I'm excited to introduce a new spotlight feature on the artisan groups that Lydali works with. We'll be sharing from founders, designers, and artisan groups, and you'll get to see what the process and inspiration behind the products you see on Lydali looks like.
To kick it off, I'm excited to introduce you to Cissy DeLuca, who was the co-founder of Bersatu. When I talk about what inspired me to start thinking about Lydali, I always point to my trip to Indonesia and my inspiring then-colleague, Cissy, who had started working with artisans in Bali to make beautiful jewelry and accessories.
What's your background, and how did you first get started with Bersatu?
My background is in international development. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, then moved to San Francisco and worked at various NGOs. Most recently I was working for Kiva.org. I started Bersatu while working for Kiva and living in Indonesia. There were people living in my neighborhood that were interested in finding sources of income. I asked them if they had any interest in making jewelry. Some of them had prior experience and others did not. We started meeting weekly and exploring product options and it all came together.
What do you love most about working with artisans in Bali?
They are so grateful for the income opportunity and flexible work schedule. Being able to provide them with these opportunities is so gratifying. Bersatu has also made me feel more connected to the community I was living in at the time.
What have been some of the biggest challenges for Bersatu so far?
Balancing production and sales has been a challenge. Some months are very slow and others are very busy. As a social business, there is definitely an added pressure to provide work for the artisans. Another challenge has been the unpredictability of life in a developing country; we have lost a couple of artisans for various personal reasons. I am also no longer living in Bali, so overseeing things from afar is tough.
Where do you see Bersatu going in the future?
I am not sure. I am headed to business school this year and our operations manager, Heny, is expecting her first child. We are in a transitional phase trying to figure out what will come next for us.
What are your favorite products on Lydali by another artisan group?
Thanks so much, Cissy, for being both our first supplier on Lydali and the first to interview. We love working with you! Everyone else, you can shop Bersatu products here