'We have to uphold our roots': Kampong Glam kebaya maker

‘We’ve got to uphold our roots’: Kampong Glam kebaya maker

“It was a bit forward of its time. Individuals weren’t but shopping for espresso at S$8. They have been nonetheless consuming teh sarbat,” Ratianah mentioned, including that “to do enterprise, you can’t be ‘shiok sendiri’ (self-absorbed)”. 

The newest instance of Ratianah’s potential to be nimble together with her enterprise was the pandemic. With few to no walk-in clients, she began making batik face masks to promote. The masks alone sustained the enterprise for six months, she mentioned. 


Ratianah hopes that her work will encourage youthful generations to hold on the baju kurung and kebaya custom. 

“Regardless of how trend goes, we’ve got to uphold our roots. I’ve to cease the younger from having a notion that (the baju kurung and kebaya) are outdated. I’ve to show them easy methods to respect high quality of their garments,” she mentioned. 

Thus far, Ratianah has been profitable. It’s not solely artistes who mannequin her garments on social media. Her youthful clients – many of their 20s – typically share pictures of their outfits that she then posts on her Fb and Instagram accounts. Loads of these pictures are from {couples} who put on Ratianah’s creations for his or her wedding ceremony photograph shoots. 

Her personal daughter, Putri, might be the largest fan of her work. The couple instructed me she has been serving to them since she was 12. Now 29 and a Singapore Institute of Administration graduate, she works on the retailer full-time. 

“After graduating, she didn’t wish to discover one other job. She feels prefer it’s part of her. My enterprise isn’t just a buying and selling enterprise – it’s about creating. It’s a model,” mentioned Ratianah.