Chrisanti from Indonesia

From a design degree in Sydney to founding one of Indonesia’s biggest digital beauty platforms.

Chrisanti, a woman from Indonesia stands facing the camera clasping her hands together.

Through my education in Australia, I had the opportunity to pursue my passion for design whilst learning from the best in the industry. My experience equipped me with the skills needed to tackle complex challenges and create innovative solutions.

Today, I'm a co-founder of Sociolla, an Indonesian e-commerce platform for beauty and wellness products. Now one of the biggest platforms of its kind in the country, Sociolla has also expanded into Vietnam, has added a physical retail presence in Indonesia and its website hosts nearly five million visitors each month.

My story

Growing up, I loved art and being creative, and I dreamed of becoming a designer.

It was my time as a design student in Australia that then sparked my interest in beauty, branding and digital marketing. I studied a Bachelor of Applied Design at Billy Blue College of Design in Sydney, which had been recommended to me by a family member as a vibrant and inspiring design school.

Studying in Australia

Studying in Australia was very enjoyable. It's very multicultural and I met people from all over the world. Everyone was very welcoming, and I felt very much at home.

One of the best things about studying at Billy Blue was the hands-on training I received. The lecturers were all industry experts, working in the best places or even owning their own design firms. There was also a lot of practical knowledge and exposures within the courses, as well as the opportunity to do industry-based learning and internships.

The course covered more than just graphic design. I studied environmental design, web design, illustration, filmmaking and even environmental branding. I also learnt a lot from my classmates, many of whom had already worked in the industry all around the world, and had travelled to Australia to learn more because they said Billy Blue is one of the world's best design schools. 

Starting my own business

One of the most important things that I've learned is that being a designer is about solving problems. When I returned to Indonesia I realised it was very difficult to buy beauty products online even though e-commerce was booming. In Australia, I had become really interested in beauty and I could buy my favourite international brands on digital platforms, so I decided to use the skills I'd learnt there to create something similar for Indonesian consumers.

I teamed up with my two partners, and together we launched Sociolla in 2015. Today we have grown the business into a beauty and personal care ecosystem. This includes Sociolla as the omnichannel retail business, SOCO as the beauty super app and Beauty Journal as the leading beauty and lifestyle digital media platform. We are also growing a brand development business that distributes beauty products nationwide.

The three of us come from very different backgrounds, and my experience in Australia has been extremely important in building the business. I learned about how to work with global brands, how to build a brand, how to create a consumer centric product and experience and, of course, the importance of good design.

It's a great feeling to know that something we created is making a big impact on our community. What I love the most is how launching Sociolla changed the whole industry. It's not just us now. We've helped to accelerate beauty industry growth across Indonesia.