When we started Lawabana, we have one goal in mind; to be the bridge that connects undiscovered artisans with end consumers. Currently, this aspiration is being carried out by traversing the region to unearth local artisans and market their products through the brand Roomaku and the in-house fashion brand; C’hantom. Today, our e-commerce platform, Roomaku, turns one!
It is a fascinating era we live in with the Internet taking the helm of how we lead our daily life, including how we do business. There has been many challenges that we go through, and there would probably be more up ahead, but I believe the brand can excel with the help of my amazing team.
This is just the beginning of many wonderful things to come. Being only one, there are still many things we need to explore and the work has just begun. As we expand with so many more artisans joining the family, cheers for many more years to come.
To our supporters and my team, it is an exciting roller coaster ride moving forward. But for now, let’s just enjoy the ride. And since it is our birthday, here is 20% discount storewide on us. Just key in roomakuturns1 during checkout!
It was a Sunday afternoon to remember. On 22nd July 2018, Lawabana organised a luncheon under the brand name to introduce the company and the artisans under our wing. The inaugural event was held at Hilton KL and was graced by the presence of Tengku Sharif Temenggong, YAM Datuk Seri Di Raja Syed Amir Ibni Almarhum Tengku Syed Putra Jamallullail, YM Che Puan Temenggong Perlis, Datin Seri Farinawati Datuk Mohd Din and YM Raja Mazlena Raja Aziz, General Manager, Pusat Kreatif Kanak-kanak Tuanku Bainon. The event was a major success, not only in showcasing what our local artisans have to offer, but to raise funds for the future of the local arts scene with proceeds going to Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainon.
In my speech, I talked about Lawabana’s aspiration; to be the bridge that connects undiscovered artisans with end consumers. Currently, this aspiration is being carried out by traversing the region to unearth local artisans and market their products through the brand Roomaku and the in-house fashion brand; C’hantom.
To make the afternoon more memorable, the event continued with the art auction. Proceeds will go to PUSAT KREATIF KANAK-KANAK TUANKU BAINUN - an organisation that focuses on introducing the traditional arts to the younger generation as well as on awareness for the local arts through initiatives spearheaded by Lawabana. The event showcases masterpieces from more than 10 artisans across Malaysia. From sculptures, paintings, ceramics and weaved items, every pieces are carefully curated to give a glimpse of what Malaysian talents has to offer.
While enjoying the scrumptious spread for lunch, guests were also entertained by the talented Borneoan singer/ songwriter Jonathan Tse with his own rendition of Frank SInatra’s Fly Me To The Moon and his original song, “Bole Bah Kalau Ko”. The afternoon proceeded with a fashion show by the in house brand C’hantom. The theme for the ensemble was tropical gateway; with soft, billowy fabrics tie-dyed under the Shibori technique.
The highlight of the day was when Lawabana managed to collect close to RM 30,000 to be donated to Pusat Kreatif Kanak- Kanak Tuanku Bainon. It was definitely a feat that we could not attain if not for the support of our customers who believed in the same aspirations as we do.
This is just the beginning of many wonderful things to come. The launch has helped raise awareness of the conversation to preserve and upheld local crafts and art scene. The work has just begun, but with so many leading artisans inspiring an example to the future generation, and continuous support from the community, there is great hope for the future.
Driving back to meet your loved ones, celebrating the joyous occasion with family and friends, it is easy to forget few important things to consider before the first of Syawal. Amidst all the excitement, we at Roomaku hope that this post could act as a guide leading to the big day!
1. Security is THE priority.
With most urban dwellers going back to the kampung for the much awaited celebration, our homes are now vulnerable to criminals. Do inform your neighbourhood police station on the date you will not be around. Inform trusted neighbours to keep an eye on your premise. Before leaving the house, ensure all windows and doors are locked and external part of your home are well-lit. Not going anywhere? Do the neighbourly thing by helping your neighbours to keep watch of any shady characters around the community.
