were not available in the Indonesian market or chemical stores.

Despite his success, Dharu did not feel satisfied. His artistic soul rebelled for constant expression. With his skills and knowledge, he tried to start a new business and find his own market by collaborating with several showrooms in Yogyakarta. He began buying raw materials from wood artisans to create his own design motifs. These were then taken to batik artists in Klaten for the design, while he and his beloved wife handled the coloring.

In 2013, his business named "RAJA KEMBAR" began to stabilize, although the orders he received were still small and irregular. Some customers began to recognize his products. The contrasting color play between wood tones and unique red-black motifs set Dharu's work apart from other batik artisans. However, he was not immediately satisfied; he continued to seek new markets so that his products could be known to a wider audience, even internationally.

His interest in wooden batik stems from its flexibility to be applied with all kinds of motifs, while the development of fabric batik always emphasizes contemporary motifs. The coloring process he does himself is more than just satisfying his artistic desires; it also strengthens the pattern of his products. The abundance of competitors in wooden batik crafts is not a problem for him. Organizing based on dominant artistic aspects and emphasizing dynamic and artistic designs are the strengths of his products. Moreover, with maintained quality, the market will automatically follow, especially art enthusiasts.

Dharu has had some knowledge of Apikri since becoming a designer in 1999. However, he got to know more about it in late 2013 and tried to send his samples in early 2014. He hopes that cooperation with Apikri is a first step in expanding his market and making his business grow. This way, his business can benefit others who will work for him and manage the entire production line in one place. His business has been growing since moving from Tamantirto to Krebet in 2016. He is pleased to be able to provide economic benefits to the surrounding residents.