Promoting Artisanal Products in the USA, ITPC LA Intensifies Promotion and Aim at E-Commerce Platforms as well as Department Stores

Seattle, 17 December 2017 – In response to the growing trend of artisanal products in the United States, the Indonesia Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) is increasingly promoting Indonesian artisanal products through various opportunities. On 16-17 December 2017, ITPC Los Angeles supported Everina to participate on Renegade Craft Fair at Hangar 30 Magnuson Park, Seattle. Everina is a fashion brand that provides chic, effortless fashion apparel while empowering Indonesian artisans and influencing community.

Renegade is the largest exhibition for artisanal products in the world. Its roadshows are done periodically around the US and UK, covering major cities such as Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Portland, Denver, Miami, Boston, Detroit, Seattle, and London. The products that participate at one of these prestigious roadshows are carefully curated.

On this occasion, Everina featured a cross-body bag made from rattan, a tote bag made from seagrass, and a woven clutch. These products were entirely made by craftsmen and women in East Nusa and Bali. As an ITPC LA incubator, Everina has committed to bring Indonesian artisanal products to the US market while emphasizing welfare of the Indonesian craftsmen and women by providing equitable and fair wages, maintaining healthy working environment, and using various environmentally friendly material.

Aim at Potential E-Commerce Platforms and US Department Stores

For the last few years, US consumers have shown interest in artisanal products for its authenticity. Each brand and its products offer a unique story that consumers can and want to relate with. The fundamental shift in the fashion industry that this trend brings is expected to continually increase. As informed by the Wall Street Journal, big retailers such as Macy’s, West Elm, Whole Foods, and Nordstrom has began searching for artisanal products from various countries. Moreover, Amazon’s e-commerce platform even opened a special sales division for artisanal products, namely Amazon Handmade.

ITPC LA in a series of visits to Seattle has made an effort to approach big retailers with e-commerce platform such as Amazon Handmade, Zulily, and Nordstrom to begin a cooperation with Indonesian artisanal products. On 16 December 2017, ITPC LA Deputy Director, Martina Angelika Purba met with the director of Amazon Handmade North America, Bharat Maheshwari to discuss the possible participation and potential of Everina products in Amazon Handmade. Maheshwari also expressed interest in other Indonesian artisanal products, which led to a direct curation process that was done on the same day.

In addition to Amazon Handmade, ITPC LA has also introduced Everina to Zulily, a Seattle-based e-commerce platform that focuses on brands and products for women and children. Zulily has been established since 2010 and is now one of the platforms that excel in the women-and-children segment. The platform utilizes a flash-sales method, offering a particular group of products for a limited time only. Initial communications between ITPC LA and Zulily went off to a good start as Zulily is now in the process of curating Everina products.

ITPC LA has also approached Nordstrom and received an exhilarating response. ITPC LA and Everina are preparing various data, information, and products that will soon be delivered to Nordstrom. “These positive responses from big retailers such as Amazon, Zulily, and Nordstrom prove the high interest for artisanal products among US consumers. This momentum should be utilized to increase the export of Indonesian products to the US, particularly in the West Coast,” said Antonius A. Budiman, Director of ITPC LA. These potential ventures are expected to produce good results as ITPC LA can further introduce more Indonesian artists to potential buyers in the US. In line with this issue, ITPC LA has developed a promotional strategy that especially focuses on promoting artisanal products in 2018.

Data: Export of Bags and Accessories to the US

The export of bags and accessories from Indonesia to the US still has a high potential. In period January-October 2017, US imports of bags and accessories reached US$ 10.9 billion, up 1.36% from the same period in 2016. Indonesia’s exports increased by 39.05% in this period from US$ 146.6 million to US$ 203.8 million, which exceeded the highest total exports for the five years.

The country with the highest export value for bags and accessories in 2016 was China, which reached US$ 7.5 billion. However, for the period January-October 2017, the export value of China decreased by 1.91% from US$ 6.4 billion to US$6.3 billion for the same period in 2016. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s rating increased from being the eight among other exporting countries for bags and accessories in the period January-October 2016 to the seventh in the same period of 2017. By continually promoting in a range of events, e-commerce platforms, and department stores, the export of artisanal products to the US market can be increased significantly.