2. Car maintenance- checked!
Raya clothes, checked. Raya meals, checked. What about your vehicle maintenance? Do a quick vehicle check- up to ensure smooth and safe travel back. Items such as tyre pressure and brake fluids might sound dreary, but your vehicle needs to be in a tip top condition before you zoom to your destination. Remember to keep the number to call for car emergency breakdown and make sure the car toolbox is inside the car.
3. Home is where the heart is. Make it look the part!
This festive season, it is still not too late to take the opportunity to breath new life to your home. Your abode should mirror your festive spirit! Recently, we have conducted a successful Eid Sales at Bangunan Bakti Tun Siti Hasmah in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. We enjoyed meeting the people who believed in our artisanal products and the idea exchanges that came with it. If you missed the sale, fret not. Head over to our online store at www.roomaku.com and enjoy our storewide discount of 25%!
4. It is not just the destination, but the journey as well
Malaysia’s Eid commute is notorious for the traffic jam. Ensure the driver has enough rest and sufficient sleep before the long drive. Waze is a practical app to use to plan your travel. Now that you are on the road, don’t forget to buckle up! The long commute could be physically tiring and emotional draining, but it is an opportunity to bond with your family as well. While carrying conversations build rapport, it could also assist in keeping the driver alert and awake.
5. Show that you care
Love is not just about showing up, but also showing how much you care. This Eid, materialise your affection to your loved ones by gifting them a beautiful Ribu-Ribu 2-tiered basket; intricately woven by the artisans from the Rungus Tribe in Sabah. This beautiful gift basket comes with handmade Batik Block Coasters, a ceramic tea set inspired by the Japanese Zen Art and six types of cookies to impress.The gift basket is just one of the items that we offer on our website www.roomaku.com. Enter the promocode: mysyawalwithroomaku to enjoy storewide savings on our artisanal products.
All in all, it is the season for forgiveness and celebrating victory with our loved ones. Stay safe, enjoy the glorious food and reconnect with family and friends. Our family at Roomaku wishes you Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir dan Batin!
Finally my dream of creating this website dedicated to promote handcrafted work by artisans across Asia has become a reality. So like any other mother, real or virtual, I’m pleased and relieved to see my brainchild being born and taking its steps into the world. By now it’s a toddler that is growing up fast and I’m grateful for the support and attention ROOMAKU has received.
In the course of my travels to meet artisans and discover new creations, I have spent many weekends away from home, mulling about ROOMAKU and trying to put everything into perspective; to ensure the website serves as a platform to promote the many hidden talents of artisans in the region as well as to collaborate with them to preserve Asian art, culture and heritage. Now that ROOMAKU is up and running, the feeling is absolutely amazing to see the website showcasing the many untold stories of the passion, pride, dreams, (as well as the countless sweat equity) and tradition of these wonderful artisans – wonderful human beings.
I must say the journey has been a humbling experience. More than often not, I have been astounded to witness the abundance of talents these lovely people possess. Strange as it may seem to the rest of us, some of these artisans are nonchalant, blasé even, about their skillful hands and creative minds. Many of them live in remote villages where their handcrafted artwork was just a means to feed their family. Many of them, despite their considerable talents, still live very basic lives.
From early on, being an art lover (and someone who studied art and design as a young woman) I recognise these kindred spirits and saw their passion. I appreciate their true potential and this prompted me to create this platform to promote their talent and to enable them to obtain a sustainable income through the creation of our borderless marketplace on ROOMAKU.
Soon to come are more interesting journeys and adventures in search of more artisans. Old and young, near and across the seas -- whatever cultural art and family tradition, whatever creed, language, skill or personality -- the pride, passion and dreams hint at the more untold stories that continue to inspire my journeys and motivate my passion, and we hope these stories will be duly revealed and shared on ROOMAKU.
So as I watch over this virtual child of mine and the people connected to it, with great love, I realise that it still has much growing to do -- as do our work for, and the work by the artisans who are members of the ROOMAKU family.
Thank you for being with us on this journey. Please consider yourself a member of our family at ROOMAKU too!
PS: And in case you haven’t, please take a moment to check out our fine artisanal creations and artwork.