May 22 2016
As we hit a very important and significant milestone today – the opening of our Naiise flagship store - we want to share our every joy and moment with you. Thank you for standing by what we have been believing in: Doing good, discovering design, and breaking boundaries.
With 7 brick-and-mortar stores up and running by end of the coming week, we’re reminded of how you first joined us and be with us when we were so much smaller.
It was one hell of a ride when we throwback to 2012 when our founder, Dennis Tay, birthed a dream of building a platform where great design was accessible for everyone, everyday. With simply $3000 and a bold spirit, this one-man team crafted Naiise to fulfil his philosophy of helping designers and makers gain larger recognition.
After 10 months of solo struggle, Dennis hired his first ever employee and then-girlfriend (now wife), Amanda. With an additional pair of hands, the duo did much more - making stepping stones for bigger achievements in the years to come.
The Nong x Naiise pop-up store, 2012.
Looking back, we have come a long way from our very first pop-up store at the rooftop of People's Park Complex, with only a small team of 2 and 20 brands, steadily with faith.
Team Naiise in 2014 at Transitional___
The team got a little meatier and we got invited by Shophouse.co to be part of Transtional___, where we had a short stint at King George's Ave. Everyone was new to the team and the business, but we tried our best to salvage pallets and cable drums from around the area, and did what we could to channel the industrial look, though it became more of eclectic afterwards.
We were a little noob back then, spending half a day to DIY some marquee lights (as seen in the gif above) and 2 weeks to dress up the store, taking the full team to decide on our "window display". Even though we have slightly lesser resources (and manpower, literally), we managed to pull off the pop-up store with the support of our suppliers, media and customers.
Towards the end of Transitional___, we were approached to do a pop-up store at Orchard Central's atrium, and this just got us really excited and motivated to bring good and fun design to more people than we already were.
Inaugural Naiise Design Supermarket Pop-up Store, 2014
This is also the first time we appear at a mall and we are beyond thrilled to be part of this. As we pulled all-nighters for 3 nights to set up our pop-up store at Orchard Central's atrium, spanning about 3800 sq ft, we tried many things firsthand. Some of them include Dennis driving the lorry and moving stocks from office to the mall, moving stocks on our own, completing our setup at 8am and then having to open our shop at 11am on the day itself!
It was nothing but intense for the team. Running up and down to retrieve stocks, and constantly on the lookout for thieves (tsk tsk!), we really treasured the time at Orchard Central despite the immense lack of sleep and rest. We are glad the pop-up store piqued the interest of many passers-by, and it was good to see familiar faces coming by to give us their support.
Typical Day in Office
After that, we headed back to office and focused a little bit more of the online side of Naiise, polishing up our processes, focused on other external collaborations. If you look closely, you'll know we have no AC back then. But thank goodness, we're on the 7th floor and we've got wind coming through so it wasn't too bad (or so we thought).
And then, Christmas came. We were really lucky we managed to get in touch with a wonderful woman who rented out a shophouse at Dunlop Street for our first Christmas pop-up store. It was almost like a dream-come-true, being a shopkeeper in a shophouse.
Naiise Christmas pop-up, 2014.
We invited many partners, new and old, to join us in the most heartwarming season of the year. We hosted two parties during our time at Dunlop Street and it was a plethora of music, food, drinks, and catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones.
Apart from the epic fun that we had, what we did mainly was a mad rush of fulfilling online orders while replying countless customer service emails, doing our best to make sure all gifts and well wishes are sent in time for Christmas. It was busy and crazy, but knowing that our customers managed to get hold of their gifts from their loved ones was worth all that rush.
A year had past, and we finally could take a breather.
We figured we needed to get away from work to recharge and get ready for the year ahead. So we managed to get hold of this amazing beach camp in Lombok, where Team Naiise escaped to, away from social media (because there isn't any wifi, phone line, reception).
Naiise Westgate Outlet
Sun-kissed and ready for 2015, we came back from our trip to open our first brick-and-mortar store at Westgate. We are really honoured to be invited to open a brick-and-mortar store, as it allows us to grow and learn more about the retail landscape with a longer term store. That means, the team had to learn and put more effort into maintaining the store for a longer term basis, unlike our previous pop-up stores that are only around for 1 month or so.
With that, we are really privileged to be contacted by other malls to start building our chain of outlets for 2015.
Naiise Wheelock Outlet
Naiise Clarke Quay Central Outlet
Naiise Orchard Gateway Outlet
Naiise i12 Katong Outlet
The year flew by and the team agreed that we should continue our Christmas pop-up store.
Naiise Christmas pop-up, 2015.
In hopes of keeping up with our Christmas pop-up tradition, we decided to launch another one in 2015. Once again, we were fortunate enough to witness an even greater response from you.
Now, we are very proud to say that Naiise is such a big family - with 25 full timers, 25 interns, 40 part-timers – and still standing strong. If there was something to always remember throughout this journey, it would definitely be your encouragement and support and patience. Thank you for your kind words that keeps fuelling our hearts, your never ending faith for the creative works in Singapore, and your expectancy for more of us.
As we launch our flagship store at The Cathay last Monday, we look forward to seeing you. Do drop by and show your support and love for us as always.
Once again, thank you for being with us from the start as you watch us grow and learn. We promise to strive to bring you the best, to put smiles on your faces with great design, and to do good things only.
With love and nothing else,