Senka Studio

Let’s read their stories

Why did you start this business?

We wanted to provide a better design experience for more people in general in Indonesia. When we first started the business, most of the good designs were exclusively aimed at certain criteria of business/people. However, during our trip to Japan, we could find a lot of good designs anywhere making it look like it is a part of their culture – that is where the inspiration came from.

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

If we have to pinpoint that one important lesson throughout the years of growing our business, that would be realizing life is more than just work. It is very easy to get so engaged in it that we neglect other parts of our lives. Mental health, maintaining relationships, and our personal life is just as important. For the last few years and perhaps because of the pandemic, we have managed to improve these areas of our lives while still hustling.

Senka Studio x Djojo

What keeps you going when things get tough?

The smile on our clients’ and their customer’s faces when they experienced the design.

Senka Studio x Yoisho

What do you want to improve next?

We are thinking to expand our business to the international market and moving our base office from Indonesia to Japan. We hope to sell interesting, おしゃれ (Oshare), and fun products to collaborate with other designers and manufacturers. Not forgetting to focus on more sustainable and eco-friendly design solutions for our planet.

Senka Studio x Ban Ban

What do you want to share with the world?

That our company delivers happiness to people through good designs. Seeing our clients’ and their customers’ reactions keeps us going. It has been our way to give back to our community, society, and our planet.

Senka Studio x TeaxTapioca

Hi! We are Senka Studio / センカ・スタジオ, a design studio based in Jakarta. Founded by two visual workers, Sebastianus Seno (Sen) and Fransiska Eka Valentina (Ka) have been working with both local and international clients since 2013. We are very passionate about delivering a personalized and exciting design for our clients, focusing more on branding and identity.


Instagram @senkastudio

The first dopang talk event

We will celebrate our first anniversary this month. We rewarded ourselves by arranging the first dopang talk event: How to Connect your Career to Japan last week on Saturday, June 5th, 2021 at You Are Here, Fukuoka, with limited participants and online via zoom. By having this event, we want to share useful information that can help people interested in working or setting up a business in Japan to communicate better with their current or future Japanese colleagues.

To warm-up for the main session, we played Gengoya Card together. Glad to see that everyone was enjoying the game as much as we did.

The main session speaker was Teruki Sekiguchi who has vast working experience as an HR expert in several multinational Japanese companies. We especially relate with the “culture fit” and “culture add” parts. Foreigners integrating into the local community must be aware that they should try to blend in but at the same time keep their identity so they can add a fresh perspective and add what is lacking in the society where they are currently in.

After the talk, we continued with a small networking event, where Sekiguchi-san himself brewed Indonesian coffee from Kopi Toko Djawa and Kopi Kohlie (we hand-carried the beans all the way from Indonesia!).

COVID-19 has changed our life tremendously and affects international relationships significantly. Even without the travels, we hope the spirit of the global community and diversity do not fade away because of the pandemic.

Last but not least, we would like to give our thanks to our partners: You Make It that continuously supports foreign workers in Fukuoka, Senka Studio with its design insights, and also PPI Fukuoka, a group of bright Indonesian students who we believe can represent Indonesian young generation in Japan, especially in Kyushu.

Dentayori Pilot Project

Five days quarantine in Indonesia, five PCR tests in total, one road trip from Jakarta to Surabaya, three weeks of WFH in Surabaya, and now, 14 days home-quarantine in Fukuoka awaits.

All of the above are compensated by the start of Dentayori pilot-project at cipta d.lab on April 8th, 2021!

The participants from cipta d.lab

Dentayori, a project we started together with You Make It and Tsunagaru Edutech at the end of last year, with the support of Hakata Medical School is a hybrid learning space for dental enthusiasts. We are so thankful that we could pitch this project at Fukuoka Business Digital Content Awards 2021 and also SF Pitch Night 2021. It is really a project full of amazing coincidences.

Together with the sensei-s from Hakata Medical School

The word “Dentayori” comes from デンタル(dental) and 頼り(tayori: which means “reliance” in Japanese). We hope our platform can be an inclusive place for the cross-disciplinary, modern dental community. Not only for the existing players but also for the future generation. 

Our goal is to support people to create a better working environment and teamwork in the dental industry since we believe their well-being is one of the keys to high-quality dental treatments and patients satisfaction.

