updated 19 Apr 2012, 12:23
user id password
Tue, Dec 06, 2011
The Business Times
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Style powwow at the Teepee
by Melissa Lwee-Ramsay


A Curious Teepee

QUIRKY concept store A Curious Teepee (ACT) is often cited as the go-to place to discover local talent. After all, when Tracy Phillips first opened the space last year, she made it a point to ensure that at least 50 per cent of its retail space would be set aside for Singapore-made or designed items.

The bad news is that ACT will make its final bow at *SCAPE at the end of this year but the good news is that it is merely moving online, with the launch scheduled for Dec 23. "We had always intended to have an online presence but it took a while to fine-tune the specifications and design of the site," reveals Phillips.

"A lot of the local designers we stock are eager to sell online too but do not have the resources to manage their own retail sites so it's a good opportunity for us to keep championing local design through

"The fact that we often have customers writing to us to ship items and that tourists make up some of our best customers was further encouragement to find ways to make our products more accessible."

The move online will also allow them to offer 24-hour accessibility as well as achieve instant conversions from online marketing efforts. "The trend towards online shopping and now phone shopping is only going to get more prevalent," observes Phillips. "There are other websites but they lean towards higher fashion, whereas we are looking at the design sensibility while being more accessible. We also want to keep the majority of our items under $500."

With the online migration, ACT will cut down on some of the larger home items that it currently stocks. However, the focus will continue to be on unique items but with a greater shift towards lesser-known Asian brands and aroundthe-clock gift-shopping.

Some new regional labels to watch include Kandura, BYO and Nikicio. Visitors to the site can also look forward to exclusive deals online as well as collaborations with local and Asian designers.

Promoting Asian talent, says Phillips, has always been one of ACT's core directives. The aim: to promote and give more exposure to quality Asian design.

"We managed to do a lot with the store, through our collaborations, pop-up stores, talks and exhibitions and we plan to still do these types of events ad hoc. But freeing ourselves from managing a physical space daily and having lower overheads means we can do more in our efforts to grow the awareness of our brands, while reaching out to a much wider audience," she says.

"We are looking at emerging designers from here and the region, producing in small, exclusive quantities and weaving parts of their tradition into new modern design. We will also continue with our international brands whose design and brand direction we feel should have more exposure in Asia."

This article was first published in The Business Times.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.