I’d already decided what I was going to begin this post with – I normally do a lot of mental composing before actually writing – and it was going to start like this: “So this is fatigue.”
But, this got to me so a little reminder to myself, and everybody else: Life is short, it’s time to start living.
So back to the story:
So this is fatigue. Not the sort borne out of sitting at the desk staring into a monitor, but the sort that comes from driving up and down Singapore, meeting suppliers and collecting goods, hauling wooden pellets all over the place, arranging and re-arranging the store, endless writing product tags, sweeping the floor, hanging fairy lights, hanging industrial lights, endless photoshopping, hammering nails and blah, blah, blah.
Well, of course I exaggerated – all of the above was split between D and myself, but that’s still a mighty lot to do and, in between, we also managed to learn several things about organic farming, plus grow our own peppermint.
The culmination of all this: our first ever pop up store, held in collaboration with Edible Gardens, a local movement that aims to turn Singapore’s dense urban spaces into farms, and their community outreach arm, NONG, which aims to promote growing your own food. We (Naiise) come in as a retail partner for the event, alongside workshops and a gallery by Haystakt, and are retailing a pretty cool bunch of sustainably made/sourced, upcycled, recycled and locally designed products that encourage meaningful and sustainable living with design.
Check out our retail centrepiece – a beautiful D-I-Y table laid with real Norwegian Reindeer Moss placemats and vibrant kitchenware that brings to life the concept of farm-to-table, thus tying in together Edible Garden’s farms, and our retail offering. It was a stroke of genius by D (yes, I was impressed!), I guess I am better off hauling wooden pellets or doing something equally mundane.
To us, collaborating is a meeting of two minds that share a similar vision. Like the dreamers that we are, we instinctively connect with people that want to make the world a better place, who believe in outreach, education, and solidarity with the community to effect change.
NONG pop-up store will run until end-March on the 6th floor rooftop car park of People’s Park Complex (access by residential lift near KFC on the ground floor) and you can find more information about the event itself (including workshops) here.
It’s a great location – a surprising little quiet spot above the urban sprawl of Chinatown, with grand views of the surrounding CBD, an endless supply of fresh wind created by pressure that flows between the buildings. When night falls, it’s magical – it’s like being on one of those rooftop patios in shanty houses you see in Korean dramas (the kind the poor chick normally stays in) with beautiful views of N Seoul Tower.
Best of all, it’s the people that stream in and out – clearly convention breakers in their own right. Lots of ex Ivy League farmers, regular farmers (without the Ivy League), social entrepreneurs, artists, designers, architects, baristas, home growers, housewives, retirees, students, bloggers, scientists, yoga teachers and your everyday person. The conversations are always enriching, and I’ve learned so much by standing beside various people and learning all sorts of things across all sorts of genres. It’s very stimulating, and I love it.
The long retail hours are really tiring though, hats off to people who work in this line. Especially when we bring our snow dogs out to man the store (like today), we almost died lugging those two around with us all the time.
Come by and say hi if you’re feeling hippie, in need of inspiration or some fresh basil! Food recommendation when you’re in the area: mala xiang guo at the food centre (look for the stall that has the laminated newspaper article in front of it) – it’s sooo good; D and I have been eating it almost everyday, to the extent of me getting a sore throat from all that chilli!