Malaysia is a shopping paradise with malls marking the landscape in every major city. But if you’re after goods with real character and soul, set your GPS app to these bazaars and be amazed by the wealth of quality locally-made goods. Here are some of the markets we’ve visited recently and the brands we think are worth spending your hard-earned ringgit on.
Art for Grabs
Where: Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
When: Once every quarter (Most recent bazaar: 6th – 7th June 2015)
Those who follow the pulse of the city’s cultural pursuits will be familiar with this quarterly mingling of creative energy. In addition to a wide array of stalls, this event also features cultural, civil and charitable causes. The most recent edition commemorated World Refugee Day (which falls on 20th June), a timely reminder given the recent migrant crisis that has beleaguered our region. Here are some of the noteworthy stalls we spotted at Art for Grabs.
Ohsum Mossum Terrariums
Creator: Ronnie Khoo
Terrariums are little pots of beautifully crafted landscapes that make for enchanting gifts. What caught our attention was the use of upcycled materials and a special charity terrarium that was auctioned to the highest bidder. Proceeds from the charity terrarium was donated to refugees in Malaysia.
Creators: Fya & Ichie
This duo add a touch of whimsy to the art of paper mâché, creating imaginative pieces with charm and finesse. Their unique style extends beyond paper crafts to other items like clothing, pillows, and home deco items. They also hold paper mâché workshops from time to time so you can have a go at this delectable art form yourself!
Creators: Aena & Alia Zulkafly
In this day and age of mass production, ebooks and podcasts, it is heartening to see these passionate sisters holding their own in the esoteric craft of bookbinding. Every book is lovingly handmade, with designs that incorporate recycled materials or themes according their latest inspiration.
It may seem ironic but this homegrown label caught our attention with its minimalist approach to design. We really like the tasteful combination of colours and use of quality materials. If you’re the sort who digs simplicity or have a wardrobe filled with Uniqlo staples, you’ll surely find a bag here that will enhance your #ootd.
Creators: Orang Asal
As its name suggests, the handicrafts sold under this volunteer-run organisation are all made by the indigenous people of Malaysia. The intricate craftsmanship on display were impressive — from wood carvings to rattan woven items. Proceeds are channeled back to the artisans so you can be sure your purchase is making a positive impact to those who made the goods.
Where: Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
When: Once every quarter (Most recent bazaar: 28th – 29th March 2015)
At its recent 2-day special dubbed Markets X Hunters & Collectors Fair, this fun-filled event featured over 100 unique stalls. Held in collaboration with enterprising students of The One Academy, the fair served as a platform to introduce a wider audience to the talented vendors. Check out these brands for a flavour of what you can expect at the next edition of the Markets.
This humorous comic series takes a stab at typical Asian family life. Get your hands on cute little button badges featuring the characters and their signature one-liners.
Ever wondered what you could do with all those doodles you did during class or boring meetings at work? Well, the creative doodler behind Doodle Lah transformed doodles into a range of collectibles. What are you doing with your doodles?
On the surface this seems like yet another illustration project. But look closer and you’ll find that the inspiration for these deceivingly simple phrases is a story that is close to Juin Pheng’s heart — the thought of losing a dear friend.
Its quirky moniker is a prelude to the merchandise that was on sale. All of which was designed to motivate people to be proud to be odd. As the creator has aptly put it, “Odd Ducks believe that we are not ugly, we are just different. And we are ducking awesome.”
We could all use a little boost of positive vibes to start our day. And that’s exactly what the creator of Standing Tall hopes to achieve with a series of motivational notebooks, postcards, stickers and T-shirts.
While these vendors have their own styles, the common thread running through them all is passion for their craft. We at Shoppertise are surely inspired by these talented homegrown entrepreneurs and hope this post has the same effect on you. Stay tuned for part 2 next week!
About Art for Grabs
Art For Grabs is a pioneering art bazaar mini fest that began at The Annexe Gallery in 2007. It has been taking place 4 times a year since then. With over 50 booths, it brings together creative Malaysians selling homemade art, crafts, books, food etc, while promoting good causes and initiatives. At the same time, it also features back-to-back events like book launches, forums, workshops, movies, and performances. This creative festival is well-loved by the creative arts community as well as the general public for its vision of celebrating ideas and creativity, and promoting discourse and a free exchange of ideas.
The team behind Art For Grabs is now an independent group called The Special Bunch. They aim to bring their vision of merging arts and activism into various parts of Kuala Lumpur, with the ultimate goal of creating more creative and democratic spaces in the city. Art For Grabs has since made its presence felt at Jaya One, Perdana Botanic Gardens and Cyberjaya.
Markets uncovers both old and new treasures once every quarter, playing host to a network of vendors introducing homemade arts, crafts, fashion, food and rare goodies.
About Hunters & Collectors Fair
A Malaysian network of events that offers art, crafts, and rare goodies. Standing as the first event of its kind founded in Malaysia in 2014, Hunters & Collectors Fair is supported by the bright talents of The One Academy, and couldn’t be more proud of their very new-found reputation as a resource for advancing artisans and crafts businesses.
Website: http://www.huntcollfair.com/ | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/huntcollfair
Shoppertise is a mobile commerce platform that equips small businesses with enterprise-level tools and bank-level security payment gateways. Intelligent business management is no longer exclusive to Fortune 500 companies. Our products include Shoppertise Marketplace (A curated marketplace with uniquely designed goods) and Shoppertise Pocketbook (A personal sales assistant for merchants on-the-go).
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