Why I started
The only reason is: I fell in love with this quality and style.
My name is Ilse Duijn, I am Dutch and live half in Haarlem/Holland and half in Marbella/Spain for many years already.
On our pool deck we had 2 of this quality parasols and I loved them.
Normally under the weather conditions in Spain (hot climate) this type of sun umbrellas last for maximum 1 season and then you buy new. (sometimes even after a few months)
But with the 2 Balinese umbrellas I had, the 3rd season I realized: This is another level of quality and decided to buy 2 more. The shop then only offered dark grey and the price was raised to Euro 490,-- each.
That moment I knew: This will be my business and I will make them available on a direct selling base for a larger audience at a lower price.
I found the parasol makers that can produce this quality. A family run business of proud traditional umbrella makers who (as one of the very few) still paint and carve by hand and do not use stencils and work in the highest quality segment. Artisans with heart for their product and producing 90% of their capacity for Indonesia only and just a small amount available for export.
I started to design umbrellas, import them and sell them direct without any retail channels to my customers.
I also realized; 'this business can never grow big as production is so limited it can never become mass production'. On the other hand this was my advantage as umbrella making is an art so competition cannot easily copy (although they try a lot)
As a team we deal with many outside factors like: volcanoes that erupt, sea shells that are not available due to bad weather or limited production capacity due to tropical diseases, local weddings or ceremonies that take a lot of time, silence days (Njepi = no answer) and celebrations. Even ordering white and receive purple 'Looks like it" .. Many things cross our path needing to learn from both side values towards each other.
Now years later I am still on a very happy journey. The world finds us and people recognize our high standard. Still each day is an adventure..