How A Sabahan Woman Started A Global Handicraft Company With Only RM500

Last update: 08/10/2019

Narty Raitom, 35, is a native of Kampung Batu Lunguyan, Sook, Keningau who dreamt to be a teacher when she was a little girl.

However, at 10 years old, she developed a passionate interest in making handicrafts. 

The little girl who wanted to be a teacher, was now diligently learning to be a craftswoman under the guidance of her mother, who was a traditional craftswoman.

"My mother taught me about the art of crafts at a young age, and she convinced me that handicrafts can be a source of income to support families,” Narty said.

Over the years, she has mastered her art and in 2011 Narty started Magicbamboo with only RM500. 

Among others, the company makes bamboo-based bags, designed in various shapes and are now being used by global communities in Germany, the United States, China, Asia, and Europe. 

“I began with bamboo-based promotional souvenirs and gift services and never expected the home-based business to boom and have a global handicraft market,” she said, adding that all products are based on customers’ demand.

Narty added her team is in the midst of preparing a 15-metre bamboo mat for an exhibition in Singapore museum.

The specially designed mat, which will showcase the concept of the Kadazandusun and Murut community lifestyle, would take two months to complete and is priced at RM20,000, she said, adding that some 50 kilogrammes of bamboo blades are used to prepare the mat.