Wood is one of important material in human life. Wooden material is used for many purposes in human life, from home building, architecture, furniture and others. Wood is possibly the most used material in the world. In addition, there is also the usefulness of wood that can even be worth more than we expected. It is wooden craft miniatures, in which using waste of wooden material then turns it into million-dollar business.
Creativity is the key for Hiro Prabantoro (39) to be an entrepreneur of miniature craft and replica toys made from wooden waste. Hiro has been pursued in wood craft miniatures business for nine years. Waste material from wood and furniture industry is used then changed into variety of wood craft miniatures. The variety of toys is ranging from small toys to one-to-one scale of Ferrari engine 365 GTB, as seen in the picture. A collector from Australia orders this distinctive wooden replica that worth for USD 15million.
Hiro has proven that so many things around us can be commercialized as a source of income, even provides job opportunities for many people. Wooden waste is considered useless and worthless, so it just ended up in the trash, but Hiro thinks otherwise. Various wood wastes that are ranging from teak wood, mahogany, jackfruit and other more has transformed into worth and valuable stuff more than it used to be. In Hiro’s workshop in Jogjakarta, he produces variety of wood craft miniatures made from those wood wastes, for instance, a miniature of aircraft, guns, motorcycles, cars, ground combat vehicles, animal displays and more. All of the collections have been marketed in twenty-two countries in five continents in the world and going to grow. The price is ranging from 10 to 2,500 US dollars. Hiro said the business worth for 75 million Rupiah per month. The number is quite impressive as the business starts from hobby.
Toy collectors from many countries have been loyal customers for Hiro’s wood craft and toys. The products are also in demand by the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United State Department of Defense. Hiro is supplying several types of miniature ground combat vehicles as souvenir through his reseller in US. Hummer, a famous car manufacturer, booked a miniature models also.
His interest of wood craft miniatures and toys makes Hiro in the business today since 2000. While worked a consultant in the small business assistance programs in Klaten, Central Java, he has developed the business of wood craft. Hiro spent 5 million rupiah as early-stage investment for the business, and then run the business. Hiro choose to market the products overseas through website. Customers soon to be interested with the products. The products are even more complex and detail by demand. In the year of 2002, he moved the business to Yogyakarta due to lack of human resources. Since he believes that, he enables to meet lots of skilled craftsmen and workers in Yogyakarta. Today 15 employees has been provided work for him in various areas of expertise, from prototype design, cutting, carving, turning to painting the products. Each of them should has qualified skill and patience, as each product requires high precision. Now, this industry of wood craft is able to produces about 1,000 units of wood craft miniatures per month. It is including hundred of models and types of wood craft miniatures and toys. Panzers or battle tank is considered as the most difficult because of its complexity of structure and components. Moreover, it requires a full working month for 25 miniatures of battle tank.
As mentioned before, creativity and hard work is the key. Hiro has proven to us how he turns his childhood hobby of miniatures and toys into million dollars business. Makes something useless into something worth even more than we expected. The business also provides many job opportunities.