Monthly Archives: July 2012

Décor, Daydream, and Déjà vu

I was happily snapping away with my camera when a sudden feeling of “hey-I’ve-been-here-before” almost knocked me off my feet.  The throes of freshly-arrived tourists whisked me away from the cramped corridor and  on to the next room as I  blinked myself back to reality.

The two hour tour inside the Udaipur City Palace has barraged me with thousands of visual stimulations. The colors, the patterns, the details, are too intense to be processed all at once. So I shoved the goosebumps and giddiness somewhere in the back of my mind.

With a sudden revelation over a marvelous Indian vegetarian dinner, I jumped with glee. It’s not that I’ve been there before but I’ve seen a picture of it on the web and love it so much, I’ve been mentally visiting the room time and again.

So I might not be a reincarnated person after all, but it wouldn’t make my happiness any less, for even daydreams do come true in this lifetime.

 Shalimma R.

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Tickle Me Travel

Plane ticket never fails to tickle me. I love to travel and take little adventures.

When I was a little girl, I used to read Madita (“Madicken” in Swedish), a novel by Astrid Lindgren, over and over again.

Madita was my childhood idol.  I was so fascinated by her character. She was kind-hearted, sometimes hot-tempered, smart, adventurous and often had crazy ideas.

There was one chapter where she almost jumped off the roof with an umbrella, because she heard that by jumping with an umbrella from an airplane you can fly. When her father scolded her, she blamed it on Richard, the imaginary friend she invented.

That story always sticks in my memory. Day and night I wonder if I could just close my eyes and fly away – roam around and be free. There are so many things I would like to do and places I would like to see in so little time.

Life is a beautiful journey, why spend it all in one place.

Love, LP.

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Midnight Espresso at Intelligentsia

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I am both an early riser and a night owl, constantly on the lookout for quaint little spots to contemplate and recharge throughout the day.
One of my favorite spots is Intelligentsia Coffee Bar, in Old Town Pasadena, because it is open from 7 am to 12 Midnight, Friday – Saturday and 7 am to 8 pm Thursday – Sunday. It is the perfect place to pop in and get a pick-me-up at any point in the day.
Their ‘Gibraltar’ coffee is my go-to. It is a delightful cup that is somewhere between a macchiato and a cappuccino. It is not listed on the menu, which makes it all the more intriguing – like a secret that is too good not to share.
One of the best things about this coffee bar in particular is that at first glance it looks like a neat little nook to grab a cup and relax but they also serve wine and cheese!
After an evening of shopping, we could not help but drop by to grab a glass of wine and unwind.
Kisses,
Melissa
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Goorin Bros. Hat Maker for the Mad Hatters

It was my birthday last week and it has been a tradition to shop for myself on this historical day! My husband Dominic took me to this incredible hat shop in Old Town Pasadena – the Goorin Brothers.

The interior took me back into an era when traveling brought social prestige and wearing a hat was a necessity. The shop was filled with jazz music, old posters, vintage luggage, Art Nouveau furniture and black & white photography.

I could not help imagining an epoch cruise and needing a cloche hat so badly. The shopping symptoms were spreading and, I became a frantic mad hatter instantly. They had a great selection of handmade hats – http://www.goorin.com. The unique and pleasant storekeeper standing behind the wine bar was honest in his opinions and helped me pick my cloche. Their hat carriers are elegantly designed which gave a nice, personal touch to the whole experience.

Kisses,

Melissa

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To Yannick, for Our Friendship

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A turtle followed her from her dream that morning.

She carried it inside her tote all day long.

The little new friend told her many stories.

She sketched all his tales on her canvas tote, 

to capture their friendship forever.
Kisses, Melissa.
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Budding Young Talent

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Fresh from their morning art class at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena just down the street from the Studio, Melissa brought her girls in for a visit to the Studio.

The girls instantly sought out the best parts of any office. After filling coffee cups with packing peanuts for a make-believe tea party they each took a seat across from one another with a piece of paper and a pen.

. . .

Days earlier Melissa shared her latest work, which she keeps with her in a small leather sketchbook. I was amazed by page after page of meticulous dots and strokes that shaped the designs that will soon take on a life of their own to form the next Tulisan collection.

. . .

Melissa’s oldest, Miya worked diligently and quietly, looking up from time to time to survey the room. After some time, she came around the desk and presented me with a sketch that was neatly fastened with a gold coiled paper clip.

Miya’s subject, a carefully shaded tree with tiny dotted leaves mirrored some of the things I had seen in Melissa’s sketchbook.

I think we may have a third generation contibuting to Tulisan very soon…

Kaitlin McIntyre

 

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Spending the Day

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Last week, we managed to take Myra out for an afternoon tea session at Tirtayasa – a home of Melissa’s and  Tulisan’s first headquarter before we moved into the store. As Tulisan’s Head of Operations, Myra leads the team that has been preparing the production lines for our international debut.