We will continue to do our best for this project and embrace the uncertainties that might come with curiosity and open minds. Please wish us the best and feel free to contact us if you want to know further about this project.


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

You Make It

You Make It is an organization that supports foreigners who want to work in Japan, founded by Kenji Umeki. It is based in Fukuoka, with more than 120,000 Facebook Page likes from around the world. Here are further stories about You Make It.

Kenji Umeki – founder of You Make It

Why did you start this business?

When I was 35 years old and had not started my company, I met 16 foreign students from Vietnam. I trained them to prepare CVs and to practice for job interviews. When they passed the interview and became engineers in a big company in Japan, I was so glad to the point that I shed happy tears. It was something that I have not experienced before but I want to experience more, therefore I created this company to support foreigners who want to work in Japan wholeheartedly.

Some people who inspired you to be a founder?

Suyama-san, one of You Make It’s directors. Without him, I think You Make It would not have existed. Another one is not business related, dr. Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese humanitarian doctor who was shot during his service in Afghanistan.

Please share your thoughts about being a founder.

I think it is important to have personality, be honest, and be yourself. I am happy that by running this company, I, being born and bred in Japan, who did not have any experience with foreigners, now can meet and work with people from around the world. However, there are also hurdles related to funding the company while making sure that the activities are aligned with the company’s ideals.

Seminar for students

What are the main services of your company?

You Make It provides free of charge support for foreigners who are looking for work in Japan but face difficulties to find one. We also organize online meetups regularly so they can communicate with native speakers and learn more about Japanese culture. We recently launched TSURU (, a platform to share information about working and living in Japan for foreigners. We also offer services for companies in Japan who want to employ foreigners.

Sometimes it is not easy, but we always keep going since we have the responsibility to earnestly help the people who are in trouble and rely on our support. 

What do you have in mind for the future?

I wish many people can be positive and have hope that the world is changing to be better. II want to create opportunities for people around the world to dream. Hopefully, I can meet companies that care about people and treat their employees well.

Meet Taipei – Online Pitch

I had the chance to pitch Gengoya, one of our project, at 2020 Meet Taipei Online together with other fellow startups from Europe and Asia. Can’t wait until I can be there in person (it has been too long since my last visit in 2007). I recommend you to watch the whole event, but if you want to skip directly to Gengoya, fast forward to 2:16.

Since I moved to Japan in March 2020, I have done 3 online pitches within 8 months. FGN Online Meet Up in July, Founders Live Fukuoka in October, and this one just before dinner yesterday.

Look how COVID-19 has led the world’s digital transformation. I used to spent my days in front of computer since I was 13 and got scolded for that. Who would have thought that less than few decades later, people have to, and even get paid a lot to do that to get paid (See mom & dad, your daughter knows best!). Even medical practitioners are expected to be able to navigate online.

I think presenting offline still feels much better and impactful to built a solid network, but, on the surface, wide network, the internet can give also has its own merit. Even though most fades away, I am still in touch with some of my online friends I met at mIRC during my middle school days.

Isn’t it quite awesome to experience being connected to so many people, without border, just by sitting and talking to your computer? Afterwards, you can easily reach out to people you are interested in using words and images. Of course they might not reply, but some actually will, and it can be a start of a meaningful relationship. What about you? How do you feel about networking online?


Milieu – One of the projects designed and produced by KYUB

KYUB is a design studio and printing company based in Bandung, Indonesia. Being active in social media has helped the company to expand its client base. Now, its clients are not only from Indonesia but also from other countries such as Australia, Singapore, and Japan. We interviewed Andre Liongson, one of the co-founders below.

Why did you start this business?

I graduated from design school and highly passionate about art and design. When I worked in a design company, I learned that design and printing can not be separated. It is an enjoyable achievement when the design can be executed and translated into printed products. Therefore, my interest in printing started to grow. Unfortunately, many designers feel that the production process is a barrier to their creativity.

Once I met with Ferdi and Glenn, friends with a similar idea, to create a bridge between design and production, we decided to work together and grow KYUB to be a creative studio which can show out of the box ideas can be accepted and understood by a general audience.

Kyub founders (from left): Andre, Ferdi & Glenn

Tell us about one of the creative people that inspired you to start.

I am inspired by my previous managers. There were 3 founders in the company where I worked at. All of them are independent women who are very passionate in what they do. Each of them has distinct roles: design, color & illustration, and business. I learned from my time there that creative industry is very broad, not limited by age, and not like in the past, it is now considered a primary need.

