A certain glamour lies beyond the hustle and bustle of cafes, restaurants and trendy ventures, unassumingly nestled in between. Setting the scene are indie shops, each opening doors to a retail sanctuary for creativity and individuality. These boutique spaces serve as a congregate for the artisanal, with a distinct charm and character; showcasing curated collections of artwork, quirky knick-knacks and eccentric homeware amongst others.
Take a step into these shops and you’ll enter a realm where artistic flair knows no bounds. Walls are adorned with inimitable artworks, each piece weaving a narrative whilst capturing the essence of the artist’s vision. From illustrations that breathe life into blank canvases to print works that defy conventional forms, every item exudes a sense of passion and creativity. See indie shop Shrub for example, whose locksmith store interiors house edgy and gritty visual styles.
The shelves are lined with an array of mementos that spark curiosity and delight. Handcrafted trinkets, vintage curiosities, and off-the-wall collectibles draw the eye, inviting visitors to explore and unpack hidden gems. Consignment stores like Cat Socrates, with its feline shopkeepers, are a haven for those who appreciate the art of the unexpected, where every corner reveals an eclectic offering waiting to be discovered.
Stepping out of a provision shop leaves a lasting impression that resonates within. Unbridled creative vision hangs in the air of these spaces, and the ambience sparks with passion. Here, visitors are encouraged to be immersed in the beauty and diversity of unconventional design, and be captivated by the charm of one-of-a-kind finds.
Below, Vogue Singapore garners five local indie lifestyle boutiques that are sure to inspire wonder and elevate the senses.
1 / 5
What was once a locksmith store at Golden Mile Tower is now Shrub, a consignment shop filled with curated zines, prints, tees and various odds and ends. Specialising in independent artist products both local and international, the store also acts as a space for creatives to congregate. There isn’t a hard and fast rule on what you’ll find here, but just like the space it inhabits, visual styles lean toward the grungy and gritty—with a place made for the unconventional and the overlooked.
2 / 5
Local label Sojao might be best known for its artisanal organic cotton bedding, but its flagship home goods store— situated in the heart of the buzzy Joo Chiat neighbourhood—also carries an array of fellow Singaporean indie brands. Aiming to foster a stronger community in the local homeware scene, the store takes special care to bring in brands that are hard to obtain elsewhere. Artisanal candles and diffusers from Reminds Me Of, clean skincare essentials from Wy:now and handmade ceramics from local artist Lerae Lim are just some of the items you’ll spot on the shelves.
3 / 5
Tucked away in the Jalan Ampas industrial estate, Aa Furniture is a hidden treasure trove of Japanese and vintage design. With a thoughtful curation of timeless items to choose from, this is the place to head to if you’re seeking a statement piece for the home. The store also carries plenty of homeware and decor from Japanese brands and artists, including incense sculptures, glassware and one-of-a-kind ikebana vessels. Keep an eye out for Aa Furniture’s quarterly weekend markets, where it will be joined by diverse small, local businesses.
4 / 5
With two outlets across the island (one in Joo Chiat, the other in Tiong Bahru), Cat Socrates might just be one of the most feel-good brands in Singapore—if only for its adorable, feline shopkeepers. Beyond that, the eclectic curation of well- designed products and decor will no doubt bring joy to anyone who steps into the cosy spaces. Here, you’ll find everything from books and stationery to household items and even homemade jams. Fashion accessories and vintage memorabilia line the shelves too—coming together to form a patchwork of unique craftsmanship that would make anybody smile.
5 / 5
Among Studio Yono’s unique offerings, you’ll find art prints from Ronan Bouroullec, lamps from Sowden and the immediately identifiable Arnold Circus stool designed by Martino Gamper. Characterised by an emphasis on European artistry, the studio curates a diverse range of furniture and decor from accomplished and upcoming designers—bringing in distinctive designs that have yet to find their way into the local market. Sharing a retail space with creative practice Aaah House and handmade jewellery label Trigger Happy, the assortment of brands presents an eclectic array of products that inspires creativity and fosters an appreciation for art and design.