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Potlucks & Picnics: A Naiise X Stitches and Maps Editorial

Meet Yun & Shairah - the fun-loving duo behind Stitches and Maps, a lifestyle blog with plenty of do-it-yourself tutorials, travel adventures (both near and far), fashion styles and of course, food.

Apart from sharing a mad crazy passion for writing, these two best-buds also enjoy having a good gathering of friends, regardless of indoors or outdoors, and often input DIY into their aesthetics. For this curation, they fell in love with our "beautiful range of kitchenware and dining accessories" (that's a direct quote!), and so we put together a small cosy picnic just for them and us. Check out what we did on a hot sunny day at Botanic Gardens (:


1. Thank you for coming down to share this picnic with us on a sweltering hot day! What would you remember most about our little picnic? (:

What we loved was having to meet the young and dedicated team at Naiise! It's always very heartening to see a group of young, talented individuals coming together to do something they all love, while having a ton of fun at the same time. (Are you guys hiring? Hahaha kidding!)

2. Tell us more about Stitches and Maps!

We started Stitches and Maps in 2012 because we had a shared passion and interest for lifestyle writing. The initial idea for the blog was to focus on your usual Food & Travel topics, with a dash of DIY, because that's less commonly found in Singaporean blogs today. We've since expanded into Style topics because that's obviously a huge part of any girl's life, including ours of course!

Since 2012, we've collaborated with many lovely folks who love the same things we do. We even got to conduct a DIY workshop last December, which was incredibly nerve-wrecking as it was the first time for the both of us. Of course, the fear and experience paid off as we met many wonderful people from that single day. And that's a part of Singapore that most people don't usually get to see, which we enjoy so much. We love the authentic homegrown brands of Singapore who pour their heart and soul into everything they make, bake or just create and being Stitches & Maps has provided us with the opportunity of meeting and working with these wonderful people (Naiise included!).


3. What do you ladies really do?

Yun: I work in a menswear magazine, The Rake, and I'm the Editorial Manager. I'm basically the middle person between the writers, the ads team and the designers. I also write an interesting section of the magazine named Pocket Guide, where stylish gents are dissect and share with me their sartorial staples. These gents usually have amazing jobs (Fashion Week photographer, Interior Designer, Tailor...etc) so it's always enjoyable speaking to a new person with each issue.

Shairah: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs are what my days are made up of - I'm an Engagement Specialist at Circus Social in Ogilvy & Mather. With social media being a huge chunk of everyone's lives now, digital and social media marketing has been a pretty cool and insightful area to work in. Things are also changing really quickly online so there's always something new to learn about and to adapt to.

4. Complete this: Good design means...

Yun: Good design means...being able to hold a strong character. I'm a fan of making a statement and I believe in letting my heart rule my head. As a result, what I typically perceive as "good design" possess a powerful identity, minus the fluff. For example, the HDB Series Tableware by Democratic Society are made up of subtle and clean lines. I could travel the world with the plates and never run out of stories to share about what HDB flats mean to Singaporeans, simply because the design doesn't overwhelm.

Shairah: Good design means... having the ability to first capture the attention of your audience by being unique and interesting. We're all visual creatures and the more interesting a piece of design is, the more appealing it would be. Good design also means functionality for me. I'm the sort of person that's very practical when it comes to buying items. If it looks pretty but serves no real purpose for me, I wouldn't think twice about it. Yun's the hoarder that has a ton of pretty things lying around her home and her office!

5. Three things you can't live without?

Yun: My phone (surprise surprise), ice-cream and fresh air. I go mental when we have haze season.

Shairah: The Internet, people and experiences. "The Internet" for obvious reasons, I would just die without it. "People" because I go crazy when I'm alone for too long. I need to have different people to talk to and to have fun with else I'd just be a lump of boring. "Experiences" because I'm always on the lookout to try something new, learn a new skill, go somewhere I've never been before. If you take that away from me, I'd be double the lump of boring.

6. If you can make anything in the world, what do you wish you could make (all by yourself)?

Yun: (I thought hard for a long 10 minutes before I could answer this.) I would probably invent a device, that would resemble a mosquito-repellent plaster, that would lower your body temperature when you're out on a blistering hot day. Almost like the fever pads they advertise to cool babies' foreheads down, but one that actually works and is able to identify the temperature where your body reaches "cool". We'd never break out in sweat again.

Shairah: Wow this is really a tough question... But given a choice of making anything, it would be a teleportation device. So nerdy hahaha but just imagine packing your bags on a Friday after work and in the blink of an eye, you're on a gondola in Venice. Traveling has always been something I would gladly love to devote my time and life to but unfortunately, it's a very expensive interest and I haven't been able to indulge in it as much as I would love to.


7. Lastly, what can we expect from Stitches and Maps for the rest of 2014?

Because we're both so busy with our day jobs, our only and biggest goal for the rest of 2014 is to remain driven and passionate about Stitches and Maps. There was something posted on @humansofny (Instagram) recently, where a lady and a friend had these big ideas for a creative business that was going to be legendary. They let work get in the way of the big ideas and eventually saw that business appear in the papers one year later. Someone else had the same idea, and someone else had taken action with that idea. That post has been serving as a daily reminder for us to be consistent and to keep trudging forward.

On a much lighter note, we're hoping to churn out more interesting topics for readers, and also to meet more inspiring people in Singapore and around the world. We love the idea of bringing the community together and having contributors on the blog, and we're hoping to have more creative minds share their skills on Stitches and Maps in the next phase of 2014.

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