Saying goodbye to people who have become our family here in Singapore is never easy but giving them a lovely memento or unique gift from Singapore can soften the blow – for them, at least! Here are some gorgeous farewell gift ideas for colleagues or friends to help you bid them adieu.
Glam goodbye presents
Local brand Forbidden Hill creates striking jewellery and home accessories that are perfect for gifting. The contemporary jewellery collections combine regional motifs with unique features, making stylish farewell gift ideas with meaning. An especially symbolic gift for friends leaving Singapore is the new Peranakan Grace Silk Bangle in sterling silver. The design is an ode to the Nyonyas of yesteryear, and with over 30 interchangeable silk colours, you can pick a few favourites and leave your friend to mix and match.
The store’s range of earrings also make lovely gifts and are made with beautiful symbolic designs. The Ban Zu Earrings are a modern rendition of lattice patterns found on Chinese ceramics once traded in Singapore. Alternatively, for something inspired by Singapore’s nature and the Botanic Gardens, the Orchid Garden Gemstone Earrings are a lovely gift. These are also customisable from a selection of stones including rubies and sapphires.
Hand-painted farewell gifts
When it comes to choosing a farewell gift for colleagues and friends, it’s important to find something that is tasteful, sentimental and unique. As we all know, this is never an easy feat. That’s why By Fable has created a range of beautiful illustrations, cards and stationery for the perfect personalised present from Singapore.
The selection of prints start as hand-painted artworks made with Indian ink for a monochrome, minimalist aesthetic synonymous with artist Elizabeth Marlow. She also uses a Chinese calligraphy brush to encapsulate the experience of living in Singapore and portray some of the Garden City’s most memorable places. Her illustrations are also letterpress-printed onto luxury thick cards for a unique set of Singapore-themed notecards.
Farewell gifts from Karenmade
Karenmade is an independent Singapore company founded by local photographer Karen J Fernandez. She has created a colourful collection of well-made and wallet- friendly Singapore-inspired farewell gifts for colleagues and friends. It all began when her search for keepsakes for friends visiting from abroad seemed to be limited to either the very tacky or the very expensive. Armed with her camera, Karen took her own photographs of Singapore and turned them into coasters and desk calendars. When her friends repeatedly asked where to buy them for their own loved ones, she started Karenmade.
Every product is created to encapsulate Singapore’s energy and rich heritage of culture and traditions. You’ll find gorgeous fine art photographic prints and canvases, umbrellas, reusable tote bags, cushion covers, notebooks, greeting cards and coasters. They’re all based on Karen’s colourful and eclectic collection of photographs which are also featured in her 72-page coffee table book, Singapore. My ABC of Favourite Things, which you just might want to purchase for yourself!
These Oasis Scandinavian marble coasters from Alskar.co are custom-personalised to your specifications. Little desk accessories like this make for a simple, beautiful and stylish farewell gift idea for colleagues and friends. And, they’re a way for everyone to remember you in their new home.
The coasters are 9.5cm in diameter and suitable for hot and cold drinks. The modern design features a personalised name and your choice of special typography. They come in three different colours – blue, grey and pink – and feature minimalist marble with a gold painting effect.
Memory candles for farewell gifts
Allow those wonderful memories to be accompanied by words of affirmation and the comforting floral scents of the I AM LOVED Crystal Candle from Innerfyre Co. With delicate and exotic fragrances from Asian flowers such as jasmine, peony and plum blossom, this candle is a thoughtful leaving gift in Singapore.
Made with essential oils and a sustainable wax blend that contains coconut wax and rice bran wax, the candle also comes with a rose quartz crystal, celebrating the love and friendship shared during your time in Singapore.
Artistic and unique gifts from Singapore
If you’re looking for farewell gift ideas that offer a beautiful memory of Singapore, the ‘Farewell My’ series from Ciaolink fits the bill. These framed artistic images are made using pachica, a special kind of paper produced in Japan. The paper becomes transparent under hot stamping and requires advanced craftsmanship. The temperature, pressure and time all have to be controlled to develop dense and complex yet uniform embossing transparency on the delicate paper.
