Inspired living

Travelling textiles with Nusa Indah

Callum Shaw,Unsplash

Callum Shaw,Unsplash

We chat to Jada Stanley, the founder of Australian surfboard brand Nusa Indah. Jada shares how her love for the ocean, Indonesian textiles and vintage fashion prints have led her to create stunning works of art … on water.

Share with us your love for the ocean and surfing

Surfing and the ocean have been a huge part of my life from the very beginning. I began surfing the nose of my dad’s surfboard at the age of five and grew up in a family and community of surfers. Most days after school we were on the beach and my father threw me in the deep end, taking me out to the reef breaks off Nusa Lembongan from a young age. My very first job was filming for surfing coach, Martin Dunn. He and my parents supported me to open and operate the Saltwater Surf School while I was in Year 12 and studying psychology at university.

Where has surfing taken you?

Surfing has taken me around the world and back; most of my travels have revolved around the ocean. Now I feel so lucky to follow that same path with my surfboards, but these days I’m heading to more cities to share my love of the waves. I’ve spent a lot of time in Nusa Lembongan, surfing the waves of Shipwreck and Lacerations since early childhood, and my parents co-owned a surf charter boat that saw us clock up some mileage on the breaks off Lombok and Sumbawa in the school holidays.

How and when did Nusa Indah first begin?

Nusa Indah, meaning “beautiful island” in Bahasa Indonesia, is inspired by our Indonesian family’s namesake bungalows on Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Indah Surfboards came to life after I’d been out of the water for some time with my three young children and was looking for some motivation to get back into surfing. I sought out a craftsman who could make me a surfboard featuring one of my favourite batik textiles. It inspired me in much the same way as a new dress or pair of trainers make you feel when you wear them. Our surfboards are now created with this same intention of making their owner feel good! I documented this very first board on social media, and then received requests to make boards for family and friends. I loved the whole creative process, including the photography. By a stroke of luck, one of my very first images went viral and was reposted by Estée Lauder scion Aerin Lauder. This mention brought a whole new following and market to my boards.

Where do you find textile inspiration?

Our textiles are often inspired by travel; they can reference anything from an amazing colour palette I see in nature such as seashells, old fishing rope and Portuguese tiles in crumbling walls, to a vintage fashion print or painting. I photograph anything that inspires me, then conceptualise a print to complement this palette. I also love to combine two foreign worlds, so if I see a fashion print or piece of art that represents a place of beauty, I will reach out to the artist and ask to collaborate. For example, our Le Sirenuse Eden and Garden surfboards feature Carla Sersale’s fashion designs that combine imagery representing the beautiful azure ocean and garden life of the Amalfi Coast with the Australian lifestyle of surfing.

Vogue! Tell us about that

Sitting at the kitchen table with my children one morning, I decided to write to Anna Wintour (dream collaborator!) to tell her I’d love to make a surfboard for Vogue. To my delight, I received a reply from her director of brand marketing, inviting me to NYC to discuss this opportunity. I visited at the tail end of my trip to the Bahamas in 2017 and, after months of negotiations and poring through beautiful Vogue archival images for suitable designs, we launched our Vogue collection in 2019. To celebrate the collaboration, we held a launch party in Montauk and invited an incredible array of personalities who were in some way involved in the surf or design industry, or held interest in our partnership through their own life journey.

What’s next for Nusa Indah?

Right now, I’m focused on living each day and sharing the joys of coastal living with my children. We surf or skate most days; their zest for life is infectious. I will continue to create boards for our clients to inspire them to share in this wonderful lifestyle or provide them with inspiration to engage in a lifelong dream to learn (if the board is on their wall!).

We are slowly refining our skill set to broaden our product range; we did our first collection of stand-up paddleboards for Eau Palm Beach last year, so I hope to bring this to our Australian market soon. I will also continue to collaborate with brands, artists, cultures and stories that inspire me. Recently I loved putting Nusa Indah’s name and signature style on the packaging of environmentally friendly home-care products label, Organic Choice.

 For more, visit Nusa Indah