Stale & Co Blog
It has been over 2 months since we came back from New York City and to be honest, we have missed the hell out of that place. But funny thing is, if you ask us why, we just cannot put a finger to it. So here we are, making a list of some of our most memorable moments of the city they call the Big Apple.
Showcasing at the CAPSULE Trade Show
Well, this is the main reason why we even traveled half way across the world to New York City – to showcase our designs at the CAPSULE AW16 men's show.
Ever since we started Stale & Co over 2 years ago, both Stella and myself had the vision that this was not going to be just another project, but something that was going to be bigger than what we can ever imagined.
Participating in a show like CAPSULE was definitely not the end goal but it was certainly a big step into the right direction that we're heading. The show was absolutely fantastic and we had so much fun meeting different people and talking to them - but most importantly, we got so much positive feedback about our work that it feels really good to know we're doing the right things. And it was really nice that the snow storm cleared just in time for the show, which we took it as a positive sign!
Well, the show's our first but most certainly not our last and we cannot wait for the next one to come.
The show was right on the pier, a brilliant place to be at.
The Stale & Co booth.
Our designs on display
Less than a week into our arrival to NYC, we found out on the news that the city was going to be hit by one of their worse snow storms. And of course, being tropical city kids, we had no idea what to expect.
So the snow storm came...and it was surprisingly more peaceful than we thought it would be. Well, the less peaceful part was that we had to walk through knee-high snow just to get to the supermarket to stock up on groceries since we had to stay in the apartment for one whole day.
But it was a really nice experience seeing the streets of New York quiet and peaceful, with no vehicles going about...just a lot of snow that's all. Oh, but after the snow, comes something very very terrible - slush.
En route to the supermarket
The day after the snowstorm
SLUSH. THAT HORRIBLE SLUSH
THREE WORDS: THE. HALAL. GUYS.
OK this is a personal favorite. So since Stella's last trip to NYC, she has told me about The Halal Guys and that it was one of the best food she has eaten there. Naturally, i would be sold, i mean come on, rice, meat, sauce. We made a special trip down to the food cart one day to try it for myself.
and the result?
MIND FUCKING BLOWING MAN. What i had was their standard rice platter with chicken and honestly that chicken was perfection. It wasn't dry and went perfectly with the rice drizzled with their signature white sauce. After having a little taste of their chili sauce, i decided not to pour it in because it was REALLY spicy.
Well, evidently, the lack of photos clearly shows our preoccupation with eating instead of taking photos.
Didn't think of taking a decent photo of the food because clearly i was busy stuffing my face.
The Halal Guys food carts can be found on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Ave.
Before we left for NYC, I was shown a link of to a place where you can supposedly get the best pastrami sandwich ever - Katz's Deli.
And so, being greedy fucks as we are, we set out a day after the snowstorm (which by the way had the streets piled up with snow and slush) to bravely hunt down this supposedly best pastrami sandwich ever.
The place was somewhere near SoHo area and was not really hard to get to, on normal days that is. However, a short walk from the subway which would usually take 10 mins, took us almost half an hour to get to the Deli with all that slush (fuck i hate slush.). Arriving at the deli, it was at first pretty overwhelming where to order and what not as the place was really bustling with humans all over. So after much surveying, we made our order for 2 pastrami sandwiches.
Ok, i must say that the meat was tender and juicy, and quite frankly, really nice...but i wouldnt go as far as saying it can be the best pastrami sandwich ever, because somehow i feel that there might be something out there that can top this (just not found yet.). More so than the sandwich itself, Katz's Deli was a real nice moment of our trip as it was the journey there that was more fun. The build-up, the excitement, getting our socks soaked in snow water, the longer-than-usual walk; that was memorable. But here are some photos for you to drool at. And for the record, i'm having this several pastrami craving the past few days and the photos aren't helping much.
Stella never stopped talking about the MET ever since her last trip to NYC, which is why it was a place that she had to bring me to. It was quite a walk from the subway to the MET, but with the weather, it was a rather nice walk.
When we turned the corner of the street, the sight of the architecture of the MET was truly something to behold. And the inside of it, was even more amazing. I mean, we're talking about an entire building filled with centuries worth of art and history, rooms and corners that has so much stories in them. There were ancient art pieces, and Egyptian mummies (mummies!)...so much to see. Spending almost an entire day there brought about so much inspiration to our next collection, and we cannot wait putting things into motion.
After spending an entire day, we didn't even manage to scratch the surface of the place. Well, that just means we'll have to go back again, no?
