There’s a bit of an assumption floating around that it’s the Peter Pans of society that up and move to Bali or spend a good portion of their calendar here.
Their uniform’s a sarong; their ambitions stretch no further than finding the perfect wave; and they pay for their Bintangs using their mother country’s government handouts.
inBali’s People with Passion series aims to spotlight the inspiring individuals who are proving that stereotype wrong through a wide spectrum of philanthropic, environmentally conscious or forward thinking pursuits.
Despite the rules of convention suggesting they should get a sensible job and wear sensible shoes, these people have taken a risk and gone in search of a life with meaning.
They don’t just come to Bali to work on their tans and puff out their wardrobes, they come here to achieve ambitious dreams and attempt to make the world a better place.
And for that, they have our sincere respect.
Introducing the star of this month’s edition: Soren Molineux of Smile Clothing.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Soren Molineux and I am the founder of Smile Clothing, a brand that works on the premise of: Give first. Wear second.
When was your first encounter with the island of Bali and what was it like?
My first encounter with Bali was when I was 18. Bali was, as it is now, a beautiful place that I seemed to resonate with.
What came first, your desire to be in Bali or your desire to start Smile?
I conceptually started Smile in 2007-2008, so I guess that came first. Spending the lion’s share of time in Bali came as a result of Smile.
What have been the most rewarding and challenging elements of doing what you do?
The most rewarding element is without question the Clothing Programs, giving children in need school uniforms & t-shirts. The most challenging thing would be balancing everything as we move forward, but this is also one of the great parts to it all as well.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs wanting to do something that positively impacts the island?
With so many issues in the world, how did you arrive at your point of passion?
I am not entirely sure. It was not of a grand design or anything to end up on this path, I just luckily found myself upon it. From the age of about 18 my friends and I started travelling to some remote areas in low socio economic regions, and we saw some things that I guess helped form the foundation of what Smile was built upon. During those formative years, seeing kids not having access to things we sometimes take for granted like T-Shirts and School Uniforms, it probably made us just want to play a small part in helping in a space in which we think we can.
What does your average day in Bali look like?
I don’t really have an average day or a set schedule in Bali exactly, but there’s usually a fairly healthy mix of computer work, production house work, Denpasar drives, sourcing fabrics, ocean time, keeping active and hanging with friends.
A traveller comes to you asking you to name 3 things they should do whilst in Bali that their guidebook won’t tell them about. What are they?
1. Go hang out and help out at a Yayasan.
2. Find an empty beach break with some friends.
3. Eat plenty of Betelnut (Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No. 60, Canggu).
Where are the three best places to eat drink and be merry?
1. Ruko – a great new place for breakfast and lunch at 99 Jalan Berawa.
2. Hungry Bird on Pantai Berawa in Canggu for incredible coffee.
3. Earth Cafe & Market on Oberoi in Seminyak for great vegan food.
What does the future hold for you?
I have absolutely no idea. Hopefully continuing to work on Smile in a full time capacity, and for us to help as many people as possible in a manner of which we are proud.
How can we follow you and support your great work?
Do you know of someone in Bali doing great things who deserves to be featured in our People with Passion series? Please send an e-mail to info [at] inbali [dot] org with a brief description of who they are and what they do.