News Feature

Minang Kayo achieves international dream through leather handicrafts

Minang Kayo achieves international dream through leather handicrafts

Leather shoes produced by "Minang Kayo" craftsmen in Padang Panjang. (ANTARA SUMBAR/ Miko Elfisha)

I have compared this product with other products in Java. I make sure they will not lose
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Not many know that in one corner of the Veranda of Mecca, the nickname for the City of Padang Panjang, West Sumatra, there is a small gallery that exhibits a superior quality of leather handicrafts.

The gallery is actually easy to reach because it is located only about 100 meters from the Sumatra road, Padang-Padang Panjang. However, because it was rather close behind a house, it was not visible from the road.

But finding it is not too difficult, because the intersection goes there, the same as the intersection for the best-known destination in Padang Panjang, Minang Fantasi (Mifan).

The intersection is some 50 meters away. Once there, turn left after another 50 meters and you immediately arrive to be greeted by smiles and welcome greetings from gallery employees.

Immediately, your eyes fall on a row of leather goods that look enticing through the translucent glass into the girdle.

There are the finest quality leather jackets in neat, colorful lines. There are various leather bags of models for women and men, there are hats, shoes, sandals, and other accessories made from cow leather and goatskin.

Its smooth skin and very neat stitches give the number one quality guarantee. Even for the shoes, the owner, Masroni, promises a guarantee of one year.

"I have compared this product with other products in Java. I make sure they will not lose," he said confidently.

Masroni has been crisscrossing the island of Java to study how to process cow and goatskin to manufacture quality crafts. He learned a lot before returning to Padang Panjang to open the leather craft business.

The business did not suddenly produce a turnover of up to Rp300 million a month like now. Masroni started by opening a small souvenir shop 2x6 meters in Anai Valley Waterfall which he named "Kemal Kincai" with an initial capital of only Rp1.5 million.

He studied the tastes of tourists who often stopped at his souvenir shop and understood that most of them were interested in leather crafts.

Incidentally, the city of Padang Panjang is a gathering place for great tanners in West Sumatra. The city is also the location for collecting cow and goat skins so that abundant raw materials are available there.

Padang Panjang also has many sewing training centers that produce ready-to-work graduates who are a great potential to be empowered.

Unfortunately, these two potentials have been wasted all this time. Most cow skin is processed into crackers. Some are processed semi-finished and sold to Java as a basic ingredient in leather crafts.

Tailors who are ready to work, also have difficulty finding employment opportunities. They finally search for employment outside Padang Panjang.

These two potentials were put together by Masroni. With minimal capital, he was desperate to start a business that focused on leather craft in 2016. Shoes, sandals and bags became the initial product.

Even though there was not much production, he still tried to produce enough every day so that his workforce could continue to process and become more adaptable at making various models and designs.

Two years running, the business began growing rapidly. He can now produce 15 to 20 pairs of shoes, five bags and 1 to 5 jackets a day. Production can be increased if really needed.

But the key to Masroni becoming a successful businessman in a short time was the way he cooperated with travel business entrepreneurs, in addition to providing quality products.

Almost every day there are at least three tourist buses that bring guests from abroad, such as Singapore, Malaysia, and other neighboring countries who stop by the gallery.

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