22nd February 2013
Greetings from Bali, where it is the monsoon. Which is great because it's low season, the hotels are cheap and between downpours it's cool enough to work.
Last week's news was from India, and I was telling you about our Soft Art Cushion Covers and Having a Blast in Bangalore. Read it here.
The beaches I have hardly seen, but I can tell you even in the rain Bali is the most beautiful place on earth. Those volcano and rice padi vistas all those exotic temples, trailing vines, moss encrusted bridges and so many stone statues.
In the hinterland of Bali outside the main tourist zone a huge handicraft industry growing rapidly and collaborations between the islands artisans and western designers are producing a wealth of gift ideas. It's just over a year since I was first here, in fact this is my sixth visit, and like a lotus flower slowly opening I'm discovering more beautiful things each time. Also slowly and gradually coming to know the secrets of doing successful business in Indonesia... believe me it is very different thinking to India or China.. like a whole new world.
So this year between Java (the main Indonesian island) and Bali, we are about to ship our seventh container, have started trading relations with over 30 companies (all small family businesses) and have listed over 600 products. The plan now is to establish our own permanent office and warehouse similar to our set up in Yiwu, China. I'm here this time with Eric our QC and re-order guy from the UK office and Carlos from our Spanish sister company to look into this.
Interesting fact. Bali planning laws dictate that no building should be higher than a palm tree (only a few hotels built in the sixties are high-rise). Balinese Hindu culture is all about balance, so our agent Ringo tells me. Balance between, humans and God, between fellow humans and between humans and the earth. Hence the palm tree planning laws.
More news next week. Off to Java shortly.
Take care.. and happy trading.