Guide to pop-up and regular flea markets

GUIDE TO POP-UP AND REGULAR FLEA MARKETS POP-UPS

THE ARTS HOUSE TURNS 10: ART MART

Where: The Lawn @ The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane

When: Friday, 5 to 10pm, and Saturday, 3 to 10pm

Launched: Friday, March 28, 2014

What: Check out fashion apparel and homemade accessories such as rings, bracelets and necklaces or pick up books from independent book store Books Actually at this pop-up flea market which bills itself as "artsy". There is also a free concert in the evening featuring home-grown musicians such as electronic duo .gif, soul singer Gareth Fernandez, acoustic singer-songwriter Nick Chim and UK Songwriting Contest 2013 double-finalist Natalie Hiong.

Number of vendors: 20

Info: www.theartshouse.com.sg

BRAS BASAH.BUGIS ARTS FLEA MARKET - DESIGN EDITION

Where: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road

When: Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 7pm

Launched: Monthly since August 2012

What: This pop-up event is the latest in the series of flea markets launched by the National Heritage Board to showcase Singapore artisans, craftsmen, designers and entrepreneurs.

The edition happening tomorrow has a design focus and will feature the latest collections by home-grown fashion labels such as MASH-UP and max.tan, as well as handmade craft products from the likes of furniture maker Standard Of Living and accessory label By Invite Only.

Venues that have hosted this market previously include the Old Hill Street Police Station, the National Museum of Singapore, the National Library Building, Chijmes and the Peranakan Museum.

Number of vendors: 50

Info: www.brasbasahbugis.sg

I LIGHT MARINA BAY FESTIVAL BAZAAR

Where: Marina Bay Sands Event Square, 10 Bayfront Avenue

When: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10pm

Launched: March 15

What: In conjunction with i Light Marina Bay, a biennial light art festival, this bazaar offers eco-friendly light-themed items such as portable LED night lamps. Visitors can also check out gadgets, ornaments, fashion apparel and accessories.

Number of vendors: About 30

Info: www.ilightmarinabay.sg

GOODNIGHT MARKET

Where: The Float @ Marina Bay Seating Gallery

When: Saturday and Sunday, 5.30 to 11pm

Launched: March 8

What: Named for its relatively late operating hours, this artisanal lifestyle bazaar offers paintings, handicrafts, handmade pastries, leather items and second- hand clothes.

Number of vendors: 25

Info: www.ilightmarinabay.sg

REGULARS

LUCKY PLAZA FLEA PARTY

Where: Level 6 (opposite Jollibee), Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road

When: Daily, 1 to 7pm, till Dec 31

Launched: June last year

What: This flea market, targeted at the young, sells second-hand clothes, accessories, bags and shoes priced from $1 for a women's top.

Number of vendors: Up to 100

Info: www.forfleasake.com

THE QUEEN'S MARKET

Where: Outside Queensway Shopping Centre, 1 Queensway

When: Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 7pm

Launched: September 2011

What: Expect an assortment of new children's toys, books and ornaments as well as second-hand clothes at this weekly flea market pitched at families. This could be the last edition as the organiser's lease with the shopping centre is up this month and the management is reviewing the lease.

Number of vendors: 25

Info: www.forfleasake.com

SENTOSA BOARDWALK BAZAAR

Where: Sentosa Boardwalk, from outside VivoCity shopping mall to Sentosa

When: Every Saturday, 4 to 11.30pm, till May 31

Launched: June last year

What: Look out for customised leather passport covers, caps, baby bibs and selfie rods, sticks that allow you to extend your reach when taking a self-shot photograph, at this lifestyle bazaar targeted at families.

Number of vendors: 35

Info: www.sentosa.com.sg

UNUSUAL OFFERINGS

Bags that make you laugh

What: The Grapfeeks Room

Where: Goodnight Market at The Float @ Marina Bay Seating Gallery tomorrow

Info: www.thegrapfeeksroom.com

A common call by hawkers urging people to get out of the way in food centres proved to be the inspiration for home-grown graphic desgner Sarah Koh.

While she was at a food centre last November, a drinks stall auntie shouted out: "Lai! Sio ah!" (Watch out, hot!) But she was not carrying anything hot.

The line made its way onto a canvas bag illustrated by Ms Koh, which she began selling in January for $23. She made only five bags bearing this design and has sold all of them. Only five bags are made for each design.

"Incorporating local humour is important for me. I want to design something that will resonate with Singaporeans and bring a smile to their faces," says the 25-year-old, who owns The Grapfeeks Room, a design studio she founded last June with her elder sister that provides services such as web and product design.

