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Wed, Jul 28, 2010
New Straits Times
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Birth of a beautiful retro store
by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU - TAKE a stroll along the historical lane of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee in the heart of Johor Baru and you will come across a unique intermediate shophouse that still retains elements of its past glory.

A closer look will reveal that it is a hair and beauty saloon called Birth, set in a bohemian style.

Step in and you will be greeted by curio items and the unique furniture, clothing and accessories from the '50s, '60s and '70s would catch your eye.

Birth belongs to Serence Teo and Chin Wee Yoong, who prefer the modern retro lifestyle like many of their younger peers.

Teo, who is in her 20s, operates the hair and beauty section.

"I came up with the name 'Birth' as it symbolised something new. Chin and I have been running this place for the past five years," said she.

Teo, who has over a decade of professional hair styling experience, said a good hair style can highlight a person's positive features.

"I also keep abreast with the latest styles so that I can introduce them to my customers," said Teo, who once had a training stint in Shanghai, China, in 2004 under the famed hair specialists, Vidal Sassoon.

Chin, a 30-something professional design, furniture and decor consultant, said that he initially used Birth as a base for his design ideas and hobby of collecting modern retro clothing.

"Over time, I decided to offer a clothing range, especially vintage jeans, as a means of sustaining my hobby," said Chin, adding that his items are priced from RM25 to RM1,000.

Chin, a graduate of the famed Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, also helps his customers attain unique modern retro items.

Birth is at 66, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. For details, call 07-227 7714. Birth is open from 11am to 8pm and is closed on Monday and Tuesday

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