Bersatu is the Bahasa Indonesian word for “united.” Bersatu was founded in 2011 and has its roots in Bali, Indonesia and San Francisco, CA. All products are hand made by Indonesians using locally available materials. Bersatu was founded by friends Analisa Hightower and Cissy DeLuca.
Bersatu seeks to provide income generating activities for Indonesians through the creation of simple, chic, Bali-inspired jewelry and accessories. Bali is known worldwide for its abundance of crafts and talented artisans.
Cissy first visited Indonesia in 2009, then moved there full time in 2010. Shortly after moving there, she noticed the high levels of unemployment among the women living in her neighborhood. She became aware of the craftmanship skills of some of her neighbors after learning they made leather straps for sandals, but for a very small wage. The opportunity to directly impact the lives of those around her seemed to present itself.
Cissy reached out to Analisa knowing that she would be a useful resource in San Francisco. Shortly after, Analisa took a vacation to Indonesia and they then decided to work together to create Bersatu.
Santi is 30 years old and is originally from Mojokerto, East Java. She attended school up to Junior High School. She is married and has a twleve year old daughter in school. She has lived in Pemogan, Bali for 3 years. Her husband works as craftman and makes shoes. He also makes all of the Bersatu snakeskin products.
In August 2011, Santi’s mother fell very ill and Santi returned to East Java to care for her. Santi is currently not making jewelry, but plans to return to Bali and continue her work with Bersatu as soon as she can.
Marta is the youngest member of Bersatu. She is 23 years old and has two young children; ages 3 years and 1 month. She is originally from Sabu Island, which is a small island in East Indonesia. Her husband works as a driver.
Jana is 28 years old and originally from Sumba, Indonesia. She completed school through the Elementary level and is currently pregnant with her first child. Her husband works at an art shop and they have been living in Pemogan, Bali for 1 year.
Jana gave birth to her baby in early September 2011. One week after she gave birth her husband was killed in a motorbike accident. She is now living in Kupang with her family and is uncertain if she will return to Bali.
Komang is the only member of Bersatu originally from Bali. She is 27 years old and has 1 child. Her 3 year old son is named Bayou and he is a regular fixture at Bersatu meetings. Komang completed school through Junior High School and her husband works at a handy store.
Neneng is 39 years old and hails from Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. She completed her education through high school and has 2 adult children. Her husband works at an agricultural office and they have lived in Pemogan, Bali for 5 years. For personal reasons, Neneng did not want her picture taken for the website.
Herman is married and cares for his wife’s 2 children from a previous relationship. He is skilled in making handbags, wallets, belts, accessories, shoes and other crafts. He works at his home and has a team of 3 men who help him fill orders. Along with producing all of Beratu’s snakeskin products, he also gets business from an Australian company.
Cissy oversees all development and operations activities.
Cissy has a number of years experience working in international development. She served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and subsequent experience includes positions in private equity and with the donor-advised grant-making organization, Give2Asia. Cissy currently works for Kiva.org as a Senior Field Support Specialist in Asia. Cissy graduated with a BA in International Business from the College of Charleston.
Cissy enjoys all that Bali has to offer. In her free time, she can usually be found scuba diving, surfing or soaking up the sun on the beach with a good book!
San Francisco, CA
Analisa started out as an entrepreneur, manufacturing consumer products and selling them in the US. She decided to intern at Kiva in 2008 because she was attracted to the mission of helping entrepreneurs in the developing world. She graduated with a BA in legal studies from UC Berkeley and currently works as a consultant in healthcare.
She lives in the Bay Area and can be found hiking, cooking, eating and playing with her four labradors!
Heny facilitates the day to day production activities.
Heny was born and raised in Bali. After studying International Management in Surabaya, she returned to Bali to work at a foreign-owned silver jewelry company as a personal assistant. Heny’s husband works at a sports store in Denpasar and during their free time they enjoy traveling to new places in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, as well as eating new foods!