“Just go ahead and
don’t be afraid.”
Putry, CEO of Kostoom
Just how much should hard work be rewarded? This question was at the heart of Putry Yuli, the CEO of Kostoom, since she was a young girl. Grew up as a daughter of a tailor, Putry knew exactly that her mother was being underpaid by her clients.
Putry realized that being a tailor should be highly rewarded as clothes is one of the primary needs of human-beings. But, the reality proved otherwise as in Indonesia, more often than not, there is no fixed amount of payment for each order which being made from the clients to a local tailor.
The fact that her mother was being underpaid gave her an idea to establish Kostoom in 2017, an online-sewing service startup with the concept of sharing economy, which connects several tailors in Indonesia with the customers/clients who need it. Indeed, Kostoom is being the bridge between the fashionpreneurs or fashion designers with the tailors.
How Kostoom works is quite simple; first, the clients need to make an order through Kostoom official website, second, after Kostoom and the clients agree upon the designs, the clients should send their chosen fabric materials to the Kostoom workshop in Depok and voila! The clothes will be directly sent to the clients’ home!
Indeed, Kostoom is taking the local fashion industry to the next level of conveniency through a digital platform, “Currently, we’re developing an app to make the clients easier for placing their orders to Kostoom. Later on, we want to collaborate with a fabric-seller to put their fabric pictures into our app as their marketplace. So, hopefully, in the future, Kostoom will also provide the clients with various options of fabric materials which they just need to choose, click, and place their orders,” Putry claimed.
Putry, an entrepreneur by default
When we asked about her life journey, Putry always told us about her mother who inspired her so much to be the woman she is right now, “Back when I was in high school, I said to my mom that I want to be a street musician. Of course she was surprised as she had a dream to see me graduate from a university. But, I couldn’t help but notice the money which a street musician could earn a day, because so many people gave them money!” Putry told us as she laughed, remembering her old days.
Putry used to earn money by herself as she paid her tuition fee from high school until she graduated from
Before establishing Kostoom, Putry established a laundry service business which didn’t take very long for her to maintain as she had to take care of her first baby. Her entrepreneur-desire
As she didn’t come from a business-related major and need funding to develop Kostoom, she actively participated in various business competitions. Within a year, Kostoom participated in 8 different business competitions and became the winners in some of it, “Some people were born in a wealthy-family and they have enough amount of money to build their own startup. But, I’m not them, so I need to figure out the way to make people aware of Kostoom and business competition is one of the solutions,” Putry added.
Making mistakes while creating impacts
At the beginning of her business journey,
Although she confronted many challenges, she persisted to maintain Kostoom and develop it until present. Along with her participation in some business competition programs, she was also one of the winners of Indonesia Impact Accelerator Program (IIAP) Batch 3 from Kinara Indonesia, “To build awareness of Kostoom, I do realize that I need countless networking and IAP accommodate it. During the program, I got many connections with other entrepreneurs whose stories were very insightful for me to be applied for the development of Kostoom.”
As a mother, Putry is also realizing that dividing her time between taking care of her child and maintaining the business is one of the challenges of being a women entrepreneur. Thus, currently her husband was resigning from his job at a company and decided to help Putry for establishing Kostoom, especially for the app development.
So, what makes her always persist to maintain Kostoom? Indeed, the social impact. Putry knows that there are many local tailors which rely on Kostoom and she needs to always find a way for maintaining the business. Pak Mus, one of the local tailors in Kostoom claimed that he was beyond grateful to be part of the Kostoom team, “After I joined this business, I always have something to work on and the fee is more than I used to get when I was a home-tailor.”
Therefore, mistakes are unavoidable and we’re allowed to make it as long as we could learn from it. As the closing of our interview session, Putry gave us her ultimate tips for other young people out there, “Never be afraid of making mistakes. What’s worse could happen? You’re still young, so you’re allowed for making mistakes. The more mistakes you’ve made, the more you’ll learn from it. So, just go ahead and don’t be afraid.”