The MET's exterior
Well, this is not the entirety of our trip but some of the things that struck us the most. It has been a fruitful and nice trip, and we cannot wait to be back. Now begs the question - Summer or Winter.....
Catch up with y'all folks again!
So what exactly is Stale & Co Selects?
The idea of selects has long been conceived many years ago when we first started traveling a little around. Whenever we come across interesting things, we have always thought it be cool to buy them and share it with people back home – the only thing that kept us from doing so was that we didn’t have a proper channel to do so (also we were pretty damn broke back then to do anything else…).
Well, ever since we moved in here to Joo Chiat Road and set up our showroom to display the accessories that we make, we realized that hey! We actually have an outlet now to do selects!
Which is why on our recent travels, we started looking out for interesting things and buying them in small quantity to sell them through Stale & Co Selects. And of course, we are not going about getting just everything we see (I would loveee to but sometimes the lady boss disagrees with some of my questionable selections), we want to only get things that we ourselves would use in our own lives. The reason being is that we want to proper curate a selection of products in our store, that properly reflect our beliefs in terms of aesthetics, designs, crafts, philosophies, etc…
Naturally hand-dyed cotton scarf (Click Image to view product)
So every product you see that we have stocked has been put together after much discussion and planning, and that fits with the Stale & Co ideology. The quantity stocked for each product is limited and would not probably be restocked once they sell out, well this is because we want to always be able to circulate the things that we carry so that you guys can get to always enjoy fresh products.
On top of products that are sourced by us, Stale & Co Selects also carries various lifestyle brands that we feel very strongly connected with. The brands that we have invited on board Stale & Co Selects are those that we have been following for a while, and are those that we believe having a very strong philosophy behind the things that they produce.
Indigo dyed Japanese print tote bag (Click Image to view product)
At the end of the day, what we really wanted to do with Stale & Co Selects is not only to be able to share with people things that we ourselves really believe and like, but also to be able to create a platform for people to be able to buy products that are different and not like anything else they can get else where.
On the course of the next weeks, we’ll take time to slowly introduce the different brands and things that we have in stock here at Stale & Co Selects.
Stale & Co Selects is not only going to be stationed here on 237C Joo Chiat Road, we’ll also be doing some traveling around to various events and markets so to bring our wares to more people. Here are some of the upcoming events that we will be taking part in:
27th & 28th November
Public Garden Christmas Market
11am to 7pm
F1 Pit Building, Singapore
4th & 5th December
DREAM x Bloesem Christmas Market
4pm – 9pm (Friday)
11am – 7pm (Sat)
DREAM Showroom, 456 River Valley Road
19th & 20th December
Public Garden Christmas Market
11am to 7pm
F1 Pit Building, Singapore
Stay tuned to our Facebook events page (https://www.facebook.com/staleandco/events) for more updates on any upcoming events.
Till the next time we’ll see you, have a good one!
So after spending close to 4 years along our beloved Kandahar Street, we finally shifted our studio, and now we’re situated right in the middle of the charming (and very sleepy) estate of Joo Chiat Road.
For those who are not familiar with Singapore’s districts, Joo Chiat road is one place that is rich with culture, heritage, and history – particularly the Singapore Perenakan culture. Today, it has become a melting pot of good food, hip cafes and shops, age-old business, and the somewhat peculiar businesses.
And so we decided to call Joo Chiat our home for now, as we quietly settled into a 4th level unit in a old shop house located at 237C Joo Chiat Road.
What transpired for the entire month of May was a total transformation of the space that we leased – from something that looked rather… odd, into a cozy and comfortable space where we (and hopefully) visitors can feel comfortable.
Right from the moment we signed the lease agreement, both our brains visualizing what we wanted for our new space, and we saw it.
The floor....the walls.....the horror.
As you can see from the photos before we took over, the floor was covered in vinyl flooring, and underneath it was another layer of carpet. And of course, being fussy people as we are, we decided that it was a fantastic idea to rip everything out on our own (we actually did) to expose the cement flooring beneath.
Next was the walls, oh my, the walls. What we got was walls painted in kind of shit (literally, poop) color, and what we did was to repaint the walls into colors that were easier on the eyes – black and white (and yes once again, on our own).
Back in our old studio at Kandahar, what we had was only a small workspace that barely fit 2 persons in it. So with a bigger space at hand, we wanted to create a space where we can display the pieces that we made and open it up to the public.
