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[Interview]: Francine Lestari - Mudita & Denise

by : JCL Team , 12 January 2014
[Interview]: Francine Lestari - Mudita & Denise

Located at the South of Jakarta, Francine Lestari was established in June 2011. The JCL Team was lucky enough to have an interview with the two owners of this pretigious design firm, Francine Denise Tjoitang and Mudita Lestari.

Just a brief information regarding their background, Denise & Mudita have been working in the interior design field for about 4 years after graduated from each university. Denise went to Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England and Mudita went to Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia. Both of these talented women worked one year abroad then decided to go home.

Mudita Lestari in the Middle
(photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/muditalestari)


JCL: Tell us a little bit about yourselves. How did you two get started in the field of Interior Design?

Denise: In Jakarta, me and Mudita met at an architect firm office. We both worked there for about 2 years then decided it would be bold and best to start our own venture.

Denise Tjoitang on the Left
(photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/denisetjoitang)

JCL: Any initial goals?

Denise: Our goal is to be well known in what we specialize in. Interior design consultant. To have a signature style of interior. 

JCL: What led you to be passionate in interior design? 

Denise: To be honest no one in my family has done interior design. I was the first in the family to go down this path. I discovered my passion when I was about 10years old. I started to flip through design magazine and was enchanted on how interior design can transform how you feel towards a space. 

Mudita: My passion came when I actually enrolling into interior design course back in my university. When I started to explore ideas and put them into sketches. No one in my family actually knows exactly what is interior design. The more I learn and work in this industry make me love designing even more.

Kramat Residence Designed by Francine Lestari
(photo courtesy of www.coroflot.com)

JCL:  Who would you consider to be your role models? 

D&M: Terence Conran, Kelly Hoppen, Kelly Wearstler and Tom Dixon. 

JCL: Nice, tell us something about Jakarta’s interior design scene!

D&M: Jakarta is growing, especially in the design industry. People no longer look for famous interior designer. People look for innovative and creative and fresh designer that can bring something else to the table with a reasonable price. I believe that was our queue to start our own venture. 

 McDonalds Artha Gading Designed by Francine Lestari
(photo courtesy of www.coroflot.com)

JCL: How did you manage to scale your networks? 

D&M: We have built a good network connection of some high end suppliers and maintain good relationship with our best clients. Finance wise, we started out of our own pocket. 

JCL: Were there any periods of crisis or pressure you’d like to point out?  

D&M: We started out when we already have several projects. So when the company was started, we already had projects in our hand. Pressure will always be there as the owner of the company. But we believe when we do our job whole heartedly, good things will come out. 

Convivium Cafe Deli Designed by Francine Lestari
(photo courtesy of www.coroflot.com)

JCL: What type of characteristics do you value in the hiring process? 

D&M: We advertise it through word of mouth and jobsdb. Through hiring process, what we look for in a candidate is firstly their skills and the way they carry themself. Interior design is a service that requires you to look in a certain way. 

JCL: What is your perspective on success? 

D&M: When the clients are satisfied with the result and suggested us to someone else. Or when a supplier refer to us when their client is looking for an interior designer. 

Nassim Park Residence, Singapore, Designed by Francine Lestari
(photo courtesy of www.coroflot.com)

JCL: What do you consider as your most valuable asset? And what would you change if you had the chance of going back?

D&M: Our creativity of designing and willing to take a risk of concept-ing fresh idea to the market. We wouldn't change a thing to be honest. 

JCL: What are some of things that motivate you? Is it attributed to client satisfaction or prestige?  

D&M: Seeing someone's success in the same filed makes us much more motivated to be even better. And the urge of wanting to change the way people see and feel the space, maybe a better appreciation of good and well thought design. 

Widyachandra Residence Designed by Francine Lestari
(photo courtesy of www.coroflot.com)

JCL: Finally, what sort of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

D&M: Take risk, be smart with the risk. And maintain a great customer service. 

Francine Lestari

Email: info@francinelestari.com
Website: www.francinelestari.com
Phone: +6221 3422 2120/ 549 1831

Jl. Biduri Bulan Blok 1 No. 9-10
Perkantoran Permata Hijau
Jakarta Selatan, 12210, Indonesia




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