Ms Koh, who has a degree in communication design from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, also designs greeting cards, priced at $4.90 each.

These bear tongue-in-cheek messages such as "I'd know it was your birthday even without Facebook" and "Happy birthday, don't hate me because I'm younger".

She began renting a booth at a flea market organised by For Flea Sake last September at The Cathay, and has also taken part in a few of its other bazaars, including the one held at Haw Par Villa recently. She says that a booth at a flea market organised by For Flea Sake costs $40 to $100, depending on the location.

Taking part in flea markets is a good way to get customer feedback and publicise her business, she says. She also takes orders on her online shop.

Sales have been encouraging. She can sell almost 75 per cent of her greeting cards and 40 per cent of her bags on a good day at a flea market. Her customers are usually aged between 18 and 25 years old.

Ms Koh hopes to have her label stocked in retail stores and is working on growing the business online. She plans to come up with more products, such as mugs, coasters, T-shirts and notebooks bearing cheeky slogans.

She will have a stall at the Goodnight Market in Marina Bay this weekend. Her designs can also be found at a shop called Space Invasion at 03-15/16 The Cathay, which was opened by For Flea Sake last June for vendors who want to maintain a physical retail presence.

Passport covers with your name on it

What: Passpotter

Where: Sentosa Boardwalk Bazaar tomorrow, i Light Marina Bay Festival Bazaar on Sunday

Info: Go to www.facebook.com/passpotter. singapore or follow @passpotter on Instagram

Ms Mayrine Yu was surfing the Net last November when she chanced upon a website selling personalised leather passport covers that let you stamp your name on them. She thought they would make good gifts for Christmas but, instead of buying them, she decided to make them herself.

"I thought they would be more special if they were handmade", says the 25-year-old, a stay-at-home mum with a one-year-old son.

She roped in her husband, Mr Alouis Lim, 26, to help look for synthetic leather suppliers in Bangkok and learnt to make the passport holders from video tutorials on YouTube.

Soon, the couple were accepting orders from family members and friends. The venture grew to become an online business called Passpotter, and now has customers from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States.

They started renting a booth at flea markets in January and are now at the Sentosa Boardwalk Bazaar almost every Saturday. Mr Lim says that a booth at a bazaar organised by TGIF Bazaars costs $40 to $120, depending on factors such as the size and location of the stall.

"The bazaar is a good way for us to test the waters before we open our own shop," says Mr Lim, who is an insurance agent and part-time actor.

Business has been brisk. They can sell 50 to 100 passport covers at the bazaar a day. These cost $15, including the name-stamping service.

Charms to decorate the covers cost an extra $1 each.

The range of synthetic leather crafts has expanded to include accessories such as bracelets and key chain holders, which are priced from $8 to $20.

All-natural peanut butter

What: Second Helpings

Where: PasarBella @ The Grandstand in Bukit Timah (formerly known as Turf City), open: Saturdays and Sundays, 9.30am to 7pm (check out its Facebook and Instagram pages for its schedule)

Info: Go to www.facebook.com/secondhelpings.sg or follow @_secondhelpings on Instagram

Health-conscious office manager Ezra Nicholas loves peanut butter, but he has always been concerned about the artificial colours, flavouring, preservatives and hydrogenated oils used in commercial spreads.

"I studied food and nutrition in school and I know these things are not natural and not good for you," says the 29-year-old, who has a degree in sports science from University of Western Australia.

So his wife, Ms Tannie Tang, 28, who is an avid baker and cook, decided to make some for him. The former civil servant looked up recipes online and modified them through trial and error.

Her jams are made with peanuts, sea salt and honey instead of sugar. They contain no artificial ingredients, including thickeners, which means they are runnier than usual.

The result was a hit with family and friends, who encouraged them to sell the peanut butter. So the couple rented a booth at an arts festival bazaar organised by flea market organiser Public Garden two years ago.

Their peanut butter comes in three flavours - original, cocoa, and coconut and vanilla - and is priced from $8 for 100ml to $42 for a litre.

They are now at PasarBella, a farmer's market at The Grandstand in Bukit Timah (formerly known as Turf City), almost every weekend. They also began taking orders on Facebook and Instagram last month. They declined to reveal the rental.

On average, they sell 200 bottles of peanut butter a weekend.

"The response has been good and we see many returning customers. Many of them would come up to us and thank us for providing them with good and healthy food," says Ms Tang, 28, who quit her job last December to focus on the business. "That really makes our day."

She believes demand for locally made products is growing and sees this as the time to set up a business before family commitments, such as raising children, get in the way.

They intend to serve up other flavours next and have expanded the product range to include scented sugars. Wedding favours and gift hamper services are also available.


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