In Conversation With Putri Komar

‘The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree’ is often taken shabbily but not for Putri Komar, the daughter of a well-known Batik artist, Mr. Komar. Infact, she was more than grateful to have the same passions and talents as her parents. 

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As the tie-dye loungewear dominated our country during this pandemic era, Putri Komar had already one step ahead of the style when she crossed Shibori technique with Batik technique, making an epic journey on fashion through her brand and revelating business story.

When asked if we could have an interview, Putri Komar herself humbly invite Bylahmar team to visit the renowned Rumah Batik Komar.

As we pile in the corridor we are stunned to see that there’s more of Rumah Batik Komar than just a mere clothing or batik store. It is also one of the very few batik warehouses where everyone including little kids are welcome to learn the art of Batik crafting.

And if you’re looking for a place to calm down and just embrace the great outdoors without being too far away from the city, Rumah Batik Komar is the best escape place for you.

We told Putri Komar that we have arrived at Rumah Batik Komar and not long after, she greeted us with her amicable gesture wearing a self-made shibori batik cotton attire and black sandals. Soon after we headed to the warehouse studio which was polished to be a dashing interview room accessorized by the Shibotik cloth hanging around the room, giving a pleasant and relaxing ambiance.

It was rather hot when we started the interview, the sun struck the Shibotik (Shibori Batik) cloth making a flag-like shadow, waving on the ground.

We sat side by side but still maintaining a safe distance according to the health protocol as Putri Komar explains that the Batik business is going downward, some of them even maneuvering into a whole other business. Batik Komar is one of the lucky few to stand still, although desperate decisions were made during this time of crisis.

I found out that the young entrepreneur is blessed with a daughter who turned one this year, and I can’t help but wonder if being a mom becomes a hurdle in her creative process and she said “I was pregnant when I had my thesis for my master degree in the UK, it was pretty hectic but I could say that being a mom is what actually turned me upside down. For a moment I don’t feel like I am who I am, and I just turned into a mom,” 

She laughed “And yes, it (having a child) changed my schedule and a lot of my habits, plus the pandemic made every plan I made get setback but spending more time with my daughter gives me more insights and ideas for my next project, and that is how I finally opened Little Lassie” 

If you ever meet Putri Komar, you wouldn’t have thought that this woman is who she is, the next generation of Batik Komar is under her belt while her figure is sweeter than today’s high school students. But being the successor of Batik Komar is not as easy as everyone thought it would, I asked her if she ever felt like overshadowed by her father legacy and she said,

“I started Shibotik long ago, and there are people who told me that ‘yeah, it must be easy for you to start a business because your father is Batik Komar’s owner.’ while Shibotik is my brainchild, I built it from scratch just like everyone else, I started it, concepted it, I planned it sometimes it’s hurtful to hear such disregarding comments, but I tried to just let them be because I know that I have my capability, talents and I studied fashion and crafts. I am capable of building my own brand and I believe that people would recognize me for my creations.”

I was watching her shirt as she spoke, it was ocean blue with a black and white abstract motif, almost like a canvas, an art exhibition worn on a body.

“Funny that you asked that question, but what bothers me a lot wasn’t the people’s thought about me being Batik Komar’s daughter, but rather the harsh reality that people plagiarized my creations, as I told you that I build them from scratch, and I was shocked because this is a new experience for me. So’ I did what I had to do, I dm’ed that person I gave them my arguments, and what hurts me most is that there’s no good intention of them to have the decency to apologize to me.”

Before we end the conversation, I asked her for a piece of advice for all of these women and girls trying to run their business,

“First, do research, deep research, find out if what you are visioning in front of you is achievable or not. Second, if I were you, I would try to find a business that has a wide range of markets, sure you need to have a market range, but if you can have a wider market, why not? And, you have to make a business that is different from any other business, and last, what makes a great business great is its capability to endure during crisis and waves.”

Written by: Regina Virza

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