Yoong Design began producing its handcrafted steel range about a year ago, and it all began like this.
I was in contact with my Singapore friend who wanted to use metal grilles for security windows/gates for a HBD flat he was upgrading. I realized this was a great chance to learn about design culture & urban lifestyle in Singapore, so I turned my Grandma’s unused garage into a metal workshop.
My role was to design & produce the patterned grilles so I collaborated with a local metal smith. Together, we solved the tricky problem of bending and welding the steel to become both strong yet decorative. However, after the order was finished we realised that shipping costs were too high and the business model would not work, so production was ended.
(Uncle Mechai in my Grandma’s Garage)
Then, out of the blue, a few months later, I received an offer from my friend to join him at the Singapore Boutique Fair. He encouraged me to build and take some of my smaller handmade steel designs to display and sell. With this size limit in mind, I came up with the idea of a coat rack & also a wall mounted feature. This latter product , I wanted to be not just artistic but also useful as well. So I created a unique wooden hook which would allow it to become a wall organizer, on which you can hang all manner of personal & everyday items from hats to hair clips !!
Uncle Mechai and I collaborate on all our products. I have a vision of what I want and he tells me if its possible to make by welding or light machinery !
(Our hand tools)
I can honestly say I didn’t have any great expectations at the fair — just building brand awareness maybe. Still, I transported as many pieces as I could and went in hope. I was thrilled to find that after 3 days, I had sold almost everything — with only just one small coat rack left. Hooray — what a relief. I received really good feedback & useful comments from customers at the fair & returned home to Bangkok full of positive thoughts & intentions. This has encouraged me greatly to push forward with Yoong Design and my products, over the coming year.
(Some photographs from Singapore)