Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us and this is evident from the scores of frazzled men scouring around our overcrowded shopping centers, trying desperately to rack their memories for hints left by their lovelies, or for meaningful presents that won’t scream “no effort!” or “cheapo!”.
Well, on behalf of the women, and because I know my husband could definitely benefit from this, here is a list of carefully curated online stores that could end your shopping woes very quickly, and make your lady very happy. You can find something for every budget and (arguably) every personality.
What makes this list different from the thousands floating out there is that all the stores featured here are homegrown brands run by Singaporean artisans that I’ve found extremely inspiring. I hope this can help to raise awareness for the incredible talent that we have in Singapore! Let’s #SupportSingapore (:
All prices are in Singapore Dollars, unless otherwise stated. All images are taken from the stores’ websites.
For the sensitive soul
The goods from Gracesmiths are so sincere and heartfelt, it’s impossible not to love them. They are strong advocates for social causes and social enterprises such as The Mother & Child Project and the work they’ve done with it, such as the Providence collection, is truly symbolic of the strength and grace they hope to provide these women. Their Woodword series is absolutely lovely as well and will be a blessing to any home or workstation!
The Saught story is a beautiful one. Every article of jewellery has been crafted from the landmines of Cambodia, in an effort to spread the message of peace, hope and courage. Advocating sustainability in post-conflict countries, the current collections inspire freedom from war and poverty. I love how each piece is so thoughtfully crafted – richly inspired by its origins, and is a poignant symbol for the future.
For the artistic aficionado
I know girls who can spend hours in a stationery store just touching the pretty paper and notebooks, because I’m one of them. These two boutiques bring stationery to new heights with their artistic infusions and gorgeous colours. Adorned with inspiring and aww-inducing quotes, these are perfect for all beauty and art fanatics.
Lovers of words and art, The Letter J Supply blends both beautifully with their typography, prints and calligraphy. Have a special quote or verse in mind? They specialise in bespoke calligraphy and can create works of truly meaningful art.
Fun, feisty and fabulous – the stationery from Paper Bunny adds instant sunshine to any occasion! I bought one of their notebooks and still can’t bear to use it because it’s so pretty.
(Psst, they have a special Valentine’s Day promotion on naiise.com! Use the code TPBLOVE15 for 15% off your purchases on naiise!)
For the one and only
I love all our local artisans, but Hadasity is a little more special to me because the woman behind the magic, Hadassah, is a close friend whose amazing talent has never failed to impress me. If your lady is bold, confident, colourful and constantly lamenting the proliferation of mass-produced products, she will go head over heels for one of Hadasity’s statement necklaces. Each one is lovingly crafted by Hadassah herself and tells its own unique tale. No two pieces are identical, and they always end up being conversation points because people are so fascinated by how special they are! Apart from statement necklaces, there are also bauble cuffs, signet rings, and earrings of every imaginable colour. And if you can’t decide, or want a specific theme, you can also opt to customise! Believe me, Hadassah has the talent of envisioning and creating pieces that are better than you would have even imagined.
For the sweet tooth
Made from the finest ingredients in France, these truffles are apparently little bits of heaven waiting to explode in your mouth. The man we have to thank for this is chocolatier Teng Ei Liang, who is dedicated to helping Singaporeans achieve chocolate gastrorgasm. You can choose between varieties of truffles with 55%, 66% or 70% dark chocolate, depending on your threshold of dark decadence. Truffs Cafe at Telok Ayer Street is also reputedly one of the best places in town for a hot chocolate and cakes! So if you know your girl’s a chocolate-lover, don’t give her anything less than the best.For the girl who loves to read
This independent bookstore probably has the most beautiful books on the island, and I love it for its emphasis and feature on our local literature. If she loves words, she will love anything from Books Actually because their selection has been carefully curated for quality.
For the quirky weirdo (I say this with much affection because it’s exactly how my husband would describe me)
My favourite collection here is hands down the Quirky Singapore one, because it really showcases the idiosyncrasies of our local culture in a creative and endearing manner. Featuring colourful tote bags with Singlish catchphrases and adorable brooches that symbolise the stereotypes we love (and hate), it would be every quirky girl’s dream to carry or wear one of their items with pride. If for some inexplicable reason you don’t fancy the Singaporean slant, there are also other cutesy and quirky items like their Pasta and Origami necklace. But seriously, #supportsingapore la. Damn awesome please!
And if you’re lazy and only want to go to one website…
Naiise is kinda like your one-stop shop for everything awesome. It’s my new favourite website, because I can spend hours just browsing through all the eclectic brands and merchandise they carry. You can find anything, from quirky household items to tongue-in-cheek totes to nostalgic jewellery, and even artisanal jam!! My personal favourites are still the ones inspired by local culture, and if your girl is the nostalgic sort with a good sense of humour, there’s no way she’s not gonna love what they have to offer.
I really hope this list has been useful for the men, uplifting for the women, and pride-inducing for all Singaporeans! If you know of any other local artisans that are inspiring, I would love to hear about them as well (:
Wishing everyone love and joy this festive season! xx