“We wanted to sell a branded product that is clearly labelled ‘Made in Indonesia’.”
D’Eyeko is a brand created in 2010 by Audrie Sukoco, 41, and Yohanes Ferry, 42, for their premium fake eyelashes products. The two own eyelash maker PT Bintang Mas Triyasa, which they started in 2008 to make fake eyelashes on an OEM basis under the brand Eyelashes World. Yet they decided, after two years in the business, that it was time for them to make their own branded eyelashes. The D’Eyeko brand is an abbreviation of the name “the eye cosmetic,” and applies to premium fakes eyelashes and related products, such as glue and applicators.
The company is based in Purbalingga, where Audrie grew up, and which from the 1980s has become a global center for production of hair-based products, such as wigs and fake eyelashes. About 30 companies focus on making fake eyelashes in the city. Last year, the value of human hair-based products, including wigs and fake eyelashes, was $64 million, much of it made in Purbalingga, according to government data. Purbalingga’s production is also exported, typically on an OEM basis for other, usually international, brands.
Audrie, whose father sold hair in the 1970s, became concerned by the dominance of international companies in the business. About half of the eyelash companies in Purbalingga are foreign-owned. “In the Purbalingga companies, the workers are all Indonesian, and even some managers and directors were locals, so why don’t Indonesians become owners too? Also, we wanted to sell a branded product that was clearly labeled ‘made in Indonesia’,” says Audrie.
He and Ferry built the company, and then the D’Eyeko brand, to go head-to-head with the foreign-owned factories and brands. D’Eyeko is distributed globally, with the main export destinations being Europe, especially Balkan countries; Latin America, with distributors in Ecuador and Columbia; and the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia. D’Eyeko has nearly 100 variants for export, with differentiation in length, thickness, and style. The founders continuosly innovate, such as supplying the current trend for double lashes and 3D lashes.
The company has two factories covering nearly two hectares in Purbalingga. Started with only 50 staff nine years ago, the company has grown rapidly and now employs more than 2,000 full-time and 6,000 contract staff. The eyelashes are made from real human hair, and each month, the factories buy 1.5 tonnes of hair. Forbes Indonesia estimates total production is around 2.5 million pairs of eyelashes a year. Some 90% of the production is exported, both as OEM and under the D’Eyeko brand, the rest is for the domestic market.