THE island of Borneo boasts of a rich cultural diversity with more than 200 ethnic groups and divided between three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah represent a gateway to Bornean adventures featuring indigenous cultures, beautiful beaches and the world’s oldest tropical rainforests with biologically diverse ecosystems home to thousands of endemic animal, reptile, insect and plant species including orang-utans, hornbills, tarsiers and slow loris.
The Artisans Havens (TAH), a virtual platform supporting over 1,000 artisans and merchants, has gathered 17 artisans from Sarawak and Sabah, as well as those inspired by the beauty of Borneo, at its latest artisans fair to showcase products that reflect East Malaysian culture and heritage.
Hailing from different parts of Borneo, the artisans participating in Malaysian Artisans Celebrate Borneo aim to share products that are from and/or inspired by this island. The month-long event in June is being held at The Intermark Mall KL, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Borneo’s unique handicrafts.
TAH co-founder Jade Lee said Borneo flora and fauna are diverse and an inspiration to many artisans.
“Olfac3 has a fragrance called Borneo and DonningDonna scarfs depict the blooms of Borneo. Many of its delights are hidden gems and we are proud to share Borneo’s unique offerings with locals and visitors at this Borneo Fair.”
Featuring bespoke perfume and one-of-a-kind resin artwork to Penan bags and stainless steel tiffins embellished with decoupage, the businesses at the bazaar include Jadi Batek, Olfac3, The Asli Co, Idang Bulan, Puhus Pepper Plantation, Pouring My Art Out, Raben Beads, Mosongon, The Orkids, Sanyi Orchids, DonningDonna, Ment Eyna, Caropaya, Helping Hands Penan, Gocheeks, Tiffin Made With Luv and Binasinar Summer.
Lee said her experience as a banker taught her the importance and power of product awareness and distribution channels.
“Many aspiring businesses are unable to grow because they are not able to scale up marketing. Our collective goal at TAH is to help these MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) improve their distribution capabilities so that they become sustainable.
“It is only with sustainable enterprises that they improve their household incomes and contribute to our community and nation, in line with the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030.”
A virtual marketplace that showcases the local artisanal scene and their authentic handicrafts, TAH supports artisans by equipping them with sufficient digital resources and abilities, greater networking capabilities and exposure to allow their businesses to thrive and remain competitive.
TAH believes that it is important to support local artisans and allow them to grow steadily as this will ultimately result in sustainable, long-term growth.
Visit https://www.artisanshaven.com.my/ and https://www.market.artisanshaven.com.my/ to find out more. — by TMR