JUL is the creation of Laura Bellows and Agus Astradhi. Their stunning and unusual designs are made by artisans in Indonesia or in their studio in the US.
Originally trained as an anthropologist at the University of Virginia, Laura earned her PhD in cultural anthropology in 2003 based on two years of field research in Bali, Indonesia. Her research-adventure in Bali allowed her to develop relationships with the people and the culture that were essential for her founding of JUL in 2007 and which remain so to the present day.
Agus Astradhi was trained at the Arts University in Bali as a painter and designer. Upon graduation he created jewelry designs for the world famous Balinese jewelry company Suarti. He worked as a free-lance jewelry designer and graphic artist before joining Laura to found JUL in 2007. Hand-made Fair Trade in Indonesia
JUL works with skilled metal and wood-workers in Indonesia. "We give them our custom designs for execution and then work closely and collaboratively to develop these pieces into JUL products. The artisans we work with establish their own prices for each piece we contract with them to make. We do not try to bargain their prices lower.
We consider our artisans to be creative partners
as we frequently ask them to make designs that are very different those they receive from other clients. Because our designs are unconventional compared to the other designers they work with, their willingness to develop creative solutions with us, and to experiment and innovate
is an important factor in our working relationship.
Not all artisans are interested in learning something new and working in such a collaborative and dialogic manner. We have developed these relationships of mutual understanding and creative partnership over the course of the past decade."