Rita Tambunan, a playground equipment vendor, sketched Minnie Mouse on the seat of a swing, saying that the drawing could add value to the equipment.
The 53-year-old woman is one of the sellers of playground equipment who operate on the side of the Pulomas overpass in East Jakarta.
They display colorful playground equipment such as swings, slides and seesaws alongside the road in an effort to attract customers.
Having 20 years’ experience in the playground equipment business, Rita claimed that her products were widely used not only by Jakartans but also by people from outside the capital city. She could sell around 20 units of equipment per month, with prices ranging from Rp 1 million (US$75.10) to Rp 6 million.
“Our customers come from various backgrounds, from schools and companies to private homes. They come from Greater Jakarta, Bandung in West Java, Sorong in Papua and even cities in Malaysia,” she told The Jakarta Post recently, adding that her company was also asked to supply equipment for the city administration’s projects.
Rita said that last year the administration ordered 50 units of her playground equipment to be distributed to early-childhood education centers (PAUD) in the city.
“A television station once ordered 1,000 units from us for their charity program,” she said, adding that so far her business generated enough income for her and 20 employees who worked at the company’s workshop in Cimanggis, East Jakarta.
May Melanie, the owner of Rumah Pohonku (My Tree House), which provides imported and self-fabricated playground equipment, noted that orders for playground equipment kept coming despite the slow economy.
“This year is quite different. We used to receive fewer orders at the beginning of the year, but this year, people keep ordering our products,” she said at her office in Jatibening, Bekasi, West Java on Tuesday, noting that her toy store downstairs had fewer transactions instead.
May told the Post that she started the business in 2008 by exhibiting her tree house designs at an exhibition. “I got a very warm response, so we started to produce the tree houses, including playground equipment, commercially in early 2009,” she said.
Initially, she used the same materials as playground equipment that was sold on the side of the road. However, due to her customers’ demands, she upgraded the quality of her materials and changed the target market. Her products now use imported parts but still fabricate the structures at a workshop in Pondok Ungu, Bekasi, West Java.
Rumah Pohonku has supplied playground equipment for private homes, malls, apartments, hotels, schools and offices in many places in Greater Jakarta, and Bali, Makassar in South Sulawesi, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
The company offers its products at prices starting from Rp 4 million for individual equipment, to Rp 20 million for a playground set and Rp 30 million for a tree house.
According to May, he company booked around Rp 1 billion in revenue last year.
Jakarta expects to see a larger number of children’s parks in the upcoming years as the city administration plans to build around 60 child-friendly parks this year as part of its target to build 300 parks by 2017. In 2013, then Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo launched the “Jakarta child-friendly” program, in support of which the administration will add more public spaces, including parks and playgrounds. (prm)
Sultan Babullah airport in Ternate, North Maluku was shut down this morning following the eruption of nearby Mount Gamalama.
“It was shut down at 10 a.m. local time after Mt. Gamalama erupted,” Transportation Ministry spokesman JA Barata said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Barata said he did not know when the airport would be reopened, as the authorities were still waiting for updates on weather conditions in the area.
Mt. Gamalama erupted at 9:58 a.m. local time, spewing dark clouds of volcanic ash around 1,500 meters into the sky.
The volcano had shown an increase in activity since Wednesday, including volcanic tremors reaching 90 times.
Mt. Gamalama’s last eruption was in December 2015. The eruption disrupted economic activities in Ternate and forced air authorities to shut the airport for two weeks because of the thick volcanic ash. (ika)