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It's no secret that shopping and eating are the two unofficial sports in Singapore. When away from the dining table, forgo the shopping malls and head instead to the city's growing number of independent and perhaps lesser-known shops hawking quirky, handmade wares. With Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ Orchard Hotel Singapore located at the tip of the shopping district, you’re never too far from the interesting souvenirs at these off-kilter boutiques.
Craftsmanship is cool again thanks to shops such as The General Company and Bynd Artisan. The General Company, located just above third-wave coffee haven, Chye Seng Huat Hardware, advocates craftsmanship through workshops, private events, and its range of artisanal goods. Visit this beautiful space to pick up locally made timepieces by HyperGrand, small leather goods by Bellroy, and iPhone cases by Fabrix.
If you would rather score a customised expertly bound notebook, head to Bynd Artisan's inspiring ateliers in Holland Village or Boon Lay. Here, you will find simple and elegant notebooks as well as small accessories crafted from buttery European leather. If time is on your side, sign up for a modern calligraphy or leather-crafting workshop.
While creativity and design may not be the first things that come to mind when one thinks of Singapore, there's a sprinkling of independent stores on the island that are setting the tone for a new wave of design-forward retail.
Supermama, with its flagship store on Beach Road, sells a mix of Singapore-inspired goods from knick-knacks to everyday objects. For sale here are limited-edition capsule collections of items such as ceramics and glassware birthed out of collaborations with artists and designers.
Strangelets, on trendy Yong Siak Street, is a lifestyle store owned by interior designers and architects proudly displaying their brand of eccentric, fun, and outlandish merchandise. Expect eclectic offerings such as light fixtures by David Trubridge, Magno radios by Singgih S. Kartono, and jewellery by Miss Bibi.
For a real mixed bag – from cosmetics to fashion to homeware – visit hip Hong Kong and Singapore-based lifestyle shop kapok. Located at the National Design Centre, it's here that you can peruse artisanal unisex fragrances by Code Deco and a variety of accessories by their in-house brand.
With the influx of unique boutiques offering truly special wares, the Little Red Dot provides a much-needed platform for local artisans, craftsmen, and designers. It’s also a great reason for you to shop!