By Ng Ai Fern
KUCHING, May 31: From an accounts clerk to a full-time jewellery designer, a young Bidayuh man is successfully running a sustainable home-based business, and he now plans to take his work global by going online.
Self-taught artist Endily Fedro Juel, 31, from Serian, quit his full-time job to pursue his passion in beadwork two years ago.
He began with making keychains, which uses cheaper material. Now, his collection spans from bracelets, necklaces, and earrings with modern and/or traditional designs to unique jewellery and accessories that you probably can’t buy elsewhere.
The humble youth, who also previously worked as an assistant investigative officer for the Election Commission, said he is a newbie compared to his mostly female colleagues who have already made a name for themselves. Nevertheless, he is more than happy to teach anyone, who shares the same passion, his knowledge in beading and where he sources his materials from.
He said he pretty much learned everything online and integrated it with traditional designs and elements. He first started selling to friends and close associates, then he started a Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/FEDROLANCECOLLECTION/), followed by Instagram (@FedrolanceCollection).
“I don’t intend to have a physical store. I just want to improve my designs and techniques so that I can market my collections internationally, “ he told DayakDaily when met at his exhibition booth in a hotel in Kuching as part of the Department of Culture and Arts’ (JKKN) initiative.
Most of his works are sold through social media, and participation in exhibitions has also widened his customer base. But participation fees was a concern, until he joined JKKN. Going forward, he wants to venture into the international market.
Aware of many online stores and shops around, Endily’s biggest challenge is to choose the right e-commerce platform for trustworthy international transactions.
He joined an e-commerce briefing recently, but he is still uncertain of how to commence an online business to receive payments from international buyers.
“I hope the government can teach us this (e-commerce) platform to sell internationally,” he said, adding that he was ready to learn more about digital knowledge, online marketing and much more to be successful online.
He is hopeful that his handicraft business can thrive online, in line with the state government’s digital economy agenda.
Sarawak has launched its Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022, which outlines 47 strategic plans to drive the state economy to achieve high-income status by 2030.
E-commerce is one of the eight economic sectors for Sarawak’s Digital Economy dream. The seven others are agriculture; manufacturing; tourism; smart city; digital health; digital government; and sports, social, arts and culture. — DayakDaily