Singaporean artisan brands are giving many big international names a run for their money today. Besides quality, they reflect the personalities of their talented founders, and reference beloved places such as Chinatown and Little India, as well as shared experiences such as Peranakan culture and Musang King durians. These gifts convey a message, create an experience, make an impression and capture the essence of gifting.
Bonus benefit: Supporting local businesses helps our economy stay resilient during the pandemic. And since February is Total Defence month, and Economic Defence is an integral part of that, why not show some love to Singapore during the month of love?
Just add coffee
If the two of you are coffee aficionados and love to bond over cafe hopping, why not surprise your partner with a coffee subscription? PPP Coffee is a small-batch specialty roaster offering curated beans from places such as Suke Quto, Ethiopia and Thippanahalli, India. Gourmands will pick up notes like dark chocolate, macadamia, peach and spice in their brew. With a three-month Surprise Box subscription ($72), you can be sure you will be the first thing on your partner’s mind each morning.
More info at pppcoffee.com
Another made-in-Singapore coffee brand, Hook Coffee sources their beans from the world’s best farms, roasts them with state-of-the-art roasters, and delivers freshly roasted coffees direct to their customers. Choose from convenient drip bags with quirky names like Gold Digger and SpecuLose Your Mind, ground or whole beans, or capsules. Sign up for a subscription and you’ll never have to do a day without coffee again.
SAFRA members enjoy 50% off their first subscription (from $10) with promo code SAFRA50 or 10% off storewide with promo code SAFRA10.
More info at www.safra.sg/promotions/HookCoffee
Bling sexy back
Run-of-the-mill platinum, gold or silver jewellery is unlikely to stand out among her collection. So why not add a touch of colour, vivacity and character with EDEN + ELIE’s Modern Peranakan or Celestia collections? A former architect, artist and product designer, mumtrepreneur Stephanie Choo creates stunning heritage-inspired pieces from premium Japanese glass delica beads and semi-precious stones such as jade, blue lapis and rose quartz. She is also known to work with local organisations to help those with autism learn the craft, so be sure to share this cool titbit with your partner.
Prices start from $118.60 for the Striped Medallion Earrings; more info at edenandelie.com
Don’t miss the fine print
If your partner loves interesting prints, Onlewo is the brand for him or her. The brainchild of Mike Tay, one of Singapore Tatler Homes’ top 50 Influential Singapore Designers 2016, this brand brings heritage to life with bright colours and contemporary designs. Bags, scarves, notebooks and men’s shirts feature quirky motifs inspired by the Singapore Orchid, Peranakan culture, Little India and even Nonya kueh. They are bound to score you style points.
Prices start from $20 for a reusable face mask; more info at onlewo.com/shop
Up the luxe quotient
Sign your lady – or why not yourself – up for half a day of pampering before your big date. Founded by mother-and-daughter duo Jenny Teng and Pauline Ng, Porcelain is highly raved about by the media, makeup artists and beautyphiles. Book her an Arctic Tone facial ($425.85 for 90 minutes), which renews skin at temperatures of -15°C, or a Beespoke Honey Facial ($425.85 for 90 minutes), which combines cold therapy with a Shiatsu face massage and bee propolis extract for glowing moisture-kissed skin.
More info at porcelainskin.com
For the love of leather
Minimalists will love leather atelier Senkoubou. Founder Chin Shiying is a fashion design graduate from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts who honed her craft under a master craftsman in Kyoto. Products such as the Capsule Collection TWIG Wallet ($168) and Sprout Coin Case ($39) are 100 per cent handstitched. Chin uses sustainable leather derived from rawhide discarded by the food industry and processed via non-toxic traditional vegetable tanning in Tuscany, Italy. She also custom-makes products if you are looking for something truly unique.
More info at senkoubou.co
Shop for hops
A present that doubles up as a date, The 1925 Brewing Co.’s 4 Pack ($25), and craft beers (from $6.50) are perfect for foodies. Co-founder Chef Ivan Yeo was named Asian Cuisine Chef by the World Gourmet Summit 2020. His brews are designed to pair perfectly with Asian food, especially Teochew inspired cuisine. The bottles also come with cool designs and quirky names such as Musang King Ale, Lychee Pale Lager and Where’s The Monkey? Bonus Tip: You could even invite your partner for a Brewery Tour ($40 per person) at Mandai Foodlink for your next date.
More info at the1925store.com
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