Is gender a factor in success? We asked Bali’s leading femme fatales. Interviews: Karen Donald. Portraits: Ryerson Anselmo for Costes Portrait
Niluh, Founder & Creative Director of Niluh Shoes
Ni Luh Putu Ary Pertami Djelantik was born in a small village near Kintamani, Bangli. For 16 years she has been running a handmade leather shoes and accessories manufacturing company called Niluh Djelantik. When Niluh was a child, she used to wear a pair of shoes two or three sizes too big for her. Her mother – a single parent – insisted that she get an education and sent her to the best school even though they were poor. At nine years old Niluh told her mom, “One day when I have a job and make my own money I will buy a pair of shoes that fit.” And in 1995, as a receptionist, she bought her first pair of high heels that cost IDR15,000. Winner of many awards including: The Yak Magazine’s Woman of the Year 2015, Denpasar Marketing Champion 2016, and Forbes Indonesia, Rising Global Stars, 2017: Niluh believes in craftsmanship, and creates high quality products that compete internationally.
“In my working experiences, I have always been surrounded by male colleagues. I make sure that my voice is heard and that my professional capacity is also part of the company’s growth. I use special techniques when communicating with my team: since they come from different backgrounds, ages and education levels. It is very effective, and at the same time they feel that you give them the love and respect they deserve.
“My best advice for female entrepreneurs is there is no elevator to success, as everybody has to take the stairs! Each failure is a lesson that will improve your skills and ability to grow the company. Once you have achieved your success, always remember to give back by sharing your skills with those in need so they can follow in your footsteps and reach their own stardom. It will not be an easy journey, but you know why you started in the first place so give it your full attention, and never forget to be grateful. Delegation is important and you need to trust that your team is capable of doing their job well. As for your relationship with clients, and suppliers, consider them your family: at the end of the day they support you and make sure that your company is strong.”