Only here three years and not a clue in the jewellery or fashion business, making a showing without anybody knowing – wait a minute, stop the press, he’s not yet 29.Ssalvador Bali meets Franklin Firdaus.
Okay Humble sponge, you’re on . . .
Franklin Firdaus, born in Borneo, Balikpapan East, three brothers and three sisters, I’m number six. My mother was married at a very young age – 13 to be exact – my father from the east of Borneo and they met in the middle and fell in love.
So my mother is a housewife and my father a fisherman who loved adventures, and he took his business to the next level, like what I’m doing at the moment. He never went to school.
What’s your schooling background?
I have a diploma from Borneo in business management, and then in Jakarta for public relations – that was at the age of 16 to 22. I was working at the same time – in the morning, then college at night. Those jobs were in the automotive industry, with Volvo, my first career – two years – then a mining and oil company as a geologist, another two years, then Sat.net.com – American and Australian communications. After a while I decided none of this was me.
Would you elaborate?
I was happy with what I was doing at that time. I made a great income. I learned a lot. I learned how companies work . . . many things I’ve never seen in my life and so in automotive, then in oil and then in I.T., three major industries . . . no regrets.
But obviously not you?
No, not really. Fashion has been in my blood since I was six years old. It’s like, when my parents had an occasion they would ask me my opinion on what they should wear.
So you give up your education – one-way ticket to Bali, win, lose or draw, here I come?
Yes, my first year was exploring the island, not really knowing what to do. Strange but true, at least for me, I believe Bali chooses you – there’s no middle road, either you love it or hate it. If the island doesn’t like you it refuses you.
How did you come into the fashion world?
Doing little pieces for this and that, here and there, and my friend kept encouraging me, supporting and pushing me to do more and grow. Jewellery and bags and t-shirts etcetera, and so I tested the water, the water’s good and I’m living my dream now . . . that’s what I do.
Will you be branching out, Jakarta, Singapore, other places?
Yes, I just did my fashion show week in Jakarta, also in Singapore and did my photo shoot in Jakarta for online shops . . . worldwide to your door in just one click.
So you have the big picture in mind?
Of course, in the end, like many other international businesses we want to bring it to the next level on the big platform. At the moment we’re expanding partnerships, fulfilling what the markets want, be it in Germany or anywhere we want to reach. Now with online and Internet, it’s like the world is in our hands.
Are you pursuing a name as a fashion designer?
I don’t know, I’m just loving what I do. I try to make the best for myself first . . . if people love it, I’m happy. So it’s not like you have to do this. It’s for myself first, that’s what I do.
How would you describe your fashion line?
Well it’s different, something affordable in the medium market. I don’t do mass production, mostly like beachwear, summery clean-cut, and daily life clothes, this is also a one-size unisex collection.
Now we come to Selene Jewellery . . .
The jewellery is a totally a different side of me – bringing out the feminine side – lending itself to the medium- to high-range market, mostly playing with the stones, playing with gold, playing with the details that go with the gown or party.
Your personal philosophy on life?
I don’t live in the past . . . I live now and just try to be a good person every day. Make your dreams come true, that’s the main thing. Do what you love and your going to love what you do. S.B.