Start With God – An interview with Jess Suhandynata

By Marta Steviana Untariady


Jessica Suhandynata ialah salah satu anggota ROCK Sydney sejak tahun 2001 yang sudah menetap di Jakarta sejak awal 2012. Jess mulai meniti karirnya di bidang Interior Design dengan membuka perusahaan bernama SPACE317 pada akhir tahun 2012. Berikut interview dengan Jess tentang perjalanannya sebagai Young Entrepreneur. Semoga memberkati dan dapat menambah kawasan bagi anda yang tertarik untuk memulai bisnis baru.


  1. 1.       At a very young age, how do you compete with more mature company?

I was 23 years old when I started the company, and at a young age, of course it was very much daunting, seeing more experienced companies in the field, having success and a wide array of projects under their belt. I think one thing that helped me a lot was to not focus on them as competitors, but rather as inspirations that help me set and start my goals. Also, the design field is a very collaborative industry, and I was fortunate enough to meet those who have larger and more mature companies whom were very open to giving me insights and a lot of help when I started. With that being said, I am constantly still learning with every project that I have been blessed with.

  1. 2.       Why you decided to go back for good to do this? What vision do you have in your startup?

Moving to Indonesia was a massive step of faith for me. Having been in Sydney since 1998, I didn’t have a lot of friends or connections in Indonesia. My decision to open an Interior Design Company stems from my passion of design, but, why Indonesia? I guess there seemed to be more opportunities, and I thought there would be more I can contribute to.

However, the decision for me to actually move and leave all that I knew behind, was, frankly, because God told me to. God put Indonesia in my heart. Yes, this might sound wishy washy spiritual, but i prayed. I prayed and prayed, and prayed for almost a year. I asked for confirmation, and along with the support of parents and a few friends, God gave me the courage to take that step of faith through the story of Abraham and Hebrews 11:8 – By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Abraham stepped out in faith, deciding to trust in God rather than what he sees or what his circumstances held. I believed and still believe that God has a greater plan and I trust Him with what He wants to do in my life for His greater glory.


  1. 3.       What are the struggles and the mess?

One main struggle I experience is being homesick. I am not 100% used to Jakarta, and this brings a lot of thoughts of wanting to move back to Sydney. Within the business, my main struggle is dealing with people who are culturally different from what I am used to growing up. There are the “tante-tantes”, companies who refuse to pay despite the services you have given them, those who take advantage of you, and so much more.

  1. 4.       Any tips for those who want to follow your step (start a new business)?

Start with God. Pray about your dreams and your desires. Moving to Indonesia is a big deal, especially if you’ve lived and gotten used to everything in Australia. I think the biggest preparation to move for good is looking at what you have and do on a daily basis and understanding that it will all change. Take your time and pray. Talking to those who might be affected (parents, spouse, children, friends, colleagues) would be part of your preparation as well as helping put all your plans into perspective.

There are a wide array of opportunities with new start-ups. With online ventures and the f&b (food and beverage) business booming in Indonesia, my tip would be for you to select an area in which you are passionate in. Personally, apart from God, it is my passion in design that helps me go through any struggles. Jakarta is very different from Sydney. Talk to people that have moved to Indonesia, do your research, understand that you will be leaving a beautiful city and country (I will forever love you Australia), for a traffic-filled and polluted city full of people who culturally act differently from the everyday Aussies you meet.

At the end of the day, bring God in your decisions, despite the position you are in. Maybe you do have a full time job you are considering to leave, or a great life filled with everything you are comfortable with. For me, it all came down to trusting God with absolutely everything, including my finances, new clients and new projects. I believe that when He opens the doors He will bring you through it according to HIs will. Keep communicating with God on a daily basis through reading His word and praying.

  1. 5.       How do you apply your belief in doing your job?

As God has been faithful to me, I understand that all that I have and achieved within SPACE317 is not my own. Going to work everyday isn’t merely just for money or to fill up time. What is more important is that I meet a lot of people from doing this job, such as my staff, new clients, construction workers. Fortunately I am reminded constantly from church and those around me on this notion: How can I spread the gospel in the field God has put me in?

Maybe it isn’t necessarily spreading the gospel verbally, but in the actions that I do. For example, dealing with taxes, doing my work honestly, how I treat people and reacting to those who maybe haven’t been honest in their work; because our decisions and the way we react to things, people do see. It is definitely not easy, and I am still learning, but I do believe God enables.

Interview di bawah ini tidak tercantum di dalam buletin SEED

  1. 6.       Why SPACE317?

The word “SPACE” is just a representation of what we interior designers do, which is to design all kinds of spaces; residential, commercial, corporate. The Numbers “317” I actually took from Colossians 3:17, which acts as a reminder for me that this business if from Him, through Him and for Him.


  1. 7.       What was your motivation to start this company?

I studied Interior Design at UTS and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to have my own company since I was in Uni, I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly. I did work at a small interior design firm for a bit in Jakarta and I saw how much fun they had. I wanted to have my own!

  1. 8.       What or who really supports you and enables you to keep walking forward? 

My parents have supported me from day one and are still continually supporting me. Apart from (still) providing a roof over my head, I can rely on them for answers and advice on how to run a business. I am grateful that they always have my best interest in mind since I was a child.

Having a community in Christ also have been a major support, especially in times where I have been homesick, they have reminded me that there are still a lot of positive things in Jakarta that I can enjoy and I might have taken for granted.

  1. 9.       How would you see the business in 5 years from now?

I can only trust God in where He wants to take me in 5 years, but I see myself being more settled, better experienced, seeing the business grow, with more clients and more staff.

  1. 10.   Is there anything (value or else) from Sydney that equips you?

The values I hold on to, a lot of them I learnt from ROCK SYDNEY & RYI. They helped me understand truly who I am in Christ, and my purpose on this earth. Knowing that my life isn’t for myself and that Christ died on the cross not only for my sins but for His greater glory, allow me to be more obedient and less selfish in my decisions. I am far from perfect, I still have my selfish desires, but always remembering that the reason God called me to be in Indonesia was and is not for myself but to fulfill His plans, help me to stand strong daily. Understanding that I am here for God, my joy, my struggles, and my future is for Him.

Other values that I have brought back with me to Jakarta include those I learnt in school, uni, and my everyday life in Australia. Being considerate of others, being polite, seeing people not for their social status but as equal human beings, are just a few of the many values that (I am grateful) Australia has taught me.

  1. 11.   How do you think you would be able to best apply our yearly theme (New Dimensions) and monthly theme (Thankful Life) in your business?

I think this month’s theme is a big reminder for me to be thankful in all that God has done for my business. As I reflect in thanksgiving on all the ways God have protected, provided and been faithful, I am excited in what He has store for me & the business this year. I am reminded that His perfect love conquers all. I pray as He continually walks me out of my comfort zones in this business for growth and maturing, I pray that His love will constantly be the source and motivation in everything that is to come. As I learn deeper of God’s love daily through His Word, I am daring myself to believe even more as I let go and let God.


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