If you’ve been following us on our site recently, the fashion team at HerWorld has been quite enthralled by the emergence of intriguing general stores that sell more than just fashion. There’s this one which is oozing with Californian vibes which also serves delish avocado and lemon curd toasts. Then, there’s another one we posted last week which is also an artsy laboratory-cum-restaurant.
This week, we bring to you: Egg3.
Thirteen years ago, it was one of the first to merge fashion and homeware with its Erskine Road store (and we’ve routinely featured their fashion apparel in our shopping guides here and here, just because they are off-duty cool and oh-so-wearable). Today, founder Mike Tan has three Egg3 stores, and the latest, opened just four months ago, is at I12 Katong (#01-08/09).
People have questioned his decision to expand amid the weak retail scene, but Tan trusts that Egg3’s curation and service will keep customers coming. “It’s always about the concept, the merchandise and the service. While I have a good concept (“rustic garden” for the latest store) and good products, I also have a good team with some loyal employees who have been with me for over 10 years. To be successful, not one of these three elements can be missing,” says Tan.
Counting interior designers as his regulars, Tan’s keen styling acumen was honed from his unrivalled years of experience in the industry. He had previously spent seven years as a buyer with the now-defunct lifestyle store The Life Shop, where he says he learnt about good style from observing the owners on their sourcing trips. After he left, he set up an interior design firm together with his sister and a good friend where he took on the role of an interior stylist for three years before leaving to start the first Egg3 store.
The key to its longevity (13 years for a local brand is a long time) is to “never ever slack off”, says Tan. To this day, he personally curates and sources all merchandise by taking monthly trips to regional countries where he only picks unique items that can’t be found at local online stores.
Tan also offers home styling services. Prices vary according to the space and requirements: for a three-bedroom apartment, it could be $3,000 to $5,000, excluding products.
A quick tip from him: Wherever possible, pick the item/style with more personality. “When I style, I look for pieces with character. Rather than building bland custom shelves for displaying items, for example, I prefer to use a piece like this,” he says, pointing to a rustic, partially caged wooden cabinet (pictured above, far right).
While Egg3 is probably best known for its artfully curated homeware, its repertoire of exclusive fashion labels is growing: Malaysia’s Pearly Wong, Eve by Singapore designer Eve Tan, Hong Kong’s Leelu, Mote En Bleu and Ozoe, and Australian accessories brand Status Anxiety.
Art direction: Penny Seow
Photography: Darren Chang & Vernon Wong
This story was first published in the July 2017 issue of Her World magazine.