Raya is here and Boutique Fairs is back to cover your festive home decor and gifting needs.
From this Friday to Sunday (Mar 17 to 19), the biannual shopping event brings together more than 250 local boutique brands and designers at the F1 Pit Building.
Shop from a selection of products across apparel, accessories, home decor, toys, and food and beverage.
Boutique Fair 2023 Ticket Prices: $5 for three-day entry. Children under 12 enter for free.
Boutique Fair 2023 is located at the F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard.
Read Also: Boutique Fairs Launches Online E-Commerce Store
Boutique Fairs 2023 Home Decor Shopping Guide
There are many home furnishing and decor stalls at this year’s Boutique Fair 2023. Here’s a summary list of the booths we’ll be watching out for:
- Chomcharm: Handcrafted ceramics brand
- Kaia Kane Wares: Artist pottery brand
- Oak Tree Living: Homeware, linens, tableware handcrafted by Indian artisans
- SOVA: Silk pillow case, bedding accessories
- The Plant Loft: Artfully styled plants in pots
- Un Studio: Small batch pottery studio
- Annette: Pure French linen bedding
- Arthur Zaaro: Sustainable wood homeware and furniture
- Bowerbird: Hand painted ceramics
- Ollie: Non-toxic, all-natural home surface cleansers, diffusers, sanitisers
- Independent Market: Singaporean-inspired homeware and trinkets
- KRA Sanctuary: Local handmade ceramics, table ware
- MemoryBoards: Singapore-inspired artworks, placemats, mugs, home accessories
- MIRA: Home scents, soaps, candles, accessories and trinkets
- SOJAO: Luxury cotton bed linens
- Sunday Bedding: Bamboo, organic cotton, French linen beddings
Children-friendly home and decor brands at the Boutique Fair 2023 include:
There are several children’s home decor, furnishing, and everyday accessories brands young families should visit:
- Louloulala: Baby & toddler accessories, homeware
- Mama Yay!: Baby food accessories to aid weaning
- A Greener Wood: Multi-label homeware, children’s home accessories
- Babyluxe: Baby toys company known for their cute ball pits
- Lagom Kids: Imaginative play kits, book kits for toddlers
- Little Rei: Baby bed, sleep, bath products
- Wander Mats: Trendy aesthetic baby play mats
Boutique Fairs Singapore Founder
When Danish expatriate Charlotte Cain started lifestyle retail pop-up Boutique Fairs in 2002, it was a modest event at Fort Canning Park that comprised 17 vendors, including herself. The avid potter first arrived in Singapore in 1989 as a trailing spouse. The idea for Boutique Fairs came about because Cain wanted to create a fair where she and other expat wives with creative passions could sell their creations and interact with customers in a meaningful manner.
Twenty years on, Boutique Fairs has evolved into a biannual, three-day event that occupies two floors spanning more than 8,000 sq m at the F1 Pit Building. Today, the pop-up’s highly curated list of vendors comprise mostly Singaporean or Singapore-based designers and brands specialising in fields ranging from fashion to homeware.
In 2019, Boutique Fairs hosted 350 brands and 37,000 customers — numbers Cain feels had grown too large. Although the pandemic posed tremendous challenges and resulted in a two-year hiatus for the event, it also gave Cain the chance to reset and bring the event back to a more comfortable scale.
Why do you think Boutique Fairs has grown from strength to strength, even in a challenging retail environment?
One thing that makes Boutique Fairs special is that the designers are present at the event — it’s one of our criteria. The basis has always been the dialogue between the designer and the customer. Through those conversations, designers get to share their stories and challenges with customers. This also helps the latter connect with the creator and their products.
It started out very expat-centric, but my goal was always that it not be an expat fair, but a fair that unites all communities. Currently, we have about 50 per cent Singaporean designers and 50 per cent Singapore-based designers.
People sometimes ask me why I don’t feature brands from other Asian countries.
Well, I don’t see the need to do so since Singapore has so much talent despite its small size.
In your experience, how have consumer expectations shifted over the past two decades?
From the very beginning, sustainability and social responsibility have been our top priorities. Initially, people weren’t all that interested. However, I’ve seen an increase in consumer interest in these areas over time.
Today, people want to hear about what goes on behind the scenes. They even want to know if designers work with certain artisans or if a brand donates to social causes.
How else does Boutique Fairs serve a social purpose?
Boutiques is very much about giving back. Today, we sponsor about 10 Singaporean charities, including Babes and Beyond Social Services. Each has their own space, and instead of being put together, they are interspersed with the retail spaces. This is so they’re distributed throughout rather than organised into a “charity section”. It’s all about interaction and sharing stories about what they do and how people can help.
We have also started a Young Designers Showcase Grant. The designers get highly subsidised rates to participate in the event, and I mentor them in various ways. The advice I give them relates to working their space, having a dialogue with customers, receiving constructive feedback, and more.
It’s daunting to showcase something you’re passionate about, and many first-time participants, whether young or old, step back and hide behind their phones. It is important, however, that they stand up, are open, and encourage conversation to advance their business.
Part of this article first appeared in The Peak.