So we separated the entire space into 2 – one for our metalsmith workspace, and the other a retail showroom.
(Note the distinct difference between the workspace and the retail showroom?)
What we did was create a visual separation of spaces within the space with the use of a metal shelf as well as the play of natural sunlight. So what you see is that our workspace is practically lit with the natural sunlight, and the retail showroom slightly dimmed for a cozy atmosphere.
We used wood extensively throughout the entire studio, as we wanted to balance out a natural and rustic feel against the slick black walls – to build the perfect backdrop for displaying of our accessories.
Lots of wood was used in our studio, including naturally aged vintage display boxes
A part of our workspace - organized neatly for the time being.
A little detail onto our showroom.
So there you have it – 237C Joo Chiat Road transformed within a month.
The final product
You know what feeling when you finally managed to create something in reality that was previously only visualized in your head? Ya, that feeling was being tired as hell!
Thankfully, right after we finished the place, we took a well-deserved holiday to the land of smiles in Bangkok. I would have shared some photos of the trip, but we were too busy stuffing our faces with all the Thai food and napping while doing our massages.
Now that we are officially opened, this is an open invitation to you – come by our space at 237C Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427494 and say hi to us (and maybe purchase something!). We promise we wouldn’t bite and probably will serve you coffee if we haven’t finished them yet. Oh, have fun with the stairs!
And a final note... Both Stella and myself would like to take this chance to thank those people who have contributed (by little or by a lot) into helping us with our "Operation move the damn studio". Seriously, this whole thing wouldn't have been possible without the help of you guys and girls (yall will know exactly who you are). We love you!
Recently, I have been in a phase of design whereby I become more conscious about the meaning behind designs and I can certainly attribute this new consciousness to a person whom I hold much admiration for – Tadao Ando.
For those who are unfamiliar with Tadao Ando, he is a Japanese architect who is very much responsible for beauties such as the Church of the Light in Osaka and the Meditation Space at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
Ceiling of the Meditation Space at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.
I’m no Architect or anywhere near an architecture buff, but to look at Tadao Ando’s works and read about his philosophies behind those works very much inspired me to look deeper into the process of designing.
Take for example the Church of the Light in Osaka, Japan. The structure is not only magnificent looking to visitors, but it has been said many times that by entering the place, it evokes a certain feeling and energy within oneself. And taking time to read into why the place was designed this way, it is mind blowing as to how every detail of the building had a purposeful meaning behind it. The light, the material, the direction of the cross; everything had a purpose to it.
In essence, he brought life to the inanimate building.
Church of the Light, Osaka, Japan.
Church of the Light, Osaka, Japan.
So what has that got to do with designing, in particularly designing accessories?
In today’s time, there are hundreds, if not thousands of fashion accessories flooding the market and they come in all sorts of designs. But how many do we actually remember? And what exactly separates a good design from the rest of the thousands of designs? I feel that more than the aesthetics of the accessory; it is the understanding of the design thought process is very much important as well. Which is why designer pieces usually cost way lot more than fast-fashion outlet pieces.
The Kale Spiral Cuff Bracelet
And this brings me to share a little about the Kale Spiral Cuff.
Before the design came to life, I wanted to do something that will bring life to the inanimate material of metal – just like how Tadao Ando did with his architecture. Metal as a material has often been perceived as cold and distant, which is the bi-polar opposite of the human and I wanted to bring these 2 ends together.
So after much thought, the idea of twisting came to my mind. Not merely just twisting the cuff, but twisting it in a way that the cuff will rest very comfortably just slightly above the wrist bone. And by doing so, I wanted to create a certain energy flow that will connect the cuff through its spiral form together with the human arm. The corrugated texture has also been added in to allow the wearer to feel the material’s existence because to touch is to feel and is to know.
The Kale Spiral Cuff Bracelet
Such is our ode to the structure beauty of architecture and to the philosophies of Tadao Ando. Do take time to discover his other works which are pretty damn awesome as well - you will not be disappointed!
p.s. we have made a visiting reservation to the Church of the Light this coming Wednesday and I’m bloody fucking excited about it! We will certainly post more photos up when the happens, and till then………..
We have been asked too many times this question – “why don’t you guys outsource your things to a factory to be mass produced and finished? Wouldn’t that make things so much easier for you?”
Yes, we agree that will definitely make things much easier and that our hands would be less tired.
But…why should we?
