Charles Descotis, owner and founder of the hammock brand Ticket to the Moon, shared his day with The Bali Times Laurane Marchive
Being in Bali with people from all over the world is what I like the most; it’s a very cosmopolitan world.
My day starts around 6:30 or 7am, when I have breakfast, watch the news and go straight to my office, which is close to my house. It’s very important for me to be in the office every morning. I think it’s a matter of respect between a manager and his employees. I also feel I have to lead by example. In my office I check my emails, organize production depending on demand and I talk with the managers of the shops, marketing, production and accounting. We all work in the same office, which is great because they are the four pillars of the company.
I spend the whole morning working in my office, only stopping for lunch when I go to the Cantina, the restaurant everybody goes to. I go by car even though it is very close, because for me the car is like a moving office. I can drive and keep on working, receiving emails on my phone, thinking about business.
My company developed via the internet, and is still strongly linked to the internet, so I can work wherever I am, which is great. I started doing this job because I like to move and travel, and it would be very difficult for me to stay in my office eight hours a day.
It was my passion for travel that prompted me to start the company. For a long time, I traveled with a hammock, using it a lot in India, and when I got to Bali I discovered the perfect fabric to make hammocks out of. I made 300 hammocks with nylon parachute fabric, took them back to Europe, sold them and came back to Bali to start producing more. It’s pretty ironic that when I left France to go to India, I did it to disconnect from the material world. But Ticket to The Moon was also a way for my friends and I to keep on traveling, and now it’s a nice success story because I began with nothing. If I hadn’t been copied, I’d be a billionaire by now.
When I am at the Cantina, I never end up alone, as it’s always full of entrepreneurs. I love it because I can come alone, and sit at a table with 10 people I know and can talk with. We discuss business; it’s basically a business exchange, which is why lunch often lasts so long.
In the afternoon, I don’t work at Ticket to The Moon; instead I get together with friends in my house to chill and work on common projects, like a humanitarian project on the island of Sumba.
I first went to Sumba a long time ago. From the plane it looked like an amazing place, but once I was on the ground I realized there were no roads leading to the place I was going, so I had to get there on horseback. I met with a tribe living in a very remote place; some could speak Indonesian, so I talked with them, and they welcomed me. It was a wonderful experience.
They were people who were living a very traditional way, without even using money or any link to the modern world, but they were also missing hospitals and education; they were missing everything. They gave me land to build a house, so I built it the traditional way, and I started to go back more and more often. Together with some friends I built a road to link the village to the rest of the island, and we created a program to eradicate malaria there. We also started a program so the children could go to school, and tried to develop a local economy for them to have some money to live on.
Now I go back to Sumba as often as possible, but even when I’m there, I have to stay connected to the external world, to take care of the company. I sometimes have to ask the children to climb up a tree with my phone to get a signal to send an email. The Sumba project is very important for me, which is why my friends and I try to spend a lot of time working on it.
If I’m not working on the project, I spend my afternoon relaxing, doing nothing and seeing friends. I often have dinner out in a restaurant with friends, in one of the many wonderful places Bali has. After living in Bali for 10 years, I know almost everyone and all the great places to go.
In the evening it’s the same, I hang around with friends, or we stay in my house, simply hanging out. I love those times together; it’s the community thing I fell in love with when I was in India, I think. Being in Bali with people from all over the world is what I like the most; it’s a very cosmopolitan world.
I go to bed quite early, because I’m usually tired, and also because I know I have to wake up early the next day. Most nights I’m in bed before midnight, thinking I am the happiest man on earth. I have no stress – Ticket to The Moon is represented in 22 countries, and I have a nice, easy life in Bali. It’s perfect!