Ketut Wida Haryati
"I was born in a cool green farming village in Gianyar, Bali. I am the fourth of eight children. None of my brothers or sisters loves art except for me. Dancing and painting are two of my hobbies. From elementary school through secondary school I frequently performed Balinese dances both in school and outside school. <br><br> "I wanted to continue my studies at an art school, but my parents, brothers, and sisters didn't have the same opinion as I did. They wanted me to study something other than art as, in their opinion, art isn't the right way to make a good living. Thus, I studied economy. <br><br> "I worked at a bank in Denpasar and at a furniture company in Kuta, and from this I learned about doing business. Motivated by family, I started working on my own making varied shapes and motifs from <I>ate</I> grass. <br><br> "Here is a story about something that once happened to me. My love for art led me to create something new. At the time, people produced <I>ate</I> items in natural hues or colored with paint. I began experimenting and was able to produce a colored handbag without the use of paints or anything like that. (I have kept the process secret ever since.) I put my first creation, a beautiful handbag, in an art shop to see how people would like it. The next day a tourist from Japan came over and her guide, who was also a friend of mine, told her that the handbag cost two million rupiahs. I couldn't believe she wanted to pay so much for such a handbag. I could hardly tell her that the bag was not for sale - that it was my first creation and I wanted to keep it. That was the only time I ever said no to a buyer with a really good price. <br><br> "Sadly I've seen trends change, and demand for my ate bags has seriously decreased. What's more, the price of ate has increased so much I was unable to keep up so I've had to make a decision and work on something different. Fortunately I still had the facilities. I realized that demand for yoga wear has increased in Bali and that I had many ideas to create different designs for yoga apparel. <br><br> "I began by developing new ideas, and forming new collections, and the response has been good. I began working with cotton and rayon, but they didn't seem to be so comfortable. When I switched to a rayon and Lycra blend, the response was great. I enjoy creating new designs for yoga, however they are versatile enough to be worn as apparel too!"