Let’s meet… Mitra Bali & the Candle Holder Coco

To each and every product you’ll find in our webshop, there’s a story. Often times, it has travelled thousands of miles before being delivered to your doorstep. But it’s also the result of unique collaborations, creative thinking and skilled hands. There’s much more than meets the eye, and our Coconut Shell Candle Holder is the prime example of that. This natural beauty is being made by Mr I Komang Toni and his wife Ni Wayan Ariani – two talented, Indonesian people who have been working closely with Fair Trade organization Mitra Bali. With their partnership, they bring a little light to you – on the other side of the world. Ain’t that a thing of beauty?

 

Made from the coconut shell, these candle hold
ers peacefully light up the night’s sky, like an ever-glowing firefly. It’s not the first time and won’t certainly be the last time we’re introducing you to products made from coconut. It brings an endless variety in what you can create from it. Urban Nature Culture has had spoons, bowls, lamps and light holders, making the most of what this tropical nature of wonder has to offer. In the right hands, nature is the one and only source to create stand-out pieces for your interior. In this case, it’s I Komang Toni and Ni Wayan Ariani who’ve turned the coconut shells into must-have items for your home. And we’ve got Mitra Bali to thank for that.
Set up in 1993 by Agung Alit, Mitra Bali was founded with the ambition to help the hard working artisans in the tourist industry and create a better balance between rich and poor. Agung saw hard working craftsmen trying to survive and support their families while being exploited and receiving unfair payments, or no payments at all. With lots of poverty in Indonesia, he really felt it was time for a change.He needed to think of a fair solution to all – while making sure that some of the world’s most beautiful, old crafts would survive. And so, Mitra Bali was born. The Fair Trade organization has been actively participating in Bali’s economic and social development. How? By being the connecting dot between buyers and handicraft producers. And so, he set up a system in which local male and female craft producers are supported through design workshops, investments and advance payments, making sure they don’t have to struggle supporting their families. It has led to a growing number of work opportunities for families, relatives and neighbours in the villages of craft producers, who’ve all had to deal with a prolonged crisis in Bali – one of the most touristic islands in Indonesia.

Mr. I Komangtoni, who creates the Coconut Candle Holders together with his wife Ni Wayan Ariani, has shared their personal story with us. “After I graduated from high school in 1993, I became a street vendor. All day, every day, I was waiting for tourists to show up by the street, to buy my goods. I would sell any kind of goods, from wood to bone carvings, to make an income. Then in 2000, one of my friends taught me how to carve cocont shell, and a new journey in my life began. He put me in touch with Mitra Bali, and I’ve been a partner with them ever since. Mitra Bali supports us through its social program, such as a design workshop, offering us a loan without interest and lend us livestock for investment when we’ve had no orders. The organization gives me a 50% advance payment and we even the balance after I’ve sent them the goods.”

And so, Agung Alit’s mission and Fair Trade way of doing business has helped change lives for the better, making sure creativity is fairly rewarded and shared with the globe. We’re proud to be working with Mitra Ba
li and tell you their story – a story that can be part of your home. Discover the Coconut Candle Holders.

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About Us

With a lifelong experience in home and lifestyle collections, Dutch entrepreneur and wayfarer in life Anne Marie Hermans is proud to bring you the brand that mirrors her vision on the world: Urban Nature Culture.