I’m sitting in a trendy cafe in Bali when Nelly casually arrives with her new dog Macho in tow, suspended from her chest in a baby jumper.
Looking so fresh and clean. Perfect skin and long golden thick hair, beautiful big blue eyes. She has a very unaffected nature about her.
A native German who has lived in Bali most of her life. Not your typical up bringing. With her creative and eclectic parents she grew up traveling as a child from Germany, to Thailand then Bali.
You can imagine this would give one a unusual perspective.
Nelly is in charge of photography and creative content for the Samapura website and Instagram for New Zealand, no small tasks for this growing company and wait for it… she's only 18. Not your typical teen life or job at all. Nelly said she defeintaley feels the pressure at times and works pretty much everyday. This a family owned business so imagine every day your working with your dad and mom, most teens try to spend as little time as possible around their parents. Not your normal 9-5, never one to sit too long in one place she loves to take breaks with a MMA class or any martial arts are her jam.
Soical life and school were not easy for her. She often felt like a outsider and a loner given her usual upbringing she related more to adults than her peers not to mention she has Dyslexia which can leave one feeling dumb. She was bullied in school which erodes your confidence. She is proud of herself and her growth since those days. We know so much more about Dyslexia now, people just learn in a different way. All the greats have it Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Justin Timberkake, Leonard da Vinci, and me. Nelly is in good company,
She is a very visual person and photography is her language. Show her any problem from a visual point of view and suddenly everything makes sense. From the moment her father encouraged her to pick up a camera she knew that was her vocation the lens could say so much more than she could express with words. It gave her a voice and self expression and confidence. She really credits her dad as the one to push her and inspire her. Dads belief in her talent gave her the nudge she needed. “He is not always easy on me but pushes me to grow.” Not your typical dad either with his young and playful nature, she says he is much younger than her. Nelly’s mom is uber smartht a talented creative being with a clothing line in her own right. When she speaks of her parents it’s with a respect not often heard by a teenager. Nothing about this family is cookie cutter.
Her goal is to keep growing with the company, as it expands world wide. It is a very exciting time at Samapura as they keep adding more designs, countries and campaigns. Nelly feels more alive and freedom in Bali than Europe and a real bond with Bali “ In Bali there are just more creative people Bali always surprise you “
Most teens her age are a bit of a lost generation in her experience, not to mention the added anxiety of the uncertainty of Covid on top of everything else. She does not drink, party, or socialise much. What she does do is light up when she speaks about her photography idol Peter Lindbergh not Justin Bieber.
In an era of Instagram likes and sharing every moment of your life for a feed back loop of approval especially as a teen. Nelly has the perfect stage most teens would love to to brag about. A 18 year old photographer at a global jewelry company who lives on the island of Bali and yet you won't find a photo of her posting about any of it in her IG feed. Quite refreshing I must say. You will only find her work on her Instagram. No need to brag or broadcast she lets her work speak for itself.
If I were a betting person I’d put my money on Nelly to watch in the future as she grows with Samapura and look forward to attending her gallery art show one day when the in between shit years are over and it’s her time to shine.
To see Nelly Sues work view: https://www.instagram.com/nelly_sue_photos/
About the Author
Laura Abeyta, migrated from Venice beach California 4 years ago after 12 years of trips visiting Bali. Her documentary film experience and her passion for backstory give her a unique insider lens to Bali. Lauras love of people the art of sharing their dreams and vision of the person and the soul of the brand is what she enjoys bringing to our readers. You can find Laura up loading great content for her app HappNow to share Bali with the world.