When I interviewed the owner of Silk Walk, I found we had a few things in common. SOPHY ZHANG moved to Singapore in 1998, the same year as me. We also both started our businesses in 2001. She’s had her shop in Tanglin Mall for an amazing 22 years, and it’s a mix of art, ceramic tiles, gifts, clothes and souvenirs in Singapore.
Originally from Beijing, Sophy spent time in hotel management in Beijing and Tokyo before moving to Singapore to help someone out with an art gallery. (Sophy now also has an art gallery in the Keppel area.) In her travels, she was gathering intel on what she loved, and later what she’d like to sell when she set up her own business.
Ceramic tiles, gifts, art and souvenirs in Singapore
Many of you will know the little shop on Level 3 of Tanglin Mall. But you may not know the extent of Silk Walk’s range of products. There’s so much more than what you can see in the windows. For example, the Pureland hand-painted ceramic tiles (made in Shanghai) are hugely popular and used by a few boutique hotels around the world, and in some high-end homes. Other homeware and décor pieces are handpicked from France, Morocco and the USA, along with Southeast Asian destinations. There are beautiful mango wood salad bowls (at a much cheaper price than a large department store down the road), scented candles and lots of gift ideas too.
If you love Singapore expat artist Deborah McKellar’s multimedia paintings, you can find print versions of them here too – and, if you don’t know her work, it’s a must-see!
New clothes brands
Four years ago, Sabrina Lim joined the team, mainly to focus on increasing the clothes range. She initially introduced the popular block print dresses, and they’re now also selling BlueBlueSea, MyMamis from Barcelona, and Summery the Label.
I asked Sophy how it feels to have been a part of Tanglin Mall for so long. She’s really happy with the renovation and although it was a lot of change, and quite controversial, she loves the new look. Having the MRT nearby now has also changed the vibe and increased the foot flow, especially at the weekends.
Sabrina talks about how they work together and share ideas for new products. They have different tastes – Sabrina loves the block print dresses and pushed for them to come in, and they’re selling really well. It’s a small shop so space is a factor but they both agree on the importance of also having a good online store, so they’re in the process of creating a new website and trying to get it just right.
Pop in to see them or have a look online!
This article first appeared in the January 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe so you never miss a copy!
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