Rich in history and colours, batik is an art of textile where artisans use hot wax, cloth and their raw talent. Malaysian batik is unique due to the way it is crafted; by hand, with vivid colours and sophisticated flora and fauna motifs. Bringing light to the beauty of batik, Maryam Mutalib, a 25-year-old culinary art graduate from Nilai, Negeri Sembilan makes her creations bright, bold and beautiful.
The young entrepreneur crafts handmade accessories consisting of headbands, scrunchies, chokers, multifunctional scarves and earrings. They come in sets too! Each piece is uniquely constructed, therefore each piece is never replicated. Maryam handpicks her batik materials from Terengganu, travelling up north to provide the most authentic pieces for her followers. Her inspiration comes from the craft of batik itself and their artisans. With the effort poured into creating batik, Maryam intends to waste none of it and that is how, from starting out creating headbands, she ventured into other accessories.
Maryam acquired the skill to sew at a tender age of 12 in the hope of becoming a fashion designer. Coming from a family who cooks for a living, pursuing a culinary degree was vital as she was set to take over her family’s restaurant, Aunty Aini’s Garden Café, in Kampung Chelet, Nilai one day. After graduating from Taylor’s University, she made Malay kuih at the restaurant where the late Anthony Bourdain had visited.
In the midst of it all, Maryam Bayam was born when she acquired her own sewing machine. Starting out by creating pieces to add flair into her personal look, a family member suggested to use batik and put it out in the market for sale. With the support of her family and friends, Maryam Bayam became a sensation! From selling her creations online via an Instagram account, she later ventured into platforms such as Lazada and the occasional pop-up store at bazaars.
Her future goal for Maryam Bayam is to take it worldwide, to give the identity of Malaysian Batik its well-deserved recognition. New products are also in the works to add to their ever-growing one-of-a-kind collection. Follow her journey as she embarks into the world, making it bigger and bolder at @MaryamBayam and her website. Support your local entrepreneur and watch her grow!