Some local brands have kind of a bad rep for selling products that have been described as being of low quality, poor craftsmanship, or are cheap-looking and mediocre at best. But KEEPERS is keen to break that stigma.
The concept of the store was actually borne out of the success of a gift shop in the heart of Orchard Road. Successfully drawing in tourists that were left in awe of the quality of the goods on sale, the lease of the pop-up was extended to two years after the initial six-month stint.
Its unprecedented success led to The Singapore Tourism Board funding a permanent space for the store at the National Design Centre, and the rest is history.
At KEEPERS, each product in-store has a story that comes along with it. For example, Fossa Chocolate is the by-product of passionate and hardworking Singaporeans.
The cocoa beans have been personally picked by them at different farms around the world, painstakingly roasted and then handcrafted to chocolate perfection. A process done by themselves from start to finish, all in their own backyard.
These quirkily titled tea blends are from Naiise. Perfectly encapsulating each flavour with the feel of our local neighbourhood. The Uniquely Yishun Chrysanthemum Tea is as subtle in appearance yet bold in flavours as the much-maligned Northern town.
Singlish For The Win
I wish I knew how Singlish became commonplace in our lives because there is absolutely no other language like it. Feelings that regularly require sentences to express are perfectly substituted with a mere sound.
These minimalist notebooks from Naiise and storybooks for the kids retold, as well as illustrated by locals are a testament to the unrecognised talent that hides in the Singaporean society.
Icebreaker games can go either way but I think with starknicked’s Smol Tok you should get a good result. Questions like, “How do you choose 4D & TOTO numbers?” will surely get anyone’s guard down.
More Than Just Sewn Up Fabrics
Coming from a Singaporean, Maison Q’s story is as pragmatic as you’ll ever hear. It was started by a mom who loved to play dress up with her kids but hated the thought of seeing her kids grow out of the clothes so quickly.
And so, reversible kids wear was born.
A family business that’s involved in leather-dealing, Tresse has an “I can do it better” attitude when it comes to producing better quality products as compared to the fashion powerhouses.
The brand aims to differentiate itself from the competition by using only A-grade leather for the interior of their products, a commitment that even the more established are not brave enough to do so yet.
Their signature weaving technique goes through a dyeing process with the sides painstakingly scrapped for that added detail.
Lastly, Freshly Pressed Socks believes that in a world of uniforms, hiding your secret identity within your socks is that small detail that screams to the world of your true intentions. Check out the Bert Socks, 10 points for guessing where its inspiration is derived from!
Hoping to give everyone a chance to shine, KEEPERS will rotate items on display to showcase the abundance of local talent yet to be given a stage to stand on. I left learning so many different stories of each brand, with an underlying, uniquely Singaporean trait to them.
I will almost certainly be back again to be whisked away by new tales in time to come.
KEEPERS: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, #01-01, Singapore 188969 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm | Website | Facebook | Instagram
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