Irene is the Director of CV. Maharani and Elisa in Customer Marketing in the Jewellery sector. Together they oversee Manika, a unique jewellery brand that focuses on using Indonesian stones and resources to create beautiful pieces designed to last forever.
Can you tell us the background of Manika?
Manika began in 2015, first following Indonesia Fashion Week 2015.
We were thrilled and wanted to see the market reaction with many people amazed by the work.
One person was Samuel Wattimena, thanks to him for giving his remarkable appreciation from there we received the Inacraft and Femina Award 2016 and 2017.
Manika is a part of CV. Maharani, a family business since 1989, originally part of the silver jewellery business. However, as the silver price rose and stock reduced, silver sales from CV Maharani declined. Because of the trends and need for basic jewellery and want to make something different Manika was created.
What types of material do you use?
With a good history in silver and stone craftsman, the business continued by creating Manika. But we decided not to use silver as a base material because we wanted to have a broader reach and create a more affordable product that anyone can wear.
How many lines do you launch each year?
In the case of local customers, we have no season for new product launches but once per year in April.
Because one style can take up to three months to process. We currently make necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
What is the style of Manika products?
The concept is edgy and rough designed to be long lasting. Whatever the not perfect from the broken stone, should be used without perfection but it can be very beautiful.
What is the vision of Manika?
Lifting the craftsmanship from local artisans as many of them now already leave the sector because there is no demand for orders, no interest and Manika wants to prevent extinction of this.
Also we always use local stone from Indonesia because we want to lift the wealth of Indonesia.
What materials are used and where are they sourced from?
We source stones from vendors in Java Pacitan where there are many mountains. These are not necessarily precious stones but we find the stones in Java are relatively low in cost and easy to sell again to the market.
As much as possible from Indonesia, we sell maybe wood or metal because the processing and procedure is also easier.
That material that is selected currently is brass that is readily available because as a business we have to choose materials that are ready whenever. Later we will also use white metal or silver depending on the future.
What is the process of making the products?
All our jewellery is handmade, chain necklaces need a week with a length of five metres to look good. Manika stones can be whatever colour of shape, we always follow what our vendors have and never complicate the process with unreasonable demands.
We work with our vendors who choose existing stones and a range of colours for us. Then Manika determines what will be sent to Bali. Because we want to raise local products from Pacitan, Manika will take whatever vendors have. Then the homework for Manika is to process the stones to become ready to sell and nice to see.
Where to next for Manika?
We want people to appreciate more about handmade products, that they last longer.
We will also make jewellery for men because we have had requests, but we have to think of what products to develop for men and choose stones, colours that are more masculine.
What is Manika’s biggest achievement so far?
We have received these awards:
Inacraft Award, Stone Category-2016 and 2017
Femina Award, Pyrite in the Cage and Essential Oil Necklace
What are some of the problems Manika faces?
The metal and brass that we use will change colour over time, it oxidises and the look in the end will be more antique. But it can be cleaned with brass or toothpaste.
Where do you find inspiration?
In daily living, sitting on the edge of the road or around us, the idea of local activity.
In places where you see people as beautiful and be able to make them more beautiful. Seeing people don’t have much money but who want to dress up, this is where Manika wants to make it possible. Never thinking about just perfection.
How long have you partnered with To~ko?
It’s been more than a year since we joined To~ko Concept Store. So far we are happy because we can pass the curation but not all goods can enter it.
Also To~ko sells quality goods from all over Indonesia and can bring consumers who appreciate handmade goods.
It also helps us to open with all circles, many overseas or local guests are always welcomed and allowed to enter or grow.
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