10 Minutes with Pak Nana | Jakarta Tailor

Jakarta tailor, Pak Nana is a very busy man! So today he has kindly agreed to our ’10 Minute Interview Challenge’ before his next client steps in, or his phone begins to ring and buzz next to his sewing machine.

So we had better get started …

Pak Nana, your time starts … now!

Kenalkan Pak Nana

What is your full name?
My name is Nana.

Where were you born?
I was born in Banten, the Western most Province of Java, on January 21, 1975

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I always wanted to be a business man and be independent. I had ideas and wanted to try them out. But I particularly wanted to be a designer of clothes.

Where do you live?
I live in Bogor with my wife and two children. I also have a tailoring business in my house.  I employ 3 people to help me in the Bogor business.

Can you tell us about your family?
My wife is originally from Bogor. Her name is Sriyani. We have two boys. Nopan is 10 years old and Jonatan is 14 months.

In my larger family there are five children.  I am the eldest. Next is my sister Een, she is a teacher of Elementary School. Then my brother Tian, he is a Junior High School teacher, followed by my brother Apit, he is a Tailor in our village of Banten. My youngest brother’s name is Agus, he is in the Indonesian Navy.

…..We pause for a minute Pak has a call coming in …

Pak Nana checking his phone

How long is the trip to your tailor studio each morning from Bogor?
Between 1 hour and 1.5.hours by motor bike.

Have you always worked in Jakarta?
I have moved in and out of Jakarta for 20 years, and have always worked as a tailor.

Pak Nana cutting thread

Where did you learn to be a tailor?
I learned how to be a tailor in my kampung (village) when I was growing up in Banten.

Pak sewing a button

Who taught you tailoring skills?
My two uncles taught me. My Uncle Pak Ojat and Pak Dedang  both taught me how to sew and make clothes. They are still tailors in our kampung in Banten. They make uniforms for children in schools and officers uniforms.

Chatting with Pak Nana

Before you started your business in Pondok Indah, where did you work?
Before I started my own business in Pondok Indah I worked in a boutique making clothes and gaining experience.

How long have you had your tailoring business in Pondok Indah?
2 years now.

What is your favourite piece of fabric to work with? and Why?
Pekalongan batik is my favourite to work with. It is colourful and dates back to the 12th Century. It is made by batik stamp in Pekalongan, which is in Central Java and famous for its batik. The Pekalongan Batik Museum is there, if you want to visit it. Pekalongan is on the coast and situated just before Semarang. Pekalongan batik is also a favourite of many people who come to my shop. This rich maroon cloth I’m working with now is Pekalongan batik.

Pak Nanas favourite fabric

What is your favourite type of clothing to make? Why?
I really like to make simple clothes for women and for men. For women I like to make blouses and dresses.

Most common piece of clothing you are asked to make?
Dresses and Kabaya

Alterations? Yes! I do lot’s of different kinds of alterations for men and for women.

Where is the best place to buy fabric in Jakarta?
Pasar Mayestik

Batik ready for buttons

Batik Dobi

What is your favourite food? Mie Ayam (chicken noodles) from Banten. Also I like Sundanese food such as Lalapan. It is a raw vegetable salad served with sambal terasi.

What is your favourite drink? Juice – orange, sometimes I make it myself, sometimes I buy it

Pak Nana smiling

Whenever I am in Pak Nana’s shop I hear him humming as he moves around and works at his sewing machine. So I had to ask him about music.
Do you have a favourite band or singer you enjoy listening or humming to?

I like to hum at work because I find it relaxing. I also like to sing. I like Pop and Slow Rock particularly Air Supply, West Life and Scorpion. I also listen to local singer Iwan Fals

Liz and Pak Nana and his favourite batik

Terima kasih banyak (thank you very much) Pak Nana! We have crossed the interview finishing line.
Thank you for sharing some of your tailoring journey with us. We hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

Sampai Jumpa Lagi Pak!
(See you again later!)

You can find Pak Nana at his small studio:
Finenovan Tailor and Modeste
Jl. Terogong Raya No. 36
Cilandak Barat / Pondok Indah

(opposite JIS, and at the back of the row of shops in this complex)

Whatsapp: +62 0877 2178 4993
(Pak Nana speaks a little English)

Pak Nana and his tailor shop on Jl Terogong Raya Pondok Indah

* Kenalkan – Let me introduce

To read more about Pak Nana and Jl. Terogong Raya, the street where Pak has his studio, click here
10 Top Spots to Stop on Jl. Terogong Raya.

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Pasar Tanah Abang – South East Asia’s Largest Fabric Market
Jakarta Tailor | Ibu Yana Tjo
The Bogor Botanical Gardens

Words: Liz  Photography: a journey bespoke


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