Gillian's Farewell

Hi there. If you’ve seen our website, visited our boutique, or perhaps met us at a pop-up bazaar in the past year, you may know me. My name is Gillian. I graduated last June from Union College in New York with a Minerva Fellowship meant to instill an entrepreneurial approach to solving social issues in developing nations, and moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to volunteer for Batik Boutique. In my time here, I have gotten to experience a little bit of everything, and I’ve been witness to the growth of Batik Boutique.

Soon after arriving, I went with the team to Kelantan to meet our batik artisans. I got to witness first-hand the expert artisans at work, and learned just how incredible the art of batik is. I listened to their interviews and learned how long some of them worked in batik and what each of them loved about it. Seeing this part of the business was eye-opening, and this part of Malaysia is truly beautiful.

Batik Boutique team with Batik artisans

Batik Boutique team with batik artisans

Gillian Henry International Minerva Fellow with Batik Boutique

During the holiday season, I met many locals and expats at numerous bazaars. Being involved in the festive hustle and bustle introduced me to a community of other entrepreneurs and artists, and I was able to see many other parts of Malaysia, including my favorite stop, Penang!

Batik Boutique team with Maybank Investment Bank at Zafigo X Bazaar

In December, Batik Boutique accomplished a big feat in opening its first brick and mortar boutique. I worked hard to help reach opening day, assisting with the Point of Sale system, marketing for the event, and serving customers at the Grand Opening.

Batik Boutique grand opening

Batik Boutique Founder and CEO Amy Blair with Minerva Fellow Gillian Henry

I helped with a few sewing training programs, taught women the basics of sewing at the sewing center run by Batik Boutique, and trained women from Kuala Krai on higher level sewing skills. Working on-on-one with these women was incredibly impactful to me.

Batik Boutique training in Kuala Krai

Batik Boutique sewing training in Kuala Krai

Now that my time with Batik Boutique is up, I will return to my alma mater and teach others about my experiences. While I am excited to return home, I will miss all the wonderful friends I made in Malaysia.

Be sure to follow the journey of Batik Boutique.

Do check out the wonderful handmade products for sale online, and remember shipping is FREE to US and Malaysia. 

Or stop by our retail outlet in Kuala Lumpur at 3, Jalan 26/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur 50480 Malaysia. 

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment