Interview – Aradea Respati, co-founder Voyej -part 2
In part one of this interview we spoke with Aradea Respati, one of the five co-founders of Voyej Leather Goods, about the start of the company and the production process at Voyej. Today we want to talk about Voyej nowadays and their dreams for the future. Aradea will also explain the difference between the Asian and Western market.
Robin Denim: If you had to describe Voyej Leather Goods in three sentences, what would it look like?
Aradea Respati: Voyej is high on details and always aiming for the best quality possible. Every person deserves their own journey, therefore Voyej provides that through leather aging with the use of vegetable tanned leather. Daily activities will result in leather patina which is a very personal experience since every person matures differently.
Robin Denim: What are the most innovative items Voyej has designed?
Aradea Respati: “Threadless” designs on Caravel III and Discovery III which virtually have no visible exterior stitching but still maintain hand-stitching construction on the inside. The absence of exterior stitching means better experience on leather aging, commonly known as patina.
Robin Denim: There are so many Leather brands, what makes Voyej so special?
Aradea Respati: We are a Leather Goods company that provides experience and journeys through leather goods. Our goods are very personal to the users because every stroke, every scratch and every mark will tell its own story. We are here to accompany every user out there with quality goods so they can start their own journey. Besides we want them to understand what makes vegetable tanned leather so special. All our products are handmade with pure passion and all the design elements in it are our own creation. We developed the designs inspired from many things around us, especially our brand ideology.
Robin Denim: What are your dreams and plans for the future?
Aradea Respati: First, we want to become big and popular in the South East Asian market, then we want to archive world recognition through our signature products and our branding.
We also dream about our own workshop so we can expand our range of leather goods and increase flexibility for customization such as one-off products and truly customized goods.
Robin Denim: You mentioned you want to become big in Asia. Is Asia your priority?
Aradea Respati: Yes, our focus is on Asia, especially South East Asia at this time. We all grew up in the denim/jeans community in Indonesia so we know the market from the inside. We got our recognition from neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. And within the same region the buyer perspective is relatively similar, so the acceptance of our product is easier and our price range is reachable for the South East Asian market.
In the early days of Voyej, we spread our wings to online forums such as superfutere.com. So people all around the world are aware of our brand. Since 2012 we also maintain our Instagram account and this really connects us to broader markets. We also have provided worldwide shipping since the existence of our brand, therefore people from all around the world are able to buy our products.
Robin Denim: Can you name the differences between the South East Asian market and the Western market?
Aradea Respati: The Indonesian or the South East Asian market is more sensitive to the price of the products. They look into the product specifications and the technical information more seriously because our price range isn’t cheap. Many Asian countries, including Indonesia, are driven by fashion trends. Indonesians are very sensitive on the hypes and we grew bigger and bigger being a part of it.
The Western market (Europe & USA) is different. In these markets our products’ prices are in competition with big names from their countries or even with Japanese brands. Our price-to-quality is higher, which means higher product value. Despite all the advantages, our product distribution and our brand recognition is not so high in the Western market yet, as not many are aware of Voyej, even though we offer better value.
One more note.. since we are focusing on the South East Asian market, our products are designed to our currency. This means that some wallets (for example some of our short wallets) aren’t suitable for bigger bills than the Indonesian Rupiah. But of course customers can choose another wallet, like the medium or long wallet. instead.
You can find more about Voyej on their website.