The industrial style warehouse building on Jalan Kemang Selatan inspired me to visit from the moment I first drove passed, two years ago. Tall glass windows framed in timber and a tidy grass space in front were my first memories.
What drew my eye to the windows and the building itself was that it was so different to the street scape around me. Cayenne’s beautifully dressed windows, and this proud building were sure to draw me in.
Cayenne is set back from the road, but sits with confidence looking onto the hustle and bustle of motor vehicles, trash carts and motor bikes which line the road. Once inside, it’s a quiet haven with two levels to explore.
Jo and I were both impressed by the Cayenne building and their Indonesian homewares, and couldn’t wait to meet the owner and find out about them, their industrial style building and the Cayenne story.
On the day we visited, we were warmly welcomed by Dewi Haliman the owner and creative force behind Cayenne, and her friendly staff. Dewi shared with us her love of design, the country she calls home and its local artisans.
Dewi has a great respect for the Indonesian heritage and culture, and an astute eye for good design. It is therefore, no surprise that Cayenne has grown since its inception eight years ago, and has become a landmark on Jalan Kemang Selatan.
How did Cayenne come about?
In 1997, my husband and I moved back from New York. I was an interior designer in New York. It was very exciting work.
When we returned to Jakarta we imported products from America, as these products didn’t exist here. We sold Cisco Brothers sofas.
At the time we arrived back in Jakarta, it was difficult to import as the buying power of the Rupiah made it difficult for local businesses. Then we decided to sell Indonesian products.
We were in Kemang Raya no. 88 before we started there. We were there for two years. We then moved to the Dia-log-ue building at No. 99A, Jalan Kemang Selatan Raya, Kemang. We rented there on the bottom level. Dia-log-ue the business, worked from the level above.
We love this building. Can you tell us about it?
An old house was here on the site where we are now. We built the Cayenne building, inspired by the loft industrial and warehouses of New York.
Cayenne moved to this location at Jalan Kemang Selatan 8 no C-2, eight years ago. That’s how we got started.
The clientele has changed over the years. It is now broad, we cater to all kinds of clients with a range of budgets.
Who is the Cayenne shopper?
The Cayenne shopper is not just one type of person. It’s expats of all cultures, and local Indonesians. Social media is helping us to reach out to young families and young professionals also. It’s exciting! It gives me a different experience of generations.
Where did the idea of Cayenne come from?
Cayenne as you probably know is a spice. It comes from local Indigenous American culture. We like it!
How would you describe the brand Cayenne?
Indonesian, all made in Indonesia, handmade by local artisans from Java; East Java and Kudos-Middle Java. We have been working with the artisans for many years.
The first project was the bedding and linens. Then the basketware. The basket weavers are communities who live in East Java. Between ten and sixteen weavers work for Cayenne. They used to work making market bags, very cheap. Each bag sold for 200 Rupiah. It’s harder work for the basket weavers but they are now paid more than when they were making market bags. I told them to be patient and work slowly. With their new earnings they can afford to go to Mecca on Hajj. They have a better quality of life. They still work as farmers; if they don’t harvest they make baskets.
What are Cayenne’s products and services?
We design ourselves. We have our own Interior designers and we design a collection. We work with a range of fabrics and textiles. Some are screen-printed.
We use Batik Tuban made in Tuban (East Java) and the material is made from scratch. We use Natural dyes. Some colours are limited, and difficult to use in our collections, because we rely on the natural dye process, and we don’t have natural dyes for all colours. The batik maker makes the fabric from scratch, such as Kapok (seed hair fibre).
The Ikat fabric we have here is sourced from Bali and Flores. We like Scandinavian interiors, and some of our furniture reflects that style.
We also have a design service and we do both residential and commercial projects. We also sell wholesale and the baskets and soft furnishing are particularly popular, and our blown glass has a following in hotels in South Africa.
We were recently invited to attend and exhibit at the Georgetown Festival in Penang, Malaysia. There were Artworks and Street Pop Ups from Indonesia and Singapore. We had a booth and were exhibiting with the Jakarta House Team at the Festival. I would like to see this idea here in Jakarta.
What are three Cayenne product best sellers?
Timber desks and furniture
Any tips for end of year decorating?
For the newly arrived to Jakarta, or those starting out I suggest:
Start with one or two large items like a bed
Include an Indonesian piece
Mix antique and the rest your own style
Go slow. Don’t fill up your house all at once. That’s the fun of it right!
Three words to describe your Jakarta?
Food is good
Crowded for sure
Magazines you are reading at the moment
Belle Magazine – the Australian one
Other go- to’s?
Pasar Santa – A local traditional market at Jl. Cipaku I (Petogogan, Kebayoran Baru), Jakarta Selatan. I go there on the weekend, and on the 3rd floor there is ABCD Coffee, Indonesian food and vintage clothing.
Jalan KH Wahid Hasyim No.127, Tanah Abang, Jakarta Pusat
Peranakan food is sold there
The Alwan lounge is in Kosenda Hotel. I also go there.
Jalan Kemang Selatan 8 no C-2
Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
*Kenalkan: let me introduce
Words: Liz and Jo Photography: a journey bespoke