As The Inspiration Seekers, we’re constantly on the hunt for amazing pieces that tell a story. We like carrying products that are not only beautiful and functional but promote a certain art form as well. When we were first introduced to Duduk’s pieces we were immediately smitten, we wanted to buy absolutely everything! Their poufs, pillows and lamps were covered in the most gorgeous prints and cheerful colors using traditional batik dyeing methods. Needless to say, when we first launched the brand at L’indochine the items flew off the shelves and were immediately snapped up by editors and featured in the country’s top decorating magazines.
We recently sat down with one of the owners Naomi Pescheux who is as charming and lively as the company that she runs. Read on to learn more about Duduk and the super women behind it.
Name: Naomi Pescheux
Occupation/Position: Owner and Designer at DUDUK
How did Duduk get started?
DUDUK was born in the back-alleys of Jakarta. Sounds dodgy, right?
It’s actually true. While today the majority of our collection is produced in Bali, rewind to three years ago and you will find Judith and I (Judith Bakker is the other Owner of DUDUK) sitting behind our sewing machines (no! we’re not swearing! 😉 stitching our first product samples for the Tipi Tent (today one of our best-sellers). During the first year, DUDUK was sold to friends from home and local bazaars in Jakarta to test the products and the market. Once we saw the great response we were getting and our collection started to grow, we started selling in one of the local department stores and have continued to grow since then.
One memorable moment from those early days is from our first train-ride from Jakarta to Cirebon, where we went to source our first collection of Batik. As we passed rice-paddy after rice-paddy our plans began to take shape and in fact it was on this journey that we first tossed around the name DUDUK which means “to sit” in Indonesian, since most of our products are designed for sitting in (tipi tent) or on (poufs, pillows, play-mats etc). The name stuck and the rest is history.
Why this particular business?
Surrounded by so much creativity and entrepreneurship in Indonesia, we felt inspired to start-up something of our own. Both of us are creative souls and we share a love for textiles so that part was easy, we wanted to make something using Batik. Neither one of us wanted to go back to work in an office setting, we wanted to work from home for ourselves. In the time that we started DUDUK a total of 4 kids were born, we often say DUDUK is our 5th baby, born out of a common love for beautiful textiles and a desire to combine motherhood with entrepreneurship in a meaningful way.
Most memorable experience from building/running the business
Standing among giants with our little “home-made” both at the IFEX (Jakarta’s largest International Furniture Fair) and getting buyers from large department stores in Europe and North America stop into our little booth and LOVE EVERYTHING! That was the point we realized we must be on the right track. At that time Judith was 39 weeks pregnant and my 2nd was 3 months old (I left the trade-fair floor every 3 hrs between meeting these clients to go pump milk for Zoe!
Hardest part of the job?
Constantly feeling like we are one step behind. We have had to learn everything on the go from speaking Indonesian to communicate with the artisans, to accounting, to international import/export terms, to sewing terms, the list is ongoing. While this is challenging, it is also extremely rewarding because these are all things we now (sort of) know how to do. We are growing with the business.
So perhaps the hardest has been simply not having enough time to invest to grow the business to where we actually would want it to be right now. There’s always a school holiday, sick kids at home, groceries to be done and dinners to be cooked. We often say, if we has started DUDUK before we had kids… but then of course, where would the inspiration have come from?
Most rewarding part of the job?
The response we get when people see our products and go “I LOVE IT, I WANT IT ALL!”. I just can’t get enough of that. Also, seeing our products picked up by magazines and blogs.
Duduk’s pillows and poufs as seen in My Home Magazine, Real Living Magazine and Elle Decoration.
What are your favorite pieces?
The tipi tent, because it brings our whole collection together. It’s the hang out place for all our other products to cozy-up. My personal favorite is the kids triangle pillows. We’re so used to seeing the bulky adult sized ones but the kids ones are too cute and super practical. I’ve used them as changing mats on the floor (once my kids became to squirmy for the changing table), for lounging in the tipi, watching cartoons, as an arm-rest on the sofa. I love that they come in our bright cheerful prints since this is a product that people are used to seeing in traditional Thai textiles.
From Left: children’s triangle foldout pillow, canvas storage baskets and throw pillows. All available at L’indochine.
How do you balance work and family life?
It’s a daily struggle to get the juggling act down. I’d say success is not keeping all the balls in the air but making sure that when a ball falls (which it will) to make sure it’s not always the same one! For me there is no magic formula to a balanced work/family life, I constantly find myself evaluating what needs my attention the most on that day or week, and making adjustments from there. I’m sad to say that of all the balls that fall on the floor, the one that gets dropped the most is probably my husband!
Any exciting news for our customers/readers to watch out for?
Yes! Haven’t you heard!? We’re going to conquer the world one pouf at a time! 😉
All jokes aside, we do plan to grow this year so expect to see us in other parts of Asia (Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan), Australia, Europe and North America. Who said we weren’t ambitious? 😉
On the creative side, we are burgeoning with new product ideas from starting our own bedding line to expanding our current range with different product styles and sizes. On the fabric front, since this is always at the forefront of our collection we now produce all of the Batik in house and have also started designing prints ourselves which you will start to see later this year! In short, enough to keep us on our toes for now.