Clothing was a new journey for the Cleobella team and while the first collection was made in Bali, Ange knew she also wanted to get back to India.
“In Bali, I was in factories all day,” Ange explains, “going to the button supplier, the trim supplier, every detail separately, and building a collection that way—very organic and raw—while riding around the island on a motorbike. It was exciting, I was hand sketching designs in my notebook, meeting new artisans, and working with patternmakers to bring my collections to life.”
As our company grew, we developed relationships with new factories in India to help expand our production capabilities, allowing Ange to focus on other areas of the business.
Meanwhile in Bali, we expanded our accessories business with Yeni and Harry, an early Cleobella partner. We contributed to a factory Harry built where he continues to make a majority of the brand’s leather goods. Ange says it’s been incredible to see the company’s partners' lives evolve over time, as Cleobella has grown and provided more and more work.
“Another example is Arief, we have been working together for over 10 years. He makes our hand-carved Bali bracelets. We sell them twice a year—for Mother’s Day and the holidays.
We have a waitlist every year and we love being able to make custom named bracelets for our customers while giving work to Arief and his family.
Over the years, Cleobella has grown its partnership in India, run by Rohita, a vital member to the company. She is on the ground in India, working and vetting all of the factories through Cleobella’s strict ethical agreement policy and certifications.
Through distance, language barriers, and of course, a global pandemic, it hasn’t always been the easiest or most cost-effective choice to work this way, but it’s a decision on which Ange never waivers.
The makers and artists in Indonesia and India have not only influenced Cleobella’s designs, but by staying so connected to these places through people and production, Ange sees Cleobella’s artisans as the lifeblood of the brand.