For the past couple of months, she has been splitting her time between the workshop, the factory, and the store so it was nice to have a quiet moment for a proper chat over tea.

I always love Myra’s quirky style, she’s a little bit of everything: plain but playful, colorful but subtle. She was wearing Tulisan’s stole to cover her hair and it looked fantastic.

By the end of the day we agreed that the stole is our new favorite thing after Tirtayasa’s home-fused Jasmine tea. Both always give a nice little reprieve from the daily routine.

Rassi Narika

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A Cheerful Arrival

The past few weeks have welcomed many new and exciting arrivals. The first, our arrival in the new studio.

A quaint spot nestled in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, the space makes the perfect West Coast home for Tulisan. The Studio is complete with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls – a signature in this part of town.

A few candid shots of the California team, hard at work…

Doris and I are pretty shy so when Melissa brought the camera out, we caught a fit of the giggles…

Colin had no trouble smiling for the camera…

The second, highly anticipated arrival was the Tulisan collection to the Studio showroom. It gives our new home a pop of color and an excited energy that is contagious amongst the team. I’ve been watching as people pass by, it is impossible to walk by without smiling. Impossible.

A cheerful display of the collections being introduced stateside soon!

Kaitlin McIntyre

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Toy Box of Goodies from Trader Joe’s

One of the things I miss about living in California is going to Trader Joe’s market. They offer fresh, delicious and organic produce at a great value.

We went there today and filled up our Tulisan toy box with many delightful things including their dark chocolate bar with caramel and black sea salts -their chocolate selection is insane!

The toy box held two bags worth of groceries and goodies, enough to last us through the weekend.

Kisses,
Melissa

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Twirly Hair à la Régne

We went to the grand opening of Régne, haute blow dry salon on Holly Street in Old Pasadena last night.

The salon has a pleasant, sage colored interior with elegant floral printed wallpaper and exposed brick accent walls. Each dressing table is equipped with an iPad giving it a modern twist. Women of all ages, including our two daughters, came to get their hair coifed and be pampered for the night.

We met the lovely owner, Monica, the day before. She handed me her business card, imprinted with a quote by Margaret Thatcher:

“If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”

The salon does everything from a simple blow dry to hair styling and head massages at a very reasonable price. Check out their portfolio and services at http://www.regneblow.com.

Kisses,
Melissa

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One Fine Day in Venice Beach

We spent last Saturday playing with the kids at Venice Beach, California.

It had been a while since I spent a good intimate holiday with my family. My two happy sprouts, Miya and Clio, were both so content sitting next to us, while building free style sand sculptures

The day reminded me of my own childhood at the Carita Beach with my parents in 1978. Those quality times will always be priceless and memorable.

Kisses,

Melissa

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The Little White Label

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‘Tulisan’ means ‘hand writing’ in Bahasa, Indonesia. I chose this simple word because my work around Tulisan is about staying true to oneself, making your mark and sharing with others. To those who wear our collection, it is about colorful storytelling through handcrafted products made with love in small batches. However, behind the scenes, this brand started as a tiny workshop in Jakarta filled with passionate people who simply believe in each other and are determined to follow their dreams.

Jakarta is not London, Paris, New York or many other great cities. Despite heavy pollution and bumper-to-bumper traffic, living in Jakarta is about being close to family, taking chances and having true friends. There is a strange air of excitement and hope – where people are always positive and high-spirited. It is a melting pot where you meet many inspiring minds and undiscovered talents. It is here, in Jakarta, that I wish to live my dream and to share this joy with those around me. 

This is the real deal: Tulisan is designed and made in Jakarta by Indonesians. I built my team slowly and organically, by selecting willful individuals who honor their intuitions and follow their hearts. Many of them have crossed over from their academic or professional background to doing what they do today for Tulisan. Together we empower each other to do things that we never thought were possible to do. The result is often a nerve-racking experience to a self-discovery, yet what is most important for me is that they live their dream every minute. It is a normal eight-hour job, yet it is also 1/3 of the day, so we need to spend this time on projecting the very best of our being. True beauty does not spring from gorgeous cities, but it comes from being raw and true to who we are. 

It is through this journey that I hope to bring a different light to this place and to present an honest creation from the heart of its people. 

Warmest regards, 

Melissa Sunjaya 

The artist and founder of Tulisan

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Write A Note, Leave A Memory

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We miss the days when all messages were handwritten in a crisp sealed envelope and the smell of the writer’s fragrance. The instant and twitted messages today – although prompt and spontaneous – were incomparable to record the celebrated graduation, the jolly holidays, or the thank you notes for a friend who gave their room and hugs during your breakups.

In the ever moving transfer of online dispatches, a heartwarming and personalized piece like this is a treat. So, we start sparing our time again to write a simple paragraph for our loved ones, we put our lips signature and a monogram initial from Tulisan. It will surely last longer than the ones left in the timeline.

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