How it all started

Mama Emi sewing

It started out just like any other day: I opened the small shop in my house and spent the afternoon weaving traditional Flores ikat. My house is located on the main road of Bena Traditional Village. People who are passing through or visiting the ancient village often stop to buy snacks, drinks, or even ikat from my shop.

Little did I know, that sunny day in June turned out to be the start of a new venture.

It was a little after midday, when a friendly man on a motorbike stopped in front of my house. I could tell that he was resting from a long journey. He was carrying some sort of stove on the back of his bike. I was curious so I asked him, “Hey, what is that?”

It was a biomass cookstove and according to the man – his name is Widi, Kopernik’s Senior Program Officer – it’s much safer and more efficient compared to our traditional three stone fire. As a mother who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, of course I was interested!

Widi then introduced me to Kopernik and their Wonder Women program. He told me I could sell the cookstoves, and other technologies such as solar lamps and water filters. I would earn a margin from every sale. I got even more interested. I actually have no sales experience, but since I need no capital to start, I might as well give it a try!

I decided to by one for myself and took two other units to sell. Surprisingly, I managed to sell the cookstoves to my neighbours within two days. It got me thinking, “Hey, I might be good at this!”

So, it’s official: my journey as a Wonder Woman has begun.