The story of Inge Christopher is, in many ways, the story of its founders Inge Hendromartono and Christopher Senn. They met and fell in love 27 years ago and this year will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary along with the 25th anniversary of the business they have created and grown. Both in demanding corporate jobs when they met, they launched Inge Christopher to satisfy their desire to spend time with one another and blend raising a young family with a creative, entrepreneurial venture that allowed them to work, travel and grow together. Inge was keen to establish an integral link between her two daughters and her family in Indonesia and Christopher was determined to own and manage a business. Family, relationships and cultural roots are at the heart of the company and have endured as the principles on which Inge and Christopher rely to steer its course.
The collaboration between Inge and Christopher brought together Christopher’s British reserve and business savvy with the love of color and fashion that was nurtured through three generations of Inge’s Batik family. The company was incorporated in 1986 and sales launched in ‘87. Initially Inge explored inherited Indonesian traditions, making fine sterling silver jewelry and then designing handbags made from antique rattan mats. The couple traveled extensively with their small daughters to build close relationships with manufacturers in Indonesia and China. Inge Christopher grew through different design expressions and gradually became synonymous with the exquisite and much sought after evening accessories in fine leathers and fabrics with rich embellishments that now signify the brand. The company has relied on a small family of employees, some of whom were hired in the very earliest months of business more than 24 years ago. These enduring relationships support the traditions of design, quality and respect.
Passion for design has been the driving force of the Inge Christopher brand since its inception. Tracing back to the prized Indonesian batiks, hand dyed and painted by Inge’s family in patterns reserved for nobility. Some of these found their way into the hands of Dutch Royalty and the halls of museums in Washington, Los Angeles and beyond. Inge brought this tradition to her work in the US, creating a San Francisco -based design team and creating several one-of-a-kind fabrics and prints. Quality was her second obsession and led to a globetrotting search for the best beads and fabrics from all over the world. Inge Christopher continues to be deeply invested in the art of design, evident in the exquisite materials, fine craftsmanship and unique details of each piece.
25th Anniversary Celebration and Donation to 10,000 Degrees
Many years ago Inge received a scholarship supporting her undergraduate studies in the U.S. Her parents' commitment to educating their daughter and her resulting move to the U.S. culminated in her earning her MBA at UCLA and taking her place as a successful business owner in a world very different from the one she grew up in. The impact of this experience now inspires Inge Christopher’s support of 10,000 Degrees which will be the recipient of funds marking their 25th Anniversary.
10,000 Degrees is a San Rafael based non-profit that plants the idea of a college education in children from low income families and then mentors them, helps them research and apply to college, provides them with financial aid and delivers the emotional support they need to succeed. 84% of their students graduate compared to the 24% national average for kids from low income families. Through their support, Inge and Christopher work to ensure that others in their community share the opportunities and advantages that have come from their success.