It all started with those retro clamshell chairs that we purchased for the boys' little reading corner. We had dragged them all the way back from Penang, since kid's sized string chairs are hard to find in Singapore. The boys loved them, and I loved how comfortable they were, and how easy they were to maintain and clean. We had lots of people asking about the chairs after I shared about them, and a fleeting thought of selling them in Singapore came into my head. However, I dismissed the thought, since I just didn't have a time to run a business at that point in time.
Then a friend Fiona asked me if I was keen to start up a lil shop with her, selling various old-school or vintage items. I knew her way back in Secondary School as we were in Symphonic band together, and I was good friends with her sister. We were both decorating our homes with various retro/vintage items, and we found we had similar tastes in those areas. (Her home has been featured on Home & Decor, just look for the home with the Marilyn Monroe mural in this feature!)
So we decided to set up a small online shop, and named it "Chairish the Moments", since we were planning to sell those clamshell chairs (this was jokingly suggested by a good friend, and the name stuck!). We decided to start small, and started selling granny rugs. These were sewn using scraps, and all these little pieces of fabric were pieced together to form lovely designs:
Then we started branching out and started selling the clamshell chairs. We also widened our product base: we sourced for vintage-inspired postcards, we hunted down vintage porcelain, we searched for enamelware. Fiona had been a collector for quite some time, and knew where to get these things locally. I went hunting in Penang whenever we headed back to visit. It was a win-win situation, since we loved sourcing for these items, and got to share the love with our customers!
One of our focus was bringing in old-school items that children could use. I was already buying some of these for my kids, and I loved how we could introduce these classic items into a market brimming with loud and plasticky toys.
The partnership has been working really well. Fiona has a retail background, and handles the sales bit while also sourcing locally for many of our items, while I help to source for items overseas. I am so thankful for her friendship, all her hard work, and how we are able to discuss all these matters candidly.
We've also been blessed to have so much behind the scenes help. The hubs helps to bring me around Penang to hunt for shop stuff, and my in-laws help me to buy and ship stuff. Fiona's hubby has also helped us to set up our accounts and guided us through various administrative mazes.
A shop survives on customers, and we have been so blessed to have such supportive and lovely ones! We're so thankful for them: they are patient when there are unforeseen delays, and are generally prompt in replying messages and settling payment. We've also had the privilege of being featured by various mum bloggers in their Christmas gift lists, and also got to share more about the story of our shop over here.
So we're thankful. As the year draws to a close, and we sort out our shop plans for the year ahead, we just want to say thank you. For the help that some of you have given, for the encouragement and support. We couldn't have done it without you!