BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Fora Forisda has travelled the United States in search of success, and Port Clinton kept calling to her.
That’s why the Indonesian entrepreneur has dropped anchor on the Lake Erie shoreline and worked hard to sustain herself while creating Fora Forisda Ideas.
The small shop at 115 Madison Street in downton Port Clinton has what Forisda insists is one one of the most authentic shops featuring colorful, unique items from Bali, Indonesia. That’s where she grew up, and where Forisda and her family and fellow countrymen create such beautiful works of art.
From teak furniture to oil paintings, scarves, and jewelry, all are authentic items created by the creative people of Indonesia.
“The people of Bali and throughout Indonesia are known for their handicrafts, and I knew their goods would be popular here,” she said.
“Here” is Port Clinton, a special kind place for Forisda.
“I’ve travelled to more than 40 states around the country, trying to find a place I enjoyed, and where I could make a living,” said Forisda. “From New Orleans and Mississippi to the California Coast. I worked a couple of summers at Put-in-Bay, but kept coming back to Port Clinton.
“Everyone here has been so friendly, so ready to say ‘hello’ and welcome me to town.”
While working as a waitress at Dock’s Beach House just west of downtown Port Clinton, Forisda began selling items she obtained in Bali, Indonesia on annual trips home to see her daughter, a college student. She noticed Moonwick’s on Madison Street had a little retail space available, and asked owner Kira Jones if she could move in.
“It has worked out beautifully,” said Forisda. “Everyone seems to like the bright-colored clothes with a Caribbean flavor, sort of the summer wear of island culture. And the jewelry, art work, wood carvings and coral shells.”
All of the clothing is hand-sewn, the furniture hand-carved. It’s what Bali is know for, and why it is so popular, she said.
It’s a tough business, trying to afford a shipping container full of goods when the price has doubled in recent years. But import-export on a larger scale, whether it’s coffee or tea, or mahogany and teak furniture, seems to intrigue Forisda.
“I’m going to school to learn business and international commerce,” she said. “After working two jobs for so long, I know I can do this and find success.”