If you have been in Jakarta for over a few months I’m sure you have heard at least once of the acclaimed Bead Lady. Ibu Yekti is not only an artist but also a compassionate heart who has made of her hobby a source of decent work for many craftsmen throughout Java. Ibu Yekti sources a wide array of recycled materials and converts them into beautiful beads that recreate Venetian glass and other forms of beautiful beading.
The first time I “met” Ibu Yekti was at an AWA meeting where she lectured us about her trade and how she has converted her passion into a thriving business. I couldn’t imagine a greater blessing. During this lecture she showcased her ravishing beads and her splendid jewelry creations, all of which were astoundingly affordable (I’m talking less than 15 USD for a gorgeous recycled glass necklace).
I had been told that she had a workshop but never really made an effort to visit it due to the fact that ever since I had Evan I stopped wearing a lot of long jewelry. You can blame that on lessons quickly learned in motherhood where necklaces become leashes and long earrings the best teethers. This time, I had three beautiful ladies visiting us for a couple of weeks and I thought this would be the perfect time to venture out to Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta and get our bling on.
After making an appointment with the ever so available Ibu Yekti we arrived in her divine Javanese house nestled in the midst of the bustle of South Jakarta. As we entered her abode we felt as we had been transported to the land of beads. The colors, the textures, the patterns were overwhelmingly beautiful and ready to ignite our creative juices (yeah, those that don’t sing the ABCs like a broken record).
As soon as we got there Ibu Yekti asked us what we had in mind. I had no idea. I was just astounded by the amount and variety of beads. I just wanted a bead in each color and didn’t have a clue how to put them together. I finally decided that if I made something for my mom at least I would have something to start with. I told Ibu Yekti the color I had in mind and just like magic she started designing a gorgeous long necklace for my mom. It was like she had read my mind. The pattern, the color, the length it was exactly what I knew she would like.
Meanwhile my husband’s Mom, Aunt and Grandmother started working on their creations. They were ecstatic to see that Ibu Yekti also carried semi-precious stones in her shop and tiger’s eye and turquoise were their materials of choice.
Ibu Yekti was telling me that many ladies bring over their beautiful evening gowns and dresses and ask her to make something that harmonizes with them. She also showed me she had beautiful Indonesian silk scarves and that she made necklaces to match the colors of the scarves.
While we were at the shop I noticed a couple of moms with their little girls and thought to myself this would be the perfect place to visit with little girls who like bling. The girls were making their own necklaces with gorgeous glass beads shaped like fish, ladybugs, and flowers. This drew me to the dresser that contained all the cute glass characters and I couldn’t’ help myself but had to make a monkey key-chain for my oldest monkey at home. I also ended up getting a few glass bunnies to use as décor for Easter.
When it was time to pay we were so pleasantly surprised at the affordability of our beautiful creations. For two bead necklaces, a monkey keychain, six glass bunnies and a fish pendant necklace I paid a bit under 300,000 Rp. Of course the turquoise and tiger’s eye were a bit pricier but not much.
We had a fantastic time visiting Ibu Yekti and I would recommend anyone who likes beautiful artisanal beads to pay her a visit. Ibu Yekti is an artist at heart and will help you make your dream bling com to life.
-Make sure you make an appointment with her before you visit her home. You are welcome to visit when she isn’t there but trust me, you will want her creative genius to accompany your jewelry creating process.
-Bring cash to pay for your jewelry.
-Beware that the Javanese style house is very tropical in nature so it can get quite warm. There is water available but don’t dress as if you are going to a frigid Jakarta mall.
-Bring your kids! Even little boys might be into making a keychain to hang from their backpack. There are tons of child friendly beads and very cute glass creations.
-Come right before Christmas or your holiday back home and make personalized gifts for your loved ones!
The Bead Lady Ibu Yekti
Jl. Kalibata Timur No.49 (Off Jl. Pasar Minggu Raya)
Tel: 021 797 0948 / 021 798 9676
Hp: 0811 101 789