Started on 2008, COTTONINK was only selling printed tees and shawls through Facebook and blogspot. But now, COTTONINK is one of the most successful local brand in Indonesia. By having offline and online store is an absolute advantage of COTTONINK. COTTONINK opened their webstore since 2011, where online shopping is still unfamiliar. Recently, COTTONINK opened their offline store in Kemang, Jakarta Selatan because COTTONINK wants their customers can see and try the products of COTTONINK up close. Their offline shop is decorated beautifully–simple, modern, white, makes customers comfortable while shopping.
This time, The It Girl had the opportunity to interview the co-founders of COTTONINK. In this interview, Carline and Ria Sarwono Darjanto share some of their stories, advice, and people who Inspires them!
Full name: Carline Darjanto
Occupation/Company: Co-Founder and Creative Director/ COTTONINK (PT. Darjanto Sarwono Desain)
Education: Lasalle College of Fashion, Jakarta Indonesia
Full name: Ria Sarwono
Occupation/Company: Co-Founder and Brand & Marketing Director/ COTTONINK (PT. Darjanto Sarwono Desain)
Education: Paramadina University, Visual Communication Design, Jakarta Indonesia
Can you tell and describe us what is your first job?
Carline: Assistant director
Ria: Piano teacher 😀
What inspired you to create COTTONINK?
Carline: As we’ve always shared a passion in fashion, it always made sense for us to create a clothing company.
Ria: We both have always been passionate about fashion; and we wanted to create something from us what we would want to wear, and of course what our friends would wear.
Tell us about the process of launching COTTONINK’s first collection.
Carline: It was a really fun and exciting time in our lives, as it’s something that we worked so hard for.
Ria: Our first ready to wear collection was shot by Andra Alodita, and we were all just at the start of our careers, so that was an exciting time for all of us!
When we read your story on COTTONINKS’s website, you did really start small but COTTONINK are very successful and attracts so much people, how do you promoting COTTONINK so well?
Carline: We always listen to what our customers want! They inspire us in every way possible.
Ria: Our innovative marketing, and constantly creating something new and authentic that our loyal customers will love.
Do you have any advices for people who want to start their own line?
Carline: You have to have your own identity, and make sure to believe in it.
Ria: Yes, because if you don’t believe in what you stand for, no one else will. And always, always listen to what your customers want!
What is the most challenging thing when you create COTTONINK?
Carline: Of course at first there were many obstacles that we had to overcome,
Ria: From finding the right resources and manufacturers, to many others. But with hard work we’ve been able to deal with it all.
Tell us a typical day working at COTTONINK (What you do from morning, afternoon, until midnight)
Carline: From meetings with my design team, production team, manufacturers, and many others. One thing is for sure though; it’s always exciting!
Ria: Yes, there’s never a dull moment over at our HQ! I’m mainly at our Kemang office; from meetings with my marketing team to arranging the display at our store, and so much more!
From the year you started COTTONINK, what is the business highlight so far?
Carline: There are so many! Having been a part of Jakarta Fashion Week and IFF have definitely been some of them.
Ria: Opening our #cottoninkstore at Kemang Timur last March has definitely been a highlight, as it’s been a long-time dream of ours to do it.
Who’s your favorite role model? The one who always inspiring you.
Carline: Ria 😀
Ria: Carline 😀
Please tell us how do you define success?
Carline: A balanced portion of ambition, family, work, play, and travel.
Ria: Still searching for it hahaha
How do you see COTTONINK in the future?
Carline: We definitely have a long-term vision for this brand and of course we want to make it so much bigger than what it is now.
Ria: Our ultimate goal is to be the brand that Indonesian women would be proud of wearing. I strongly believe that in 15 years; if Japan has Uniqlo, Sweden has H&M, Indonesia has COTTONINK!