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43 years ago, Martha Salon, a small salon open in an ex garage, at Jalan Kusuma Atmaja No. 47, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, in a room sized 6×4 meters. Today it turns out to be the start of the biggest beauty care product manufacturer in Indonesia, Martha Tilaar Group.

Young Martha just recently came back to the country after accompanying her husband, Prof Dr. H.A.R Tilaar in USA. While in the US, she took the opportunity to learn about beauty at the academy of Beauty Culture, Bloomington, Indiana. With the urge to open her own salon, she uses her dad home garage to fulfill her mission, a beauty salon with local natural product. Two years later she opened another salon at Jalan Anggur No. 3 Cipete, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan. Which also mark the start of her brand of Sari Ayu Martha Tilaar.

At 1977 Martha Tilaar opens cooperation with Theresia Harsini Setiady, the owner of PT Kalbe Farma. They together agreed to build a manufacturer of cosmetic and jamu (traditional herbs) named PT Martina Berto. Later they build several manufacturers at industrial area around Jakarta.

During 1988-1995 PT Martina Berto has a chance to acquire some company, such as PT Kurnia Harapan Raya, PT Cempaka Belksoindo Indah, PT Cedefindo, PT Estrella Lab, and PT Kreasi Boga. And then at 1999 Martha Tilaar with all her family member buys all the stocks of PT Kalbe Farma. From this Marta Tilaar and family fully own all stock of PT Martina Berto which remarks the merge of all company into one big group, Martha Tilaar Group. The subsidiary companies are PT Martina Berto and PT Tiara Permata Sari (manufacturer and product marketing of Sariayu Martha Tilaar, Biokos Martha Tilaar, Belia Martha Tilaar, Berto Martha Tilaar, Aromatic Oil of Java Martha Tilaar, Dewi Sri Spa Martha Tilaar, Jamu Garden Martha Tilaar).

Also PT Cedefindo (manufacturer and product marketing of Rudy Hadisuwarno Cosmetis, Madonna), PT Cempaka Belkosindo Indah (manufacturer and marketing product of Mirabella and Cempaka), PT Sari Ayu Indonesia (distributor of all product except Cempaka product), PT Martha Beauty Gallery (Martha Tilaar Salon, Martha Tilaar Salon & Day Spa, Cipta Busana Martha Tilaar, Art & Beauty Martha Tilaar, Puspita Martha Tilaar).

From small salon into beauty product business empire, Martha Tilaar doesn’t have beauty image when she was young. She is more known as boyish girl with ugly face. She never stay put like other girls at that time. Her behavior and the way she dress up is more like the boys. Despite the high fence of her grandfather’s house, she still can sneak out and play kite at the outside, enjoying the view of the village or playing around at the farm. She never scared of anything. Her mother keeps telling her the way of the girl should look like. And Martha’s mother always keep one good value to her, hard work before anything else, which she kept all the way in her life.

(Source: http://www.tokohindonesia.com/biografi/article/285-ensiklopedi/80-sariayu-bermula-dari-garasi)