Bengok Craft is everywhere. That’s the word that can describe the existence of Bengok Craft. Not only providing its products in various cities, Bengok Craft is also a speaker or guest star at various events through media such as on Bass FM Radio Salatiga. This Islamic radio, located in Argomulyo, Salatiga Regency, often invites speakers in its interactive talkshow activities. As on 27 July 2022, Bengok Craft shared with the listeners of Bass FM Radio about its water hyacinth craft business. Attended directly by Firman Setyaji as the owner of Bengok Craft, he explained the early stage development of Bengok Craft to what it is today.
He said that Bengok Craft was originally there because he was worried about environmental problems in his hometown, Tuntang, Semarang Regency. In that area, there are many swamps, one of the biggest is Rawa Pening.
There are lots of water hyacinth plants that grow in the waters. Unfortunately, these plants are weeds because they disturb the swamp ecosystem. For example, many fish die because the wild water hyacinth spreads harmful compounds. The massive growth of water hyacinth is due to the use of agricultural fertilizers which are widely used by farmers around the swamp to fertilize their crops.
Therefore, usually water hyacinth is only cleaned, not infrequently it is also dried to be sold to collectors to be used as handicrafts in cities such as Yogyakarta and Pekalongan. Instead of being an item of less value, Firman Setyaji or well-known as Maskaspo took the initiative to produce his own water hyacinth craft, which of course, empowers the surrounding community. They were previously also provided with supplies on how to make water hyacinth crafts that were to the next level.
Maskaspo continued that the uniqueness of Bengok Craft lies in its natural materials, it does not use special dyes in its craft so as to produce an aesthetic but also classic craft. However, he also always follows the trend of market demand, often producing out of the box crafts such as helmets from water hyacinth.
Did not think, that his business is growing rapidly. Even though it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, slowly the business was able to bounce back. In fact, Bengok Craft has had the opportunity to participate in exports several times. The countries that he has entered are Italy, UAE, Singapore, and also Japan.
The exports did not escape the support of external parties such as local embassies, central banks, state-owned banks, and others. Now, the owner of Bengok Craft is increasingly optimistic that he can grow to expand his target market, such as to the United States.
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