The art city of Yogyakarta has never failed to impress. Having been known for its craftsmanship like batik, leather goods, silver and clayware, the city recently welcomed RUAYA, a label that designs and creates wooden goods, with a focus on bags.
RUAYA’s founder, Dody Andri is a free-spirited, humble man with a lot of passion. He established the brand in Yogyakarta and debuted its first collection, speakers and watches. Overtime, he delved deeper and found himself designing bags and clutches.
Now, RUAYA has gained popularity both locally and internationally. Those with a penchant for unique products as well as great functionality and contemporary aesthetics will love RUAYA, and especially those who appreciate waste-reduction efforts. RUAYA uses leftover wood from production and transforms them into smaller goods, such as souvenirs and gifts.
For its creations, RUAYA uses select local woods such as sonokeling, mindi and akasai, not only for their good quality, but also to support local carpenters. “It’s not only about the design. Here, we started a family – me, the craftsmen and the rest of the team,” says Dody.
The name “ruaya” means the breeding cycle of skipjack, a kind of fish that can be found throughout the archipelago. Dody was inspired by the skipjacks having to keep moving to stay alive. “There is a Javanese idiom that says ‘if we don’t make a move, we won’t get anything to eat’. I think this is relevant with creativity – we have to keep innovating to sustain ourselves,” adds Dody.
Dody’s dream is for RUAYA to be a metonymy of wooden bags. The brand is still in its early stages and that is why he continues to promote it locally and internationally. Besides Yogyakarta and Jakarta, RUAYA has been to France last year, the Philippines, Russia, China and Korea this year, in part to highlight the richness of Indonesian materials and craftsmanship while spreading their passion for design and nature.