As hard as it is to let go of the lovely and alliterative name From Bali to Bala, we relocated our home from Bala Cynwyd to Mt. Airy over five years ago, and we hadn’t held the show in our Bala living room since way back in 2004. Letting go of Bala and embracing Us has long been coming. I am forever explaining what Bala is, where or why the name is so. Pushed to change is what it took. For almost the past two years, we’ve doubled down on being more of a global citizen, and acknowledging how the virus does not respect international borders. Though our access to health care options vary dramatically from nation to nation, we found that our connections with others across the globe to be far stronger than our differences. Changing the name to acknowledge the bringing of all things Bali – culture, crafts, friendships, family, wisdom – to the US and to Us via my little business, and even bigger passion, seems fitting.
From the COVID ashes of the pandemic, rising like the phoenix, our From Bali to Bala show has metamorphosized into From Bali to Us. For 24 years, during each holiday season, our annual show & sale has brought together the art, culture, education, charity, and spirit of Indonesia to the Philadelphia region. Last year, unable to gather in person, we were forced to reimagine and to reinvent. Our commitment to Indonesia drove the creation of our online site, From Bali to Us, and for ages customers have been asking me to sell online. With a bit of initial angst, lots of hard work and delight, we continued to share with you the essence of Indonesia while supporting our artisans of 25 years. It was time to grow our brand as we experimented with the new by embracing the change.
Now, with the reopening of our world – learning to live with the threat of COVID, at least for now – we will be returning to our in-person location at 8532 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill this November and December. We are over the moon to be able to do so, to meet you in three dimensions. But we are also a tad terrified. For the first time we will be running our show and online market simultaneously: Yikes and Yay at the same time! No need for two separate names or identities anymore: now we’ll all be sheltered under From Bali to Us. It’s a big umbrella that will include the online market, the annual show and sale, my batik paintings and teaching, supporting the artisans, outreach for the Indonesian community here in South Philly and in Indonesia, and more. My heart umbrella is big enough for it all, and I look forward to continuing to share it all with you.