Who would’ve guessed that Titian Jewelry, a handcrafted jewelry brand was born from two ladies’ undergraduate final project? They are Michellie Danara and Merlyn Awang, two UPH Product Design alumni cohort 2014, the two mastermind who continued Titian Jewelry until what it is today. According to Michellie, Titian Jewelry’s unique selling point is based on their base material matched with the artisan’s craftmanship: cow bone, mother of pearl, and gems, which fits for Indonesian woman of 20 years and above.
“Jewelry business honestly had a huge potential with the increasing income per capita in Indonesia as well as the rising awareness of hand-made jewelry. Thus, we hope that we can further reach the international market”, says Michellie.
Besides product dominance, according to Michellie, purpose of starting a business is essential. Purpose then becomes the spirit of Titian Jewelry, that is to maintain and educate Balinese craftsmen. They teach values of their crafts as well as their target market, thus giving them a higher understanding. Michellie further say that it is during their internship in Bali did she and Merlyn decide to initiate Titian. The decline in craftsmanship business appeal due to the collapsing service prices, competition with import products from China, and old-fashioned tools are the reasons behind why a lot of craftsmen decided to stop teaching the art of their crafts to their children and decided to move to a more promising job.
“From there, we decide that not only we want Titian to be an extension for their skills, but to equally reciprocate to their hard work so they understand that they are valued. We further hope they will learn to be brave to brand their services and empower fellow villagers by opening workshops at their place,” says Michellie.
As their brand grows, having competitors is expected. But Titian Jewelry has their own secret, which includes keeping up with changes, doing innovation, as well as learning their competitor’s marketing technique. Michellie admits that their biggest roadblock would be the maintenance of product quality and standard as more than 3 parties are involved in the process of producing Titian Jewelry. Michelle is also very careful to not ignore the support of family, close friends, lecturers and UPH staff to Titian Jewelry. Without them, Titian wouldn’t be what they are today. During her studies at UPH, both in-class lectures and field study has helped her tremendously to grow Titian as a business from work ethics to technical issue such as efficiency and production line.