They are the co-founders of probably the most successful local women clothing brand, Cottonink, in Indonesia, and the very best of friends! It’s quite impossible not to feel a bit of jealousy upon seeing the dynamic duo empower each other and the local community as well.
For the longest time, Carline and Ria is the epitome of female friendship. Not only does their business is put on public display (10 years and counting!), but their friendship too! Everyone has grown to know them and perhaps wonder, "how do they do it? What does it take to strike a balance between being good friends and business partners?"
Reminiscing back to their days before the birth of CottonInk, Ria told us that their friendship was different at the time. To Ria who didn’t buy into the whole idea of “BFF”, the idea was just casual t-shirt business with Carline - not an empire of clothing brand that now becomes a staple in any girl’s wardrobe.
“I have never expected CottonInk to be a long term project with Ria, but I’m glad it became what it is today," Carline said. She further claimed that they have both grown, personally and professionally, while learning more about their dynamics which made them stronger individually and as a team. But their friendship is not without challenges. Communication is sometimes the hardest for the two friends. For Carline, being friends help with the communication, but at the same time, it’s never easy to put out criticism. That’s why both of them agree on better communication in everything. Ria avoids pushing Carline’s button while Carline simply knows how to differentiate the friends and business sides of things with Ria.
It also helps that they both share the same vision, despite each being a strongly opinionated person. “Different opinions don’t matter, as long as you can talk it out, lay some ground rules and still be on the same page of what your business vision is at the end of the day," they both said.
Business is always about professionalism, so Ria and Carline always put their best self to work and never take each other for granted. Communication is key which will allow them to develop a strong dynamic, focus better, make the right decision and grow bigger. All of these strategies have allowed CottonInk to reach quite a significant growth, with more hiring and branching out all over Indonesia.
After all the hard work, confettis, all life’s ups and downs, how do these two see each other now?
“She’s the entire package: a friend, business partner, and sister for life," Ria speaks of Carline. To which Carline replies, “And she’s my anchor and inspiration."
Yes, we’re 100% jealous now. All the best to Ria, Carline, CottonInk and whatever creative projects they may have in the future. May every girl be as lucky to have found a sister soulmate as you both!
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