Part 8 of 8

Last but not least, Amalina Arip, Co Founder of Catama Borneo, collaborates with indigenous tribes combining traditional crafts with contemporary design ensuring that their skills are passed on as a living craft and not a dying art. 


Amalina Arip

Amalina Arip, a mum of two exudes passion and happiness. The first thing you will notice about her is her distinctive sense of style. Once you have a conversation with her, you realise she is a global citizen, yet still a kampong girl at heart. Nothing is too small for her to take an interest in, nothing too big for her dreams.

As a mother of two, she juggles many hats. She is Managing Director and Co Owner of Interior Design firm, Benchmark Design co-founder of CATAMA Borneo alongside Catriona Maddocks. CATAMA is a Borneo based social enterprise collaborating with local Artisans to create contemporary design pieces by applying revived indigenous craft techniques. CATAMA fuels Amalina’s passion for life while preserving and promoting ancestral craft and empowering the community.

CATAMA has collected the British Council & Arthur Guinness Projects “Social Entrepreneur for Good Award” and received MAGIC ‘s (Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre) 2016 Amplify Awards as a tribute for their efforts.

At 30, the sky is the limit for young and eco conscious Amalina. She is also founder and co-owner of Ecophoria – a natural skincare start-up using Borneo plant based ingredients and Patron for Go Go Green Society. Amalina embodies ZTE’s Cool – Green – Open Philosophy.

What inspires you?

 The cheeky monkeys I call, my children. They give me reason to chase my dreams.

I am an absolute dreamer. From an aesthetic perspective, I find that my mind often begins to paint ideas when I look at anything beautiful from interior conceptual boards on Pinterest to my two year olds painting. In terms of inspiration to do good, I am inspired by heroes – those who have courage and commitment to make a positive impact for the benefit of others.

What seems to never fail to fill my inspiration bank is Sarawak and Sarawakians. Born and raised in Kuching, I feel the genuineness and warmth of the locals have fuelled a desire in me to contribute however I am able to. As the saying goes “There’s no place like home”.

What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

As cliché as it may sound, dare to be different. When the basis of your identity and self-esteem is challenged, embrace it as an opportunity for metamorphosis.

Ultimate goal = SELF MASTERY