BY SCENE SHANG
We’ve called 263 Beach Road home to our Flagship Store since 2016. A good five and a half years have passed and as they say, “to everything there’s a season”, it is now time to close this beautiful chapter in SCENE SHANG’s journey.
How does one adequately sum up one’s feelings towards a place that holds so many memories and milestones for us? Aside from myself, Pam and the SCENE SHANG team, the Flagship Store also holds memories for you — our friends, family, customers, customers-turned-friends, and all of you who’ve walked through our doors (just take a look at some of the fondest memories shared by some of you on our Instagram stories).
I might not be able to recall or list all the fond memories but let me share some of my best ones related to our Flagship Store on 263 Beach Road.
1. Why Flagship Store is called Flagship Store
The home to our Flagship Store for the last five and a half years, on the ground floor of a beautiful shophouse, the perfect location embedded within the Kampong Glam enclave.
263 Beach Road was our first permanent retail address. Before this we were operating on a pop-up and online store model, till we found a home in a ground floor unit of a beautiful shophouse in Kampong Glam. One of our first part time team members and advisor for public relations, Sue Ann (yes Sue, thank you!) strongly insisted that we name 263 Beach Road as the Flagship Store.
Pam and I were not a hundred percent convinced, but Sue, amongst other things, said, “It’s your first permanent store, it has to be your Flagship Store!”. So it was, and that season for SCENE SHANG’s first permanent store, our Flagship Store began.
2. A Quiet Peaceful Shophouse Space We All Wished We Lived In
Our beautiful garden courtyard under the lightwell is our favourite spot in our Flagship Store. The light rays illuminate our furniture designs with beautiful glow.
When you come at the right hour, when the light rays shine through the shophouse lightwell and illuminate our furniture designs in the beautiful glow, I promise you will fall in love with the quietude, charm and beauty of our shophouse space. In the early days when I was on the retail roster, I was inspired by these scenes very much.
Plenty of you who have walked into our Flagship Store have also shared the same admiration for the beauty of the light coming through the shophouse lightwell. At the same time, you would also be expressing how nice it would be to be able to live in such a space, planting yourselves comfortably into THE MAVERICK Armchair, staring into the lightwell, while sipping on our tea tasters.
3. A Flood of Fortune, Twice
2016 (left), 2021 (right). Our beautiful “vintage” mirror is actually the result of “waterfalls” caused by two heavy thunderstorms that came through a leak in our lightwell.
As a coin has two sides, the same lightwell which you love, lets in not only light, but also at that time, it had let in rain through the gutter. One Sunday, I was alone on retail duty at the store, and the sky started pouring. The next second I knew, a waterfall started rushing down our mirrored wall. Stunned both by the suddenness and the incredulousness of the large rush of water, I stared absolutely helpless, before reaching out for my mobile to call Pam and my friends for help to rescue our things as the water lapped up around my feet.
Could you believe that in the midst of the flood that resulted from the waterfall, people still walked in, wanting to buy things! Thank you to my friends (Penny, especially) and Pam’s friends, who came down within minutes on a Sunday to help the both of us to mop and move everything out of the flood. This actually happened twice, but was thankfully solved later on by our kind Landlord.
4. What’s that Legendary, Woody Scent?
Our signature White Pagoda Scent fills the air in our Flagship Store, welcoming you and indulging your senses even right before you step in.
One of the experiences that we wanted people to have when they came to our Flagship Store was to pleasure their olfactory senses. We had created our own scent which was a woody blend of bergamot, cypress, nutmeg, cedarwood and sandalwood to create a warm and welcoming feeling.
Constantly running our diffusers with drops of our White Pagoda essential oil, we’ve heard that you can smell our store even before you step in. This signature scent now always reminds me of our first store — our Flagship Store, the lovely destination it is.
5. SHANG YUE, Where This SCENE SHANG Tradition Began
SHANG YUE 2017: Mid-Autumn Dream, our first “official” Mid-Autumn appreciation at 263 Beach Road. A splendid evening in great company.
Having our first permanent store, we had the perfect location in a heritage area to start traditions of our own. We held our first SHANG YUE in 2016 right in 263 Beach Road, and you probably would not know this, because we only had about ten people come (those who came, thank you). It was a last minute decision to celebrate Mid Autumn at our Flagship Store, we bought some mooncakes and snacks, played mahjong and screened a black and white movie, and then lit up some lanterns.
Pam and I, hosting our first SHANG YUE at 263 Beach Road, 2016. An intimate (and last minute) event of about ten people. With this, our annual SHANG YUE tradition began.
The next years were much grander affairs, and we were able to invite many of you to come and celebrate with us, with music, whiskey, cookies, mooncakes.. calligraphy! games! poetry! We made so many friends and were so happy to see your faces year after year.
6. All of the Love and Friendships Forged Right Here
We look forward to our SHANG YUE event every year, where we get to meet some of you for the first time, and also express our appreciation to our regular customers-turned-friends.
We’ve forged so many friendships with you right here in our Flagship Store, and we thank you for being part of this journey. Thank you for all the love and support for the six years that we’ve been at 263 Beach Road. We're so happy and honoured to be a part of your memories, a place where you came to breathe in beauty and pick out treasured pieces to bring home with you.
To our regular customers-turned-friends, thank you for coming back ever so often even just to say hi and to encourage our team, even during these difficult times. To every one of you, thank you.
Pam and I at our Flagship Store Official Launch Night, April 2016. Thank you for all the memories.
And to all these fondest recollections related to our Flagship Store, I say, “再会!”*
Who knows what the future might be like, but to everything there’s a season.
Co-founder | SCENE SHANG
*再会 zàihuì means “until we meet again” or “goodbye” in Chinese.
Our Flagship Store closes its doors on 28th September 2021, Tuesday. Our last day of retail operations will be on 27th September 2021. Come by and say your goodbyes!