I have been coming to Bali since I was seven years old - over 40 years. I have family in Bali, have lived there, and speak a little Indonesian. It would be fair to say I love Bali. I love the weather, the food, the culture, but most of all the people. I can honestly say that you will not find a nicer, friendlier, more accepting race of people than the Balinese.
I have been having my clothes made in Bali for years. I love that I have clothes that are perfectly tailored, to my design, in colours that suit, in materials that I have chosen, that nobody else has. People are always asking me where I get my clothes from, and I get a kick out of being able to say that they are made for me in Bali. Friends and acquaintances have long been saying that I should start up a shop in NZ, selling clothes and other goodies from Bali, but I am not a shopkeeper. The reason my wardrobe is so affordable is that I am buying in Bali. To sell in New Zealand would incur freight and taxes and profit margins and hassles.
I am not a clothes designer, nor do I have any abilities in sewing (I was going to say I am not a sewer, but that reads as something else, which also I am obviously not), but I know what looks good. I know that when something is tailored to fit you, it enhances your good bits, and subtly detracts from your not so good bits, which makes you feel good wearing it. I think this is more the reason that I am so often stopped and asked where I get my clothes from, because people recognise that I feel good about how I look.
It is a freaky person indeed who can buy a wardrobe of clothes off the rack. Most of us are not a standard measurement – actually I think that is an oxymoron, there is nothing standard about the sizing of clothes, so to truly have clothes that fit and suit you, they must be made to measure.
From years of visiting Bali, I have found local Balinese, who are professional and skilled in what they do, who treat their staff well, and produce high quality work at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in New Zealand, if you could.