our philosophy

What is precious to Nusantara

our story

A celebration of diversity

Inspired by the romantic imagery of far-off lands bathed in tropical warmth and sultry settings, Nusantara Collection embraces the exotic with its name and concept.

Our fashion, lifestyle, gift & art choices are a celebration of diversity… a re-discovery of the rich handcrafting traditions of the southeast asian region of Nusantara.

NUSANTARA

noo-suhn-tahr-rah

 

The word Nusantara is rooted in Old Javanese, and means “archipelago”—from NŪSA “island” + ANTARA “within”.  It is also said to originate from DVIPANTARA, which is 13th century Sanskrit for “islands in between”.

1855 Colton Map of the East Indies

1855 Colton Map of the East Indies covering most of the Nusantara region

From ancient times to modern day, the concept of Nusantara has shifted to suit different historical and geopolitical contexts. Nusantara covers the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and expands to Madagascar, the Christmas Islands and the Hawaiian islands.

Geographical extensions notwithstanding, the idea of Nusantara encompasses the extensive regional history where traders ply the route from the days of yore, bearing goods and religious exchanges.

From the looming Buddhist & Hindu homage in Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Jogjakarta’s Borobudor to the delicate potpourri of Chinese, Indian & Islamic elements found in the arts and cuisine—together with Portuguese, Dutch, English, Spanish, French & American influences—Nusantara is perceived as a region enriched by her global marriage and subsequently bears this in her embrace of life.

Suffused by these diverse elements, Nusantara Collection seeks to showcase our anthology of contemporary pieces distinctive of the region, our gateway awaiting the world’s embrace.

our mission

  • To source, nurture and develop artisans in southeast asia.

  • To showcase Nusantara’s centuries-old handcrafting traditions.

our team

A community of kindred spirits

Shoi-Yean Mak

Curator

Shoi is a professional designer and an experienced project manager. She has been marketing on the internet for well over a decade.  Her first job was with the BBC UK’s Politics & Current Affairs News Room in mid-1980. She then moved on to manage a London-based fashion house, coordinating their businesses worldwide—from manufacturing in China to retail outlets all across Europe and the US.

When she returned to Malaysia in the ’90s, she also ran her own interior design company before starting EMasters with Raymond Siew in 2002. In 2008, Shoi was the publisher/editor of It’s My Life and in-the-loop, EMasters’ lifestyle and business ezines with sponsored advertising. Shoi also conceptualized and co-developed EMasters’ viral distribution system & network and created EMasters ECourses as a viral marketing vehicle to launch a wide range of EMasters’ internet-based in-house brands as well as its joint ventures.

She currently heads Design by Shoi, a web & graphic design boutique offering custom-tailored design solutions to netpreneurs in the US & Canada. Her forte is designing elegant marketing websites and brand-building business collateral for social media & print.

When she’s not designing, Shoi indulges in her passions: fashion, movies, books, pretty things, her cat Angel, her son Mark. She loves an evening out with good company, good conversation & good food—preferably all at the same time.

Raymond Siew

Business Development
Co-Founder

Raymond’s entrepreneurial knowledge and insights are distilled from his 21-year exposure in the corporate arena and hands-on experience as a dealmaker in both local and foreign corporate environments, which include Fortune 500 as well as public-listed companies.

Raymond graduated from City & East London College in Optics and worked for Dollond & Aitchison (UK), the largest optical house in Europe with over 600 branches in the UK; he also worked in For Eyes, the fastest-growing optical chain in the UK during the late 80’s and also the first optical house to go for public listing. Shortly after returning to Malaysia in the 1990’s, Raymond shifted focus from the optical industry and he started his own Construction and Interior Design company.

In 1997, Raymond was Corporate Projects Director of a multinational development company with projects in Australia, China, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. His portfolio covered the group’s construction subsidiaries in Malaysia with the brief to coordinate with key personnel to identify and negotiate corporate level contracts in Malaysia.

Raymond started EMasters with Shoi in 2002 and successfully turned EMasters into a profitable company in 2007. He is currently responsible for the development of EMasters and its suite of services.

He was also the Mind Coach (non-technical) for the Malaysian Chess Team and successfully coached and raised national chess players from scratch, identifying talent and nurturing them to the very top of the pinnacle in Malaysia. However, Raymond’s favorite game remains bridge.