Embrace Your Uniqueness with Laras Anggraini from Smitten by Pattern!
Updated: Apr 18
Hi Stellars, goes to Kartini’s Day we are interviewing several inspiring women. Today, you will be smitten with Laras Anggraini and her stories. She’s the CEO of Smitten by Pattern who provides varieties of adorable patterned stuffs. Let’s hear her inspirational journey about embracing our personal uniqueness!
Hi Laras, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello, I'm Laras, a mom and also CEO of Smitten by Pattern.
Before settling as an entrepreneur, I spent the first four years of my career traveling through various marketing disciplines. From strategic planning in an advertising agency, marketing and sales executive on Client Side, to a qualitative researcher in a marketing research agency. But, my love for entrepreneurship has been there since I was a kid where I sold hairpins and candies at school and keep growing until today I nurture my Smitten by Pattern.
Would you tell us how and why you started building Smitten by Pattern?
It started from a friendship between two junior high school bestfriends - Me and my partner, Diniella. Coincidentally, we shared two similar passion in life:
1. To create pattern design.
2. To make other people happy through a thoughtful product / gift. We always share special gifts on each other’s birthday or any other occasions that always make each other feel smitten.
One day Diniella gave me a customized chair with printed fabric that she designed by herself and it made me instantly feel so overjoyed!
Then, we were thinking - why don’t we make products that can bring such happy feelings for other people? something special / unique that can make other people feel smitten from am-pm.
From just the teenage dreams of two best friends, Smitten by Pattern is now a home for 7 female talents and many local craftsmen who love to create fabulous patterned stuff and spread smitten feeling around the world.
Your brand has a unique sense which makes it stand out from the others. How can we embrace the uniqueness, both in a brand and in ourselves?
I think being unique is not only about being different, because I believe each of us has our own uniqueness and is born special to others.
But it is more about honesty and sincerity to ourselves, consistency in delivering our values to others.
And most importantly is also about understanding other people especially our audience just like we understand our best-friend, so whatever we create can be a uniquely-relevant output that can have a special place in everyone’s hearts.
How do you nurture creativity and innovation in your team?
Always, always start from our surroundings, try to observe more and see deeper. Mostly in our case, uniquely-relevant ideas come from the closest things - it can be our childhood, our family, our backyard, our neighbors, or our grandma’s tiles, our mom’s dress, or anything around us.
We keep every single idea safe in a box like a treasure. We have our own idea bank list where we jot down any ideas that come out from each other’s mind so won’t run out of ideas.
Regular brainstorming and group discussion can help us to connect the dots between creative ideas, innovation, trends and market insights.
We often gain ideas and feedback from our audiences or friends so that we can always spot the room-for-improvement / innovation.
Who’s your role model/Kartini modern and what qualities do you admire from her/them?
I think it is my team members who inspire me a lot. Every woman that has worked with Smitten by Pattern in the past six years has shown me that young women can make great teamwork, wonderful artwork, make huge impacts while also being fully responsible with their main role as mothers, wives, the backbone of the family, and other roles in the society.
What's one valuable lesson you've learned from Kartini's story that you apply to your own entrepreneurial journey?
Her courageous and optimistic values that move me a lot as a female entrepreneur. In hard times, I often doubt myself and my leadership as a woman, but Kartini has shown us to always be optimistic that our actions today might bring a big impact on the future, not only for us but maybe for other Indonesian women and the upcoming generations.
What are some actionable steps you and other female entrepreneurs can take to uplift each other and create a more inclusive, supportive community in the spirit of Kartini's Day?
Digital adoption in workplace that can support women to work comfortably while also keep the household responsibility balance
Actively involved in any possible opportunity and community to educate other women, boost their confidence to fight for all dreams they harbor.
Initiate more collaborations between female-led businesses to inspire other women and share the entrepreneurial spirit