The ‘Farewell My’ series includes iconic sights such as the Marina, Raffles Hotel and Downtown. These unique gifts made in Singapore include frames crafted in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture, and the packaging is made from recycled cardboard with FSC certification.
Scents of Singapore for leaving presents
Scent by SIX is a Singapore-grown fragrance label specialising in perfumes and home scenting products such as candles and diffusers. The company uses responsibly sourced ingredients and scents reminiscent of Asian climes. Think lemon peel, mandarin, jasmine and orchid! By picking one of these farewell gifts, you’ll allow your friend to be metaphorically transported back to Singapore in no time.
The 2065 Ujong reed diffuser is owner Jason Lee’s interpretation of Singapore’s future, in the year 2065 (Singapore’s 100-year anniversary). Ujong is a less frequently used name for Singapore. It means ‘tip’ in the Malay language, referring to Singapore being on the tip of the Malay peninsula.
Papercut creations of Singapore
Looking for unique gifts in Singapore with that personal touch? The artist behind Dami, Beatrice Ng, crafts bespoke papercut artworks. Customers commission Beatrice to create an outline of a memorable Singapore sight and she can then papercut names or a meaningful quote into the scene.
Beatrice has always been fascinated with the older buildings of Singapore, and she felt that papercut was an unusual and uncommon technique here. She’s happy to work from photographs for these goodbye presents, and prices are according to size. (Prices also include the frame and delivery within Singapore.) An A5 piece is $45, A4 $75 and A3 $135.
Nostalgic farewell gifts
These pieces make great farewell gifts for colleagues or friends with an eye for design. Louise Hill’s vibrant and detailed prints capture everyday elements of Singapore woven into multi-layered detail. Creating her pieces takes months of photo taking and also collecting vintage fabrics and curios. After this comes hours of editing, which eventually results in a digital print containing up to 500 layers.
Louise’s ‘Singapore Typographic’ is a lasting memory of the city using type combined with playful images. You can play ‘spot the Singapore reference’ in this design that celebrates love for the city with a hint of vintage nostalgia.
The piece is available in a range of sizes, printed in Giclee Museum Grade non-fade inks as a stretched canvas, or printed onto high-quality German etching paper and framed behind Acrylic glass. Prices start from $440 for a small size measuring 90cm x 38cm.
Cushion the blow!
Farewell gifts don’t have to cost a fortune! This plush velvet Lah cushion is just one of a larger collection of cushion covers from quirky Singapore-based design studio wheniwasfour. Other fun farewell gift ideas include Lor, Sia and Meh Meh covers, as well as plenty of other pieces that combine functionality with a unique Singapore memorabilia-style that also make great leaving gifts.
Iconic and eco-friendly
These eco-friendly lunch boxes with a dash of local Singapore flavour make great kids’ leaving gifts. Not only do they look great but they’re reasonably priced. They’re also small and light (not much packing space needed!), dishwasher-safe and BPA-free.
Spot some of Singapore’s iconic hawker cuisine such as chicken rice, satay and curry puff on this brightly coloured lunch box drawn by artist Bok Loong.
This is just one of many Singapore-inspired pieces available at The Art Faculty, a social enterprise started by the Autism Resource Centre as a platform to celebrate the abilities of people with autism and related challenges. It’s the perfect spot to go shopping for farewell gift ideas. The range of products includes artwork and merchandise by talented students and alumni of Pathlight School, the first autism-focused school in Singapore. For every sale of artwork and products, the artists earn royalties and learn the value of work and financial independence.
Farewell gifts for colleagues or friends
Make it a little easier to say goodbye with one of these iconic ice buckets from Singapore Trading Post. (Filling it with bottles for your friends is optional!) The Singapore palm logo makes these a popular memento – a reminder of happy times in the tropics. Ranging from small to large sizes, the vessels can cater for intimate dinners and also larger soirees.
The silver tarnishes over time, giving it that vintage look. One great farewell gift idea, in particular, is the large gold-finish ice bucket, which can fit up to nine bottles in it. Perfect for sociable friends who love entertaining!
The items range from $420 to $545 and all come delivered free of charge.
For more helpful tips, head to our Living in Singapore section.