Lombok Weavers Meet the Buyers Online

As the pandemic continues, presenting and selling their products online is a critical skill for all businesses. Traditional artisans from the small towns and rural areas are no exception despite the digital divide.          
On 25 June 2021, five weaver groups and one batik-making group from Lombok met the public online for the first time to sell their works.    As they present their work one by one, the participants place the order using the WhatsApp group. Fabrics and a series of ready-to wear-dresses by the designers, Endarwati and Darie Gunawan, using Lombok weaving, were on the show.

More than 120 people - fashion lovers, retailers, government officials, Citi Indonesia staff and craft enthusiasts- joined the online event. Ms Cristina Teh Tan, Head of Consumer Bank, and Ms Puni A. Anjungsari, Country Head of Corporate Affairs from Citi Indonesia, volunteered to moderate the event.   

The sales began at 3 pm and went on until late evening as the participants did not want to stop shopping. In the end, sales continued for two more days over the WhatsApp Group, reaching the total sales of IDR 13,800,000!  Weavers also receive additional orders.         

"Virtual  Market is a great solution to overcome the pandemic!" rejoyces Isnawati Kamariah, a weaver from Keker Setanggor, Central Lombok.

According to Ms Cristina Teh Tan,  the virtual market provided Citi Indonesia with the opportunity to see firsthand the wonderful progress made by the programme. "The event was entertaining and engaging. It was heartwarming since we interacted and directly purchased from the craftsmen, weavers and designers. Many thanks to our engaging audience and shoppers. We hope to be able to do more of these in the near future," she exclaimed.

The event is part of the UNESCO and Citi-Indonesia-led Creative Youth at Indonesian Heritage Sites programme supported by the Citi Foundation since 2017.  It intends to equip young cultural entrepreneurs living around famous heritage destinations to sustain their business while taking ownership in heritage conservation. Lombok weavers joined the target group in 2021 following the UNESCO 2019-2020 disaster recovery support after the 2018 earthquake that affected the Province.