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Saktut Raitawati

Artisan Organization: Saktut Raitawati

Country: Bali and Java

"I'm Desak Ketut Raitawati, or 'Saktut.' I was born in Bali where my father was a farmer and my mother sold fruit in the market. I'm the youngest of children, and we lived a very simple life during my childhood.

"At the age of 16, I started working after school in a clothing shop to lift a bit of weight from my parents. The toughest time in my life was in my school days, when my parents could not pay my tuition. This is why I decided to get a job, and this experience really helped me throughout my life. Later, I went on to graduate from a local hospitality school.

"For many years, I worked in other people's clothing shops and I gained a lot of experience. I met talented tailors and batik artists and they made me see it was possible to work designing clothes on my own, although I still had doubts in myself. Through friends, I met a woman who taught me all about textiles. She has continued to support my work and also raised my confidence to start out on my own.

"Now I make a variety of clothing with batik designs on rayon and cotton. For the coloring, I mainly use dyes that are environmentally friendly. Our team is mostly women, whom I want to support so that they can also support their children.

"Friends describe me as optimistic, a fighter, and a diligent person. I am most at peace when I succeed in any of my life challenges. Even on my busiest days, I always make time for exercise as it is one of my hobbies. I am married, and we have been blessed with three boys. My feelings of motherhood are pure happiness and this motivates me to give my very best so my children can get a higher education and the best life possible.

"You have made it possible for me to sell my designs throughout the world without opening a shop. This makes me so proud and happy. My children will all be able to go to the university so that they will have many choices in life.""