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Dropping in on the John Hardy compound in Bali

August 27th, 2013


One of the employees at John Hardy in Bali, arranges pieces in one of the bamboo and glass jewelry cases.Nadine Kam photos

BALI, INDONESIA — I feel so lucky and privileged to have been able to visit the John Hardy compound outside Ubud, where I traveled with designer Amos Kotomori. We were able to observe the entire jewelry-making process, from illustration to wax carving, to seeing the cast silver pieces in unpolished state, and the final pieces on display in a sustainable bamboo showroom. (It's not easy walking on bamboo tubes. I felt like I needed monkey toes to prevent myself from rolling off.)

When I see the finished jewelry gleaming in the showcases at Neiman Marcus, of course I can see the work that goes into them, and intellectually, I know that someone made these pieces by hand. But actually seeing the painstaking work of individual links being made and ropes of it being woven by hand gave me an even greater appreciation for the company's jewelry.

How I came to visit the John Hardy compound in Mambai, Bali, started with owner/creative director Guy Bedarida's visit to NM in fall of 2011. I interviewed him and he showed me a book featuring a photo of the factory compound, set up to evoke a Balinese warung, or household with a small shop out front, each with its own specialty to share with neighbors.

We also talked about the idea of the village and how he feeds his all his employees, now numbering 700, lunch every day, along with guests. I was taken by the idea and how it makes so much sense to keep employees happy, and how American companies would do well to follow his example.

At the time, he invited me to come to Bali, but I didn't know when I'd be able to make it there, and I'm glad I was able to visit. I enjoyed every minute of the experience.

A previous post is here:

If you want to see more about the food, visit my other blog:


Wax models for a bracelet and ring, with a block of wax shown against a background of illustrations that carvers were working from, as below:


Looks like a Naga (dragon) collection piece in the works, like one of the examples below:

John Hardy photo


Sri Utami shows a wax model work in progress that will be used to create a silver stapler that may become one of many John Hardy lifestyle products.


Villa Bodhi manager Made Sukadana crosses the pond surrounding the manufacturing shop on stepping stones. Not wishing to fall into the water, I took a route through the grass, where one could also fall into the water if not careful. Round-topped stepping stones lining the pathways throughout the property make it necessary to wear flats when visiting the compound. It's quite a workout.

cast silver

Cast silver pieces from the Naga collection await polishing.


A wax model of a Bamboo collection cuff, in green, is shown with a finished cuff at top right.


The same level of attention and precision goes into the smallest beads.


Polishing a flex cuff from the Dot collection.


Hammering silver and gold that go into the Palu collection, with an example of the finished pieces below:


John Hardy photo

Treasures await at Night Market

May 18th, 2013

quinceNadine Kam photos
Marissa Selders at Quince Home.

If you're stopping by Honolulu Night Market today, check out Quince Home next to the Pinch of Salt pop-up shops.

That's where owner Marissa Selders merges her retail and interior design background to offer a few of her favorite ideas and objects for the home, full of color and whimsy.

While there I also ran into Jenny Cao-Wu, who launched the website, catering to an underserved market in Hawaii, career women who want to balance the need to be professionally conservative, but personally edgy, not dowdy.

Although Jenny offers clothing from across the nation, at the Night Market, her focus will be apparel by local designers Allison Izu, Umee, and 19th & Whimsy.

The events are centered around 683 Auahi St., from 6 to 11 p.m., with an "I Love Kakaako" fashion show at 8.

fashionThis ensemble from Darling is among the designs featured at Jenny Cao-Wu's online shopping site,, highlighting career wear from emerging designers.

qtableTabletop treats at Quince.

qbookshelfOn the bookshelf.

quincedisplayColorful cupboards.

qblocksDecorative woodblocks.

quincemEven Quince's mascot is colorful. He hangs out by the door so don't step on him.

quincesoapA beautiful selection of bath bars.

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