Sisters extraordinaire Shen-Tel and Elizabeth Lee have always “been utterly obsessed about hunting and collecting objects and trinkets that are bright, colourful and happy from around the world”. It was the passion for collecting and travelling that led to the birth of their successful jewellery brand Bowerhaus, which they co-founded together.
Having an eye for design and culture, the Lee sisters recently hit the colourful streets of Singapore, in conjunction with the destination brand launch – Passion Made Possible – collecting and taking in all the inspiration from what the city’s local creative landscape and culture has to offer.
“Singapore supports local designers and they have so many emerging ones here where they showcase everything from homewares to fashion to accessories. When you’re walking along the streets you see so many things different things and because of that we love coming back to Singapore,” shares the Lee Sisters.
An integral part of their travel journey was meeting with designer friend and fellow collector Carolyn Kan, the founder of Keepers retail store. Inspired by a “keeper” which is a person that guards or take care of something or someone, and a person that is valuable and cherished, Keeper is a community and platform for many local talented artisans to showcase their craft and design objects. The meeting with Carolyn’s artisans spark an inspiration and eventually a joint creation for a bespoke coin pouch that holds two currencies, inspired by the sisters’ travel stories in Singapore.
Their travel adventures of meeting and creating with collectors like themselves are documented in a 3-part travel series – “Where Collectors Meet” which is now released on Malaysia’s Visit Singapore Facebook page.
“WHERE COLLECTORS MEET” SERIES IN SINGAPORE FEATURING SHEN-TEL AND ELIZABETH LEE
Episode 1: The Spark
The Lee sisters visit the colourful streets of Little India where they explore local markets selling accessories of different colours, shapes and patterns that make for great keepsakes and serves as inspiration for their brand Bowerhaus. The sisters also explore off the beaten track, Haji Lane which houses local designers and boutiques. At Haji Lane, the sisters visited fellow founder and designer Edwin Loh of Supermama who introduced them to the local collectibles he designed that was inspired by the cultural icons in Singapore. “To seek out for pretty things to do pretty things”, the sisters also visited their favourite store the Gallery and Co at the National Gallery Singapore a place they constantly get inspiration to create something new.
Episode 2: It’s All in the Details
In this episode the Lee sisters visit their designer friend Carolyn Kan whom they share a passion for collecting at the most artistic precinct Bras Basah. Carolyn took them to visit her favourite creative spots, the Singapore Art Museum and the National Design Centre where she calls home also houses her retail store Keepers. Carolyn brought them through the store collection of Singaporean designers and artisans that features leather work, to playful objects for kids and accessories which tell meaningful stories of Singapore. Carolyn also took the sisters to Paperwork, a co-working space for the creative community, which included a VR technology for interior and architecture and a library for resource materials.
Episode 4: Labour of Love
The Lee sisters together with Carolyn visited her team of leather smith and typographer whom the sisters collaborated with to turn an idea into a reality. Together with Carolyn they co-created a bespoke coin pouch which is able to hold two currencies. The idea behind this pouch, was inspired by the sisters’ frequent travel stories to Singapore, where they are constantly faced with the problem of separating their currencies. Lawrence Ku, the Founder of Kultskin taught them how to create their own leather pouches, and they visited the calligrapher Clarence Wee, the Founder of Craft Varies, who taught them to paint and create their typography fonts on their own pouches.
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