Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Top five tips for alternative gift shopping

Not that I never feel the need to head to Orchard Road to flex my credit card, but I do try to avoid the area at the most crowded times - mid-morning to late afternoon on the weekends. I also like to support the burgeoning scene of quality independent retailers offering a little break from the norm:

Around the house:

- Strangelets - Wooden monkeys and handmade soaps to unique ceramics and illustrated notepads.

- egg3 - Funky handbags and handmade toys to painted glassware and frilly tops.


- Books Actually - Intriguing titles, handmade journals and vintage Singapore memorabilia. For heaven's sake, don't just mill around on the ground floor.

- Littered with Books - Inspiring titles, staff picks and a free cuppa. What's not to like? Be warned: Many hours may pass between entering and exiting.


- Granny's Day Out - A plethora of dresses, shoes, bags and jewellery from times gone by are lovingly collected and displayed for your purchasing pleasure.

- nana and bird - Scarves, belts and treasure chests. You'll be hard pressed not to find a single item that will serve as a beautifully unique gift.


- ToTT (Tools of The Trade) - The place wet kitchen dreams are made, especially those featuring Jamie Oliver.

- 25 degree Celsius - Singapore's first (and therefore, best) cookbook shop. They also run recipe sessions selected from the books available in store.


- Boutiques at Fort Canning - This event happens every couple of months or so and features a wide range of items from some excellent designers (mainly expat wives) who have yet to open a physical store.

- Not In The Malls - An online portal gathering some of Singapore's finest 'finds' from the independent designer scene.

- Asylum - For global trend spotters and setters: if your wallet's feeling heavy, I'm sure you can unload some excess weight here in exchange for a whole lotta 'cool'.

Bonus Tip - Mixed bag:

- Hairloom & Caramel - Where else can you get a hair cut, eat a quiche lorraine and leave with a retro notepad? Simply awesome.

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