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It’s getting more and more common for Indonesian women to have double roles: as a mother, also income earner. Naturally, some women are doing it exceptionally well, starting from small business and turn it a formidable enterprise, such as Agnes Jewelry. As the name suggests, the woman behind the wheel, is Agnes Sutanto. From Agnes Jewelry, she expands the business into F&B business with Tan Group.
We met the lady boss in one of her properties, Studio Tan Group, South Jakarta. Exclusive to Registry, she kindly told us how she built her empire. It all started with simple thing: her love of jewelry. Young Agnes has been a fan of beauty and jewelry, and she admitted that her mother and grandmother were the role models for her hobby. But of course, as a little girl she needed to save up to buy those shiny objects.
When she got married and having children, Agnes constantly wore jewelries in almost all of her activities. All the time, when she met her communities, her friends asked about the jewelry she was wearing. It brought up her sense of business. She felt, it was a good opportunity to be turned into a real business, doing it as hobby while immersing herself into designing the jewelries.
From here, it’s a classic story. Using the rather primitive, yet effective method, word of mouth, Agnes started to gain trust from her customers. “My friends were happy when they got the jewelries from me, and they kept on telling their friends, and as a result, I end up with handful list of clients,” she said. Equipped with its distinctive design, Agnes Jewelry was born.
The successful business has been running for 30 years, and Agnes would like to thank her satisfied friends who turn into some sort of “ambassadors” for Agnes Jewelry. Along the three decades, like any other businesses, Agnes has her up and down moments. “It was a memorable experience and lesson. I always tell the stories to my children so they can learn from them,” stated Agnes.
Expanding to F&B business
Under the holding company, Tan Group that she established, Agnes and her family expand the business to F&B industry. “Actually, it was a coincidence. We just gave space and capital for children so they would focus on running the business responsibly, and respectfully,” she said.
Agnes and her husband have three children, and she always stresses the importance of going along well with each other. The same exact value is carried over her 3 children to run the business under the name Tan Group, starting from The Neighbourhood Jakarta, Nara, Brotherhood, Kenjiro Japanese Restaurant, Big Brother, and their latest F&B outlets, the new Big Brother Restaurant in Sudirman.
As one of the women who’s successful in running both business and role as a mother, Agnes shared some tips. “You need to be wise in time allocation. It’s crucial to be emotionally involved with your husband and children. The role of a mother is irreplaceable. The closer we are as mothers to our children, especially in the golden age, the better the memories that we gave to the children about family’s warmth. At the same time, we also need to able to expand our business,” said the lady of 10 grandchildren. “I see my jewelry business as a part time job, unlike the full-time office life. So, I really enjoy being an entrepreneur and a housewife. It would be better for women to be able to earn money for their families, also for themselves. Starting a business would be a good decision, whether it’s small or part time, just do it! Every business always starts with something small,” she advised.
She also reminded that when running business, problems are inevitable, and in fact, it’s a learning curve. For the business women out there, here’s what she had to say, “In addition to hard work, you need to be honest and sincere. Make no mistake, customers can feel our sincerity and it will gain more respect from them, or better, turn them into our supporters. It happened to me, my friends started as my customers and they became my prime supporters in promoting my jewelries,” said Agnes.
And thanks to her inner circles support, Agnes Jewelries managed to survive in the midst of the pandemic. “I really want to thank my friends and customers for always giving me the support to make me what I am today, and Registry Magazine that has been supporting my business for years, including when I first open my first restaurant,” she said.
Jewellery: Agnes' Jewelry
Make Up: Carlos Shu
Wardrobe: WU5 Prive
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