Amelia Salim, 35, is well known among the crème de la crème of the socialite community in the City of Heroes, East Java’s Surabaya. Although she admits to consuming a significant amount of her time on activities like hosting fashion or beauty events and attending luscious luncheons and gala dinners, being an entrepreneur is still her top priority.
By Muhammad Al Azhari
Amelia Salim might be best known as a socialite but the graduate of Petra Christian University in Surabaya cites a long list of top positions in various companies. She owns businesses ranging from luxury bag and other brand outlets, an interior design business and stationary distributor right through to companies that distribute imported vehicle lubricants and industrial diesel.
"I love this quote from Estée Lauder: ‘I never dreamed about success, I worked for it’," Amelia told GlobeAsia in an interview in her office located in a high-end commercial area of Surabaya.
Estée Lauder is an inspiration to women as the founder of the giant American cosmetics company that bears her name and Amelia herself has a long list of achievements that may inspire Indonesian women. She is active in social activities, women’s empowerment and innovation in the fashion world.
She recently snatched the MNC Kartini Award 2018 organized by MNC Media for her interior design company. In the fashion and lifestyle world, Amelia won the Most Inspired Kartini Woman 2017 from luxury brand Adelle Jewellery. She also received the Anne Avantie 2018 award organized by famous Indonesian fashion designer Anne Avantie and Woman Inspiration 2017 from cosmetics company LT Pro.
"Success means hard work. I wish to inspire other Indonesian women so they realize we can reach our dreams if we work hard. Just pursue whatever you dream when you have the chance," said the woman who together with all her work is a mother of four. She is married to businessman Danny Indarto, who runs PT Java Petro Energi, which operates in fuel handling services.
Born on 16 November 1982, the entrepreneur is also looking to the internet to expand her business. One new endeavor she finds exciting is Di Classeur, a for-fun-bags design house similar to Hermes, but using a different kind of leather.
“It offers high quality like Hermes. The leather doesn’t easily get broken if bent. The app is on the market already,” she said, referring to an app available on iOS and Android to sell the products. Di Classeur often releases limited edition products to maintain the exclusivity of the products it offers to buyers.
Amelia said she started enjoying the benefits of entrepreneurship in university. She made quite a good profit selling some premium brands back then. Now she has her own boutique selling luxury brands.
Life As a Movie
Inspired by the life of socialites in Surabaya, Amelia recently wowed the city by producing the movie Perfect Dream, which told the story of a rich and ambitious street mobster who lost his mind in the world of the mafia and endangered his family members as well as his marriage.
Mostly set in Surabaya, the movie was the work of famous director Hestu Saputra and starred popular movie stars and a singer from Jakarta: Ferry Salim, Wulan Guritno, Olga Lydia and Baim Wong. Amelia was producer of the movie.
Thanks to her socialite connections, she won support from her celebrity friends and the premiere rocked the East Java capital with an audience of 1,800 of the glitterati at Ciputra World Surabaya. The local media gorged on scenes of stretch Hummers, Ferraris and other luxury cars parked outside the mall, dropping off the socialites and celebrities to watch the movie at Studio XXI.
The movie aimed to show people the beauty of the city apart from conveying an interesting story line. “There has to be a movie that is not Jakarta-centric. The glitter and sparkle of Surabaya is worth showing to the audience,” she said with a laugh. The movie premiered in Jakarta on March 21 and then in Surabaya on March 25 and 30.
All Amelia’s activities among the socialite community don’t stop her finding time for other work. She is channel director for Indonesia and ASEAN markets for South Korean cosmetics company Samkim Cosmetics Korea. She also serves as the CEO for PT Cakrawala Petro Oil and PT Cakrawala Petro Energi, both involved in distribution of lubricants and industrial diesel.
Cakrawala Petro oil sells lubricants from state energy company Pertamina and imported lubricants from the United States such as United Oil, BellOne and USLube. Cakrawala Petro Energi and her husband’s company Java Petro Energi sell industrial diesel to companies all around Indonesia.
GlobeAsia also had the chance to talk to Amelia’s husband Danny. He praised Indonesia’s economy and President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s ambitious push for infrastructure development, which has trickled down to create higher demand for industrial diesel.
“It is a good move by the government. Our clients from state construction firms now require more industrial diesel to support their projects,” said Danny, adding he hopes the growth momentum can be sustained through the coming election period.
“The business community hopes there is continuity in government programs and consistency of regulations. A company like us is very prone to any policy changes,” said the businessman, whose Java Petro distributes industrial diesel in Java and the eastern part of the country.
Danny, who also handles Amelia’s family business, is also worried about currency fluctuation as their 12-year-old stationery distributor Danamel Sumber Makmur imports a lot of its products from overseas. “Currency is one concern, apart from affecting our fuel-related business, it also affects our stationery business. We import a lot from overseas. We hope the government can stabilize our rupiah against the dollar,” he said.
When Amelia is asked about her ambitions in life, she replies that what she desires is to be a good mother and wife. “Family matters to me. I always try to spend more time with the children, especially during the weekend. I start refusing orders if it takes up my weekend,” said the stylish young mother.
Last, but not least, Amelia said she realizes that being a busy career woman gives her a special pride as she can earn her own income. However, in her family her husband, who has given her many business lessons, is still the leader. “Being a career woman doesn’t mean you don’t care about family and husband. They are still the most important part of my life,” she said.