In an era where creativity offers great value in business, Senyawa+ enables young and independent creators to make something for themselves. Founded by Yansen Kamto, the platform supports and elevates young innovators and local brands, providing them with know-how, tools and opportunities required to navigate the market and grow a business.

Kamto’s experience in building an online platform called Kreavi, galvanised the creation of Senyawa+. Kreavi serves as a digital platform that showcases the artworks and portfolios of Indonesian creatives, connecting over 6,000 artists to consumers in need of their service. However, as the platform grew, so did the need to create something more tangible. “We wanted them to be able to create intellectual properties, not just be artists by commission,” says Kamto. This vision led to the establishment of Senyawa+, marking a significant evolution in supporting local talent.

This desire to empower creators to produce and market their own intellectual property (IP) products is the core philosophy behind Senyawa+’s formation, where Kamto highlights, “We want to be the bridge to connect these young entrepreneurs with potential into the real market.” 

Senyawa+ recognises a common struggle among artists: the lack of entrepreneurial skills. Many are great creators, producers and conceptors, but the business acumen to make their ideas economically sustainable in the market is often lacking. As such, Senyawa+ addresses this gap by providing opportunities and support to help artists sell their work, and establish a platform that houses both online and offline stores, as well as a hub for emerging entrepreneurs. 

Their curation process is rooted in a decade-long engagement with various communities. “From our own ecosystem, we have been working with a lot of communities since probably 10-11 years ago,” Kamto shares. This long-term commitment has allowed Senyawa+ to collect extensive data, build relationships, and foster a network of talented individuals and brands. This rich pool of connections serves as the foundation for their curation process.

The selection process at Senyawa+ is stringent, with a strong focus on promoting locally produced brands owned by Indonesians that hold values resonating with the country’s identity. Senyawa+ seeks brands with compelling missions and stories, and targets three key market segments: those who appreciate artsy products, those who are into pop culture, and those who value sustainability. “In today’s world, we want to keep up with the trends,” Kamto notes. By aligning with these values, Senyawa+ attracts a diverse audience, particularly younger generations. 

An exemplary brand within Senyawa+ is MYCL, which Kamto highlights for its blend of creativity and environmental consciousness. MYCL processes fungi from timber mill waste, transforming it into fashionable, pop culture-friendly products. This brand not only addresses environmental concerns but also resonates with the youth, with their latest triumph working with a designer brand Doublet for Paris Fashion Week in 2021, making it a perfect fit for Senyawa+’s vision.

Another example is Togean Naturale, a personal care product line produced by housewives on a remote island in Central Sulawesi. Togean Natural utilises natural ingredients and reprocessed rainwater, and their facility is powered by solar panels. This makes the brand stand out for its environmental consciousness and quality of its products.

For artists, more than just curating and displaying artworks, Senyawa+ also connects them with corporations. “We work with some corporations to design and produce stuff for their corporate merchandise and we utilise these artists’ skills to do it,” Kamto explains. This approach not only generates exposure for the artists but also provides them with practical business opportunities.

A key focus of Senyawa+ is ensuring that the products created by Indonesian entrepreneurs meet market needs. “Any product that we help to create has to be able to bridge the product market fit stage,” Kamto explains. “Even a product with excellent value will fail if it doesn’t address consumer problems.” Recognising this, Senyawa+ aims to assist young entrepreneurs in understanding and responding to market demands. 

According to Kamto, the real challenge for the growth of Indonesian SMEs lies in market penetration, creating brand awareness, and scaling production. “These people are very good at producing their artisanal products, but when it comes to producing and keeping up with the demands, I’ve seen that this is what they struggle with the most,” Kamto notes.

Distribution is another significant hurdle. Artists producing unique, culturally rich products often find it difficult to get their items displayed in mainstream stores. This is where Senyawa+ steps in, providing a crucial link between artists and the market. By offering their products in Senyawa+’s stores, artists gain a valuable distribution channel.

Senyawa+ also actively facilitates connections between creators and potential buyers through various programmes and events. Regular workshops allow creators to showcase their products and interact with potential users. These bimonthly or monthly events offer valuable exposure and networking opportunities, while the hub continuously experiments and collaborates with partners to refine its approach and spread its influence.

You can visit their offline store and discover a plethora of unique and high-quality locally made and produced products. 

Senyawa+ Space
Jl. Raden Saleh Raya No.46A, Cikini, Menteng
IG: @senyawaplus

Dinda Mulia

Dinda Mulia

Dinda is an avid explorer of art, culture, diplomacy and food. She is also a published poet and writer at NOW!Jakarta.