“The wild is an integral part of who are are as children. Without pausing to consider what or where or how, we gather herbs and flowers, old apples and rose hips, shiny pebbles and dead spiders, poems, tears and raindrops, putting each treasured thing into the cauldron of our souls. We stir our bucket of mud as if it were, every one, a bucket of chocolate cake to be mixed for the baking. Little witches, hag children, we dance our wildness, not afraid of knowing…”
– Emma Restall Orr
Take me back to when I could just conjure anything with my mind. When I could see through ant holes and whisper my secrets into the cracks of trees and transform shells into gold with my touch.
When every pond and rockpool was a portal.
Where ever creek would just come alive if I were slow and silent enough to let it.
“The mission is simple. Create. Create love, peace, art, inspiration, care, heart, honesty, a full picture of what it’s really about.”
– Andra Knox
Hello. It’s me. It has certainly been awhile.
Can you believe we’re almost in May? We killed it at Boutiques Fair in March – it was incredible seeing all your lovely faces.
We launched our jade facial rollers which were a runaway hit about three times over.
And we are just about to pop up at Buro’s charity market on Sat 22 April (2pm to 6pm at The Co.) for #Burogivesback.
But can I tell you a secret? As great as this season’s been, it hasn’t been without its challenges. For example, it’s getting exhausting watching people visiting our booths only to take pictures and “adapt” (to put it nicely) our handpainted props and VM for their campaigns and stores.
Those who blatantly stand infront of our booths to say, “See what they’ve did there? They’ve created height”, and after taking 30 pictures as if it were some styling workshop then ask, “Is it ok we take pictures?”
And to think that Einstein said the secret to creativity was knowing where to hide your sources.
An editor friend of ours whose work gets ahem, remixed all the time reminded us that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
We try so hard to remember Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on creativity, Big Magic which explains that sometimes someone isn’t copying you per se, it’s just merely multiple discovery. Meaning to say, a researcher in South Sudan could reach the same scientific findings as her counterpart in London at the same time. Nobody copied anybody. It was all coincidence.
Except sometimes you know it isn’t. And it sucks. And you just have to bear it and move on. Alors.
The beautiful thing about creativity though, is that you may copy someone, but you’ll never be able to replicate their process or intent.
But before we go to a bad place, time to log off, burn some sage/palo santo and de-internet…
The Etsy crew flew in from London and spent the better half of Saturday afternoon making candles with us at the Bloesem studios here in Singapore. Who doesn’t love shopping Etsy, poring over all the handmade items by ridiculously talented folk. It’s inspiring and encouraging to know that there’s a platform that actually values craft. Sometimes, I feel the most honest thing a person can do is work with their hands – be it illustrate a picture, fashion a vessel out of clay, make a beautiful necklace or hanging pendant to decorate the home with.
It was a lovely time of reconnecting with friends (shoutout to Leyna of Mondays Off on Haji where we’re stocked) as well as getting to know some of Singapore’s most creative makers and doers like Melly of Green Laundry and Jaim of The Paper Bunny who creates amazing stationery and does out of this world flatlays. I even was lucky enough to catch Edrick of Popaganda and Astrie of FP Juice on her way out. We laughed, we ate Popaganda popsticks and of course, we ogled at the absolutely charming back and white house that is the new Bloesem space.
I’m really excited to see what Etsy have in store for us here in the +65 and all the creative labels that can spring forth as a result. This is added incentive to #supportlocal! Mmerci to the Etsy crew as well as Irene, Zaara and Mei of Bloesem for the afternoon to remember!
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
We, like so many other wonderful brands part of Ate’s Creatory family spent the day processing the events of the past three days, resting our throats, allowing the blood to rush back down to our feet.
What an incredible three day festival of all things local. It was such a delight to be part of this epic event that brought together the whole spectrum of Singaporean creative life. From food and drink outlets like Artichoke, 2am dessert bar, 28 Kong Kong St, Kith… (the list could go on and on) to local artists, musos, retailers and artisans like our friends Magpie, Cavalier, The Letter J Supply & The Paper Bunny, Amuse Projects, Supermama, The General Co and Tofu.
If you ever need a Who’s Who of the Singapore creative scene – I suggest you hop on over to the Creatory site for a comprehensive list.
We had people of all ages visit us, some remarking that this place gave them “Brooklyn vibes” (better yet we thought: this was right in the +65!). We got to share our story, have lots of laughs and most of all, really interact with our neighbours and new friends. There was such a wonderful kampung spirit running through the place. When they weren’t completely mobbed themselves, the girls from Lulu’s Lemonade would pop over with fresh drinks for us, our wonderful friends from Ice Cream Cookie Co kept us company (we even scored their brownie on the last night!), Roxy from Artichoke would sneak treats up every so often… Even our visitors would ply us with food from home (thanks for the pasta, Shirlynn), knowing how swamped we were.
We were thrilled to bits when kids would run up and sniff everything, we loved shooting the breeze about gum trees and the smell of ripened summer mangoes with one awesome creative… And it didn’t matter to us that we had shared the same info on loop – because no matter how many times you repeat it, Mmerci Encore is all about artisanal aromatherapy goods, handcrafted in Singapore in small batches from the best raw materials sourced from France and Australia.
There was an amazing energy, a wonderful summer camp kind of vibe that I’m missing even now. It also made me realise how deep our roots with the community ran outside of Creatory. Did you know, for instance, that Joanne of The Letter J Supply calligraphs all our gift certificates for the bespoke orders we do? So many more stories we could share, but we’ll leave these for another time.
As I spent the day winding down, packing orders and treating myself to a banana and nutella crepe & earl grey tea at Pasarbella, my mind kept going to the Ate team – if we’re tired, they must need to go into hibernate mode till next summer. I am so grateful to Daphne & Sharon from Ate for the invite and for the chance to be part of this collective of incredible creatives. So thank you Ate for this gift to the community! You’ve sown the seed of awesome and I know we’re not the only ones who hope that Creatory becomes A Thing.
To the curators of level 6, the HJGHER team, who worked hard to pull the whole show together, thank you so much.
And finally, props to anyone who participated and supported this great event just by rocking up. To absolutely everyone who supported us – prayed for us, advised us (Jaime!), bought a scrub, spritzed some facial mist on, debated picking patchouli over geranium essential oils, spent two minutes scanning the table, confessed that they stalked us on Instagram (you are so freaking awesome!), gave us food, carried tables for us, volunteered as kopiboys (MJ, Edrick & Terence – I love you), sold stuff on our behalf (Maz, Norman, Tash), drove straight from the airport to visit, hooked us up with other cool people (Sandra!) … thank you! Merci buckets, as Norman would say. It’s so much better when we’re together. You all make life here in Singapore so sublime.
Hope we all can get together to support each other soon. Local is lovely. Love thy neighbour x #spreadkindness