Words are not enough to label Stacia Hadiutomo - and anyway, what for? Stacia does every creative thing you could think of; from designing layouts on magazines, giving creative direction, curating an exhibition, designing carpets, to being a mother! Stacia is the creative director of FFF zine and one of the creatives behind The Good Things in Life.
We met Stacia during her family trip in Bali. She was excited with the sun, conversations, and people - she always is. We talked about her inspiration, her heort to keep doing what she loves, what’s coming for FFF zine, and her idea of a wholesome day.
What makes you excited these days?
The sun! When the sun is up, it gives me that energy, "I'm in!". But also sunsets in every place I go.
I really looked up to FFF, coming from someone who writes a food newsletter - That time with the God Of Cookery and Laila Gohar especially. It was such an inspiration to see people who are pretty niche, getting some awareness through a printed magazine. Also, in 2015, at that time, there were not many publications on food that were fun but also in-depth, what drove you and Zac to create FFF?
Zac and I used to work together at Oyster Magazine, a Sydney-based magazine that covers fashion, music and pop culture. We became good friends, and when we both were no longer at Oyster, we decided to start FFF Zine. When we started, it seemed really funny to combine food and fashion. But then lots of people started to do similar projects that were all about the aesthetics of meal time, and it didn't seem so weird or silly suddenly; but I think ours stands apart. I think both Zac and I believe that food and clothes are things to enjoy and experiment with. We wanted to make something that was a bit chaotic and messy and colorful. We just had fun with it.
We work really hard to find fabulous people that are role models of sorts to us, and we try to both humanize our subjects and present them really respectfully while also providing a space for our contributors to experiment and go nuts. It's a tricky line to walk, but if we ever get it right, I think we'll be doing something really cool!
So you guys are very much continuing the creativity that you've had. What is the challenge to run a printed media these days and how do you balance between creativity and business?
When we first started, FFF was a way for us to work creatively without being restricted by the needs of a client. It didn’t ever feel like work when we were putting those issues together because we were totally free to do what we wanted.
Running your own magazine with only two people behind it was very challenging. You have to explore other aspects besides creativity: the distribution, promotion and more.
We learned a lot throughout the whole process.
How does working in a printed media shape you and your work today?
I think unconsciously (or consciously!) it has shaped the way I see and navigate things. I curated Vicky Tanzil's exhibition as if it was an issue of a magazine that he let me art directed. Vicky trusted me to choose and edit hundreds of pictures in his drive. The wall was my pages and I worked on it as if I was doing a layout of a magazine. If you see them closely, you’ll see lines and grids throughout the walls. This allows each line to tell a story and for me to have a little joke in one corner and some sort of personal wink.
How did you start The Good Things in Life (TGTIL) ?
Rather organically, I think. My partner Dinta had a coffee shop back then. They had a little corner that they turned into a merch shop. The corner grew bigger and more brands were interested in stocking their products at the shop. At that time, brands like Sejauh Mata Memandang has just started. We were one of their first stockists besides their own store. So we changed the whole concept. TGTIL is now a multi-brand concept store that brings curated selections of local products through which, true to the name, we aim to recognise and promote the simple good things in life. We wanted to support the ever growing local brands in Indonesia and highlight their work through collaborations.
How do you curate the stuff at The Good Things?
I feel lucky to be able to work with my best friend, who shared the same vision and taste. When it comes to curation, we would always ask each other.
"Would you wear it?"
"Does it suit our aesthetics?"
I think it’s very important to believe in the products when you are selling them. Then there’s a lot of consideration after, which includes what people like these days, price range, etc. So the edit goes through a lot of process.
How do you balance being a mum, working, and having fun with your friends?
Sometimes like a boss, other times like an embarrassment to other moms out there hahaha... It is definitely not easy and it’s still a learning process. I think once you surrendered to the unpredictability of motherhood, it became a little bit easier.
Do you have any tips for any creatives who are also mothers?
Don’t stop - really. Just keep doing what you love and what you believe in. When your kids see you do what you love and what excites you... that’s very inspiring.
How has motherhood changed you?
A lot. It has given me a greater perspective on life, to slow down and appreciate the small things in life. But in other ways it hasn't changed me at all. I still feel like myself and I feel really lucky for that.
What albums and or books that shape your life?
These days people and nature inspire me the most. The little humour in everyday life. Inspiration can come from anywhere... a big part of it for me comes from nature and ordinary everyday things. Life is too short to be surrounded by people with bad energy.
What conversation gave you that spark recently?
When I lived in Indonesia and Australia, I saw that most people hang out only in their cliques. So if you’re a musician, you’ll hang out with other musicians - so do the people from fashion or art. But when I started to live in Singapore, I found it uncomfortable at the beginning to mingle with people from tech background or even chefs. But then I started enjoying the new perspectives that I gain from them. I could see new things that I did not see before. So I got inspiration, not just from something that I like, but also from something that I thought I would never like.
Best place in Bali
For a very sentimental reason, Sanur reminded me of Bali in the 90s where I used to go for a family trip a few times a year. The people, the surroundings, the smell. It just reminds me of that time in my life and I wanted to recreate that beautiful memory with my kids.
What is a wholesome day for you and your kids? In Sanur?
I think it would start with a swim and a good breakfast. Then we’ll go for a bike ride. When the afternoon sun starts to set, the beautiful low tide allows us to explore the seashores. We could see lots of sea creatures and really try to identify them. I think that’s a really wholesome day. Lots of outdoors and conversations.
Best souvenirs to get from Bali?
Kacang Koro! lol
written by Prinka Saraswati
photos by Sophia Charles