In our modern day and age (especially in Singapore!), everything happens rapidly – buildings are built faster, factories churn out things faster, people move faster… everything happen, well faster. But if you were to just slow down for a second and think, most things around us are made and not created. Which brings me to the exact reason why we do metalsmith, and that is – The Power of Creation.
The human hands - our tools for creation
Ever since the start of time, us humans have been given the special gift of creating things with our hands and minds. Over the span of history, we mankind have managed to create culture, art, history and so much more (well, some good and some ugly). And it is this simple fact that we humans are able to create so many things that fascinates and drives us to do metalsmith in Singapore just to simply, create.
Every hammered line speaks individuality
This is why we invest hours on each individual piece, from melting the metal to finishing the final product. Through our labor, you are able to take back something that is individually unique as no 2 pieces of the same design will ever be the same (just look into the details!). And this is something that modern day factories can never give you - the satisfaction of individuality.
So yea, I guess the answer is clear as to the question on why we do not outsource the production of our designs – it is simply because we love to create.
Each individual pieces are created from start to finish
It's snowing out there, the first snow since we arrived here. I must say that we cannot ask for a more beautiful way to bid farewell to 2014.
Looking back, this year has been one hell of a ride and we're nothing but grateful to whatever happened to us this past year (the good, the bad, and the thankfully-not-so-often ugly!). Nope I'm not going to write a lengthy post about all our achievements and all that we have done for the year because that will just take forever to write, so I'm just going to keep this short and sweet.
2014 has nothing but madness from start to end, and we loved every moment of it. Stale & Co was born, and from there on we took both brands, Stelliyah and Stale & Co on a ride that we never dared dreamed of taking. We made new friends, we went to places, we learned new things, we took risks, we did new things, we opened our eyes, and perhaps most importantly, we learned to appreciate whatever we have.
So here's to thanking those we believed in us for believing in us, those who gave us a helping hand along the way, and those who thought we were too idealistic... because ideas are truly the foundations to reality.
thank you, and we'll see you all next year!
D & S
It seems that for every blog, there will come a day when the customary ‘sorry we haven’t blogged in a while’ post will surface. Well, today’s the day for Stale & Co blog.
Truly, we have been swarmed with so many happenings over the past months (not that we are complaining) that blogging had to took a short hiatus.
And only recently we had the opportunity to take some time out for a short breather and also to do a quick review on what transpired over the past couple of months.
The Naiise People
The awesome people Naiise.com recently visited our humble little workshop and we spent some time talking about how Stale & Co started, our vision, beliefs, and every little thing in between. What happened was a nice feature on their blog (and they even made a fantastic video mesh!), where you can read it here!
Naiise pop-up at King George's Road
They also extended an invitation for Stale & Co and Stelliyah to be part of a month long pop-up jointly organized by Shophouse & Co from 24th May to 22nd June. The project converted an empty house along the hip area of Jalan Besar, and what happened was a creative space for visitors to not only shop, but to pick up a craft at their in-house workshop.
We were really honored and thrilled to see our products to be placed amongst other finely designed goods stocked by Naiise.com, in such a creatively thought space.
New Stockist: Tyrwhitt General Company
Those who know us, know that we take stockists very seriously. And well, our point is that we wouldn’t just want to stock our products at any random place, but at places that we feel that our products and design philosophy can ‘click’. Which is why we have collaborated with Tyrwhitt General Company as one of our stockist to carry Stale & Co accessories.
Being ardent supporters of thoughtfully crafted items, the people from Tyrwhitt General Co. made perfect sense for us to work with.
Located perfectly above Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee, you can now shop for Stale & Co accessories and other really nice stuff over at Tyrwhitt General Co and have your caffeine fix right after.
Stale & Co products at Tyrwhitt General Company
Catalog Magazine feature
It’s always nice to know that there are people around who appreciates the craft, and even better that they show love to us! For the month of July, Catalog Magazine did a full-page feature on Stale & Co. We shared some of the motivations behind our brand and some our beliefs in the art of crafting quality accessories.
We are truly thankful.
Read the online issue here.
We're on Catalog Magazine!
So, these are some of the things we had done over the past months…
We have been working on a new line of products for a while now and much thought has been put into the design process, so keep an eye on the release very soon!
So here’s to going back to the sweatshop and you will hear from us soon enough!
So I was just pondering about this earlier the week: how the hell did bracelets so stealthily creep into the fashion stable of today’s men. There used to be a time along history when men just stuck to wearing a statement watch on their wrist and nothing else, but that has certainly changed. Take a look around these days, and you can see almost 80% of guys around town are spotting bracelets of some sort.
