´I create to share my soul with the world´
Hearing someone call me an ‘entrepreneur’ still leaves an awkward ring in my ears. Although I’ve always considered myself a creative person (got that from my Moma), it was just a way to express myself. I loved messing around with fashion because it translated into the first impression people had of me - and I like making an individual one - but creating a brand was never part of the plan.
What started as a way to bring a part of Indonesia home, to share with my friends and family, ultimately ended up becoming AYO. I wanted to bring back this piece of culture I found in Indonesia that made my soul hover, the beautiful art of Batik. The craft that ultimately caused my drive and ambition and what exceeded all my expectations about where I am at this very moment.
I doubt I would have made it through all the long nights or endless to-dues if it hadn’t been for the generosity and endless smiling faces of the Indonesians. The word AYO means ‘come on, let’s go’ and is a recall of the strength the countries hospitality gave me through its mindblowing ceremonies and fascinating stories. It’s the first word I learned in the Indonesian language and remains the first thing I teach anyone that will listen.
As I grew, so did AYO, but the way to where I am now led me straight through the dirty world of fashion – something I was completely unaware of before I started. Seeing where our clothes come from, under which conditions they’re made, and the toll fast fashion takes on the environment is the reason why AYO’s approach is ‘slow fashion’. By working with nature, through the use of natural dyes, focusing on soft colours that aren’t wasteful and by choosing durable, handmade materials made by the artists I met while travelling, AYO pushes back on industry standards. In our opinion, what’s made slow and with passion can be worn and respected for a lifetime.
Surely, I have a long road ahead, and as I keep learning and growing, AYO will too, combine the beauty of the world into what I make, and sharing it with you all.