What are your main product/service?

Idea, design and printing. Our slogan is “Idea, design & production under one roof”, which means that we give a holistic service to client, starting from the idea to start a project, visually develop before producing it and show a tangible result to general public. It is important that the idea becomes something that is not only well-designed, but also effective and usable.

What is your typical workday schedule?

I am a morning person. I usually wake up at 6am, get ready to start and work at the studio from 8 am. Between 6-8am, I make sure I get breakfast. It is my mood-boosting ritual that I never missed. I work until 6/7pm then hangout with my team until late.

What is your hope for the future?

I hope to appeal to a larger audience and go global, strengthen KYUB identity so it can be easily differentiated from other design studios. I want to share designs that we make in our small studio in Bandung can be impactful in the world.

Haru – One of the projects designed and produced by KYUB
Twitter: (in Japanese)


Some of Gengoya products

Gengoya is an interest based platform to memorize Japanese vocabulary the fun way with the help of illustrations and games. It started as an instagram account in 2016 and now, it has more than 30,000 followers and actively publishing new products, both offline and offline, to support not only serious learners, but also people who are just curious about Japan. Below is our interview with the founder, Ferdi Trihadi:

Why did you start this business?

I was working full-time for financial purposes and I was pretty stressed out. I needed a platform where I can prioritize creative output aligned with my passion, which is drawing and learning Japanese. Gengoya is that platform. It is where I can prioritize process, not sacrifice things for the sake of the end result. I can also grow while enjoying the process.

Ferdi Trihadi, the founder of Gengoya

What is your typical workday schedule?

I tackle several brands and in order to progress evenly for every brand, I arrange my work hours into several segments, assign each brand to each segments and set micro goals.

One of the ways to play Gengoya Cards

What is your hope for the future?

I hope Gengoya can be a learning platform that is enjoyable and effective for modern society. We plan to use scientific research methods to analyze and efficiently improve our service and products based on proper data so can create bigger and better projects. I would be happy if these projects can inspire fellow practitioners and raise the standard of Japanese language learning field.


Worldnesia Event

Worldnesia is a language institution that provides Indonesian language courses through a wide selection of realistic everyday life and business-related topics that are specially designed to satisfy language learner needs. Either you are a newbie or an avid language learner, they are ready to help you to Speak Like Locals.

We had the privilege to interview Monica Xie, the founder of Worldnesia, about her startup journey.

Monica Xie, the founder of Worldnesia

Why did you start this business?

I started Worldnesia because I want to provide relevant learning material to language learners, especially to foreigners who work and live in Indonesia. I saw lots of language school only teaches formal or standard Indonesian which are rarely being used by the local unless they are in the formal business situation. I often got informed by the foreigners that they have lots of troubles when it comes to communicating with Indonesian people, either for daily conversation or in the working environment because the language they learned weren’t spoken by the local. I hope through our curated and customized learning materials, we can fill in the gap that existed and able to empower people to have better two-way communication. I personally believe good communication is the first key towards better human relationships and it will empower mutual understanding in a larger context.

What is your main product/service?

Our main service is language course, especially Indonesian course for foreigners. We put a lot of effort to create and maintain our learning materials while at the same time, we keep improving our learning system so that our learners can maximize their study time and able to Speak Like Locals in a short time. Aside from our language courses, we also provide copywriting, translating, and interpreting services because these industries are still correlated to language.

Worldnesia online class

What keeps you going when things get tough?

My satisfied learners keep me going even though sometimes I do feel like want to give up. Seeing them able to speak fluently and being able to solve their communication problems are the main reasons why Worldnesia is still here until today. There is no greater satisfaction when you see a bright smile on your learner’s face because their pain is relieved.

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

I hope that the language course industry will evolve and offer something more relevant, attractive, and with proven results, so the market could see that learning new languages are essential for one’s life, especially for professional life. As for Worldnesia itself, I’m looking forward to strengthening our capabilities in delivering relevant learning materials and enhancing our learning experiences through technology to reach out to global learners.

What do you want to share with the world?

I want to share with the world that learning languages should not be boring and that every language learner could be able to speak a new language in a short time if we could find a good combination of our own learning habits, learning materials, and learning systems. Although there is no one size fits all when it comes to learning languages, I believe language learners should take the learning process as a journey and enjoy every step of it.
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