I think the trend of men wearing bracelets really crashed in only in recent years when actors like Johnny Depp started stacking bracelets of different textures on his wrist, which somehow made wearing bracelets seem like a man’s thing to do. Well I personally always felt my wrists to be empty if I had nothing on them; be it a watch or a bracelet and so I always make it a point to wear something on both wrist to ‘dress’ them up.
So if you may ask, how do you wear the bracelets on different outfits? Here’s some ways that we usually wear them by:
Wear it casual
If your outfit for the day don’t require you to put on something formal looking, you are at the absolute liberty to wear bracelets of any sorts and you can even mix things up a little. Go ahead and be bold if you want to, but of course always bear in mind the balance of things and not ‘overbold’ it…
A one piece wrap bracelet with colors matching your main outfit. It doesn’t come off as too striking to the eye yet it does something to complete the entire look.
If you’re up for it, stack them up. Use bracelets of different textures such as fabric, stones, wood, and metals to complement each other. This creates the fuller and more adventurous look on your wrist.
There are times in a man’s life when we are called to put on a suit and man up (unless you have to wear a suit every day to work), and that doesn't mean that bracelets cannot be integrated into your formal look.
If you're looking at just adding a slight tint of bright color tones into your outfit whilst not going over the top, simply add a bright colored bracelet underneath your cuff. This way, it would not stand out too obvious but enough to show your colorful side when it pops out once in a while.
Nobody enjoys having our favorite watches scratched up in any way. So if you want to leave your watch alone, simply put on a clean metal cuff bracelet on the other arm. It not only protects your favorite watch, but also complements the watch with the similar metal element on both arms.
Well that’s it folks. If you’re inspired to have your bracelets on, hop over to our shop to check out the variety of bracelets we have in stock.
Till next time!
As with all artisans and designers, there is bound to be one ‘weapon of choice’; a material or a tool that the creator feels most happy working with.
For us, that weapon has always been brass.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and the use of it has been recorded as early as 3rd millennium BC.
So brass is one hell of an old school kid on the block, whom has been hanging out for many thousands of years, and has been known to be one reliable lad.
Brass, brass, and more brass!
And so the question, why do we love brass so much?
To start with, brass is one of the most versatile materials around, which is to say that the limitations of creating works out of brass are only restricted by one’s imagination. You can cut from a brass sheet, forge a brass rod, texture brass, cast it, and even solder two pieces of brass together. Basically, you can create anything you want, as long as you know how to do it.
A brass ball soldered to a piece of formed and textured brass wire
Another aspect of brass which we absolutely love is that brass darkens, creating an antique and rustic look. Due to oxidation, brass will tarnish over time and builds character. The oxidation rate varies depending of the wearer, and can become a personal experience.
This is not to be confused with rust because if you want your brass piece to shine again, a simple polishing cloth or Brasso (this stuff works like magic) will do just the trick. In fact, most water pipes these days are still made out of brass because it does not rust and is highly resistant to corrosion.
A tarnished piece of brass
Well lastly, one damn good reason why we love using brass is that it is by itself a very tough material and like most metals, becomes tougher when you work harden it. This good old lad is one metal that can take a beating, and not only survive but emerge out tougher than before.
Hammering brass can also create texture on the pieces
Therefore, we can’t really find any other reasons not to love brass!
And so, a lot of our accessories created for men are made of brass because we know that nothing spells out masculinity and maturity more than wearing brass.
Check out our brass works over at our store today! http://staleandco.com/collections/all
Once in while we get questions such as “so how do you guys make your stuff?” and most of the time we felt that explaining in words simply does not do justice to the whole handcrafting ‘religion’.
This is why we decided to do a special pictorial post on how we make our signature Stale & Co hooks and to give a little insight into what goes on in the studio!
It all starts with a simple spool of brass wire. As much as possible, we like to build everything from scratch (it’s more fun that way…).
After cutting out a specific length of wire, the ends are hammered down so as to allow easy hooking on the final product.
The piece of wire is then twisted into shape.
And more hammering for a nice smooth surface
More twisting and turning the wire to get that perfect curve
We then saw a little corner of the hook so that everything falls nicely into place.
And some final filing for that smooth finish
Viola! A perfect Stale & Co hook in brass completed.
Of course that process takes longer and is much more complicated than 8 photos, but we hope that through this, you get to know a little more about what we do and how we do things!
Till the next time…