We had the chance to talk to Danis Sie, founder of Sciencewerk about one of his side businesses: Specimenwerk, a pot and planter specialist brand. Based in Surabaya, Indonesia, it has produced not only its own ceramic planters but also collaborated with artists all around the world. It has loyal fans from many countries, including Japan. We can’t wait to support Specimenwerk in exploring the Japanese market further!

Danis Sie, the founder of Specimenwerk.

Why did you start this business?

Specimenwerk is actually an unplanned business. It started from my hobby to collect succulent and caudiciform. It was hard to find matching planters for proper staging. Then, I started to order customized planters from local ceramic artists. Along the way, I also got inspiration from some Japanese ceramic brands.

What is the most memorable story, good or bad, related to your business?

The bad side (although rarely) is when you send things to customers and the ceramic is broken to pieces.

The good side is where we can experiment and collaborate with ceramic artists to create something experimental, even to hold a Botanical Exhibition & Plant staging last year (2020) which is rather unexpected for the Indonesian market.

Inhabitat Exhibition in Milieu Space Surabaya

What is the most important lesson you get from being an entrepreneur?

Read market demand, build a niche market for the business, create an effective, cost-efficient system, utilize online platforms and technology. Collaboration is also very important.

What keeps you going when things get tough?

My Kids & Bank Account. When things get tough, just have a little pause, think, and pivot!

What is your favorite leisure activity?

Gardening, Nature, Arts, Ceramics. Mostly gardening.

What is your hope for the future, for your company, and for your business field in general?

Multi-country expansion, collaboration with more artists and partners from overseas with the same visions or interests. I hope to share the art of botanical staging and blend the world of botany and ceramics into one.

One of Specimenwerk’s Planter


Specimenwerk project focus on art plants, planters, and objects made by artists and designers. Our team working closely with local growers, collectors, artists, illustrators, craftsmen to designers. Every plant, planters, and object is unique, and observing each detail is one way to appreciate its story behind it. The relationship between humans and plants has always been profoundly important. Our notion of Patience + Conserve is based on the most important part of any gardening journey: to enjoy caring for your plant, to be patient, and to appreciate every tiny progress. Specimenwerk project is created by Sciencewerk to promote multidisciplinary collaboration in the botanical industry, art & crafts.

IG @specimenwerk

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