“My family and life experience have influenced the way I see love. It’s not a feeling, but more of a decision. It is selfless and genuine as potrayed by God who loves us unconditionally,” declares Karen Prasetio in an interview with Liviani Putri.
Karen Prasetio sits down to talk with Prestige after taking part in a regal photo shoot inspired by the beauty and love of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love. She has posed elegantly in Michael Kors, MaxMara, Versace, Farah Khan, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton, with jewellery by Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co. and her own brand, Siorai. While sipping a chocolate milkshake, she tells us about her online jewellery business, which she promotes through social media.
“Siorai is my first project since I moved back to Indonesia for good,” Karen says. “What gets me so excited about it is because it’s not just another brand or consumer product. We want to provide women with fashionable yet affordable jewelry pieces, creating the image that diamonds are made for everyone.
“Beyond that, we have a vision. We aim to build a powerful community to promote women’s empowerment and encourage diversity. Our messages about self-confidence and gender equality are delivered by several muses who come from different backgrounds, such as a photographer, product stylist, an entrepreneur, influencers, even a psychologist.
“We have just hosted a private event with MadeInd, a platform for curated designer items by Argo Apparel Group. We also invited Charlotte Priatna, M.Pd, an education expert and motivator, to share her beliefs about developing self-confidence. The event was a huge success. I was very humbled to meet a lot of talented women and to learn from their stories and experiences as entrepreneurs and influencers.”
Starting a business at a young age was a huge leap for Karen. “I am a very risk-averse person, so to get my feet to even start something was already a challenge. I tended to weigh the pros and cons of it, the risks and the returns, the best or worst thing that could happen before I even started doing it.”
She believes her college life shaped her to be a persistent, proactive and humble woman. She graduated from both UCLA (Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics) and University of Southern California (a Master’s in Finance).
“I remember the hardship of juggling a lot of things, such as studying for good grades, involving myself in student organisations, job hunting and at the same time keeping my life balanced within the time constraints,” Karen says. “I was enrolled at both schools and, since there was no other way, several times I had to sleep over in one of the libraries on campus.
“I considered giving up and dropping some classes, but then I thought why would I want to waste my time and repeat the same thing all over again? So I’ve got to deal with it no matter what. Yes, it was a rough ride but I would not have made it this far if it wasn’t for the people behind me, especially my family, who kept pushing to do my best and leave the rest to God.”
The younger sister of Katherine Prasetio, who appeared on the cover of the July 2018 issue of Prestige, grew up in a family-oriented culture. “I would say I am really close to my family and that they are the ones who teach me everything,” she says. “Family really means a lot to me, since they are the ones who will constantly be there no matter what – genuinely accepting each other’s flaws and supporting each other to become better each day. My parents always reminded us to put family first. We had to stick together no matter what and have each other’s back.
“It feels great to have Katherine by my side. In fact, she often acts more like my mom than a sister. She really cares for me and my well-being, starting with simple things such as reminding me to take vitamins in the morning, or even giving me live Instagram traffic reports about which roads I should avoid! Those connections have been built because we literally shared everything since we were kids. Besides shoes and clothes and stuff, we always tell each other what is happening in our lives. We are really open with each other. I feel so uplifted and peaceful when I’m with her.
“My family and life experience have influenced the way I see love. It’s not a feeling, but more of a decision. It is selfless and genuine as potrayed by God who loves us unconditionally. I have also learned that love requires sacrifice. You have to put the heart and feelings at risk of getting hurt, because you know it’s worth it in the end.”
Seeing life as a blessing and putting her heart and soul into everything she does, what is Karen’s hope for the future? “I want to live a life with purpose,” she declares. “I want to help make this nation rise and become a better place to live.
“The important thing I have to do right now is to get to know myself better. I need to keep learning and at the same time to use my skillset and ability to inspire people to create more impact. I want to move forward with Siorai for a greater vision, which is to empower the younger generation, especially women – to unlock their full potential, strengths, passions and capabilities as individuals.”
Make-up and Hair by Dave Rio
Shot on location:
Da Vinci Indonesia
Styling Assistant: Lintang Hutami