Saturday, 19 April, 2014

 
Published February 22, 2014
Home & Garden
Cave of discovery in Haji Lane
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OFFBEAT FINDS
Shop Wonderland's eclectic merchandise seems like a veritable wonderland for buyers of all things unique and whimsical. - PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN

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Shop Wonderland

37 Haji Lane tel: 6299 5848

Hours: 10am to 8pm daily

WITH a name like Shop Wonderland, it's no wonder you feel like Alice in Wonderland when stepping into this place. There are no Cheshire cats, but there are a few rabbit figurines on the shop floor that make good door-stoppers. Pretty lamps hang from the ceiling, while dried leaves and vines twirl around the shop displays.

Shop Wonderland is the retail arm of Wonderland for Detailed Planners, an events company that owner Melissa Wang started in 2010. It handles corporate and wedding events.

In 2012, she branched out into retail, focusing on local homeware brands. "You have stores that retail local fashion labels, but there is little platform for local homeware, and I wanted to give these brands an option," says Ms Wang.

Some of the local brands she carries include When I was Four, Japanese ceramic plates from Democratic Society, leaf-shaped plates from Davy Young's Leaves with Memories series, as well as gardening kits from Easy Gardens.

Ms Wang also carries some foreign brands, such as teacup sets from British designer Louise Wilkinson as well as candles from American label, Voluspa. The candles which retail from $39.90, along with cushions priced from $49.90, are the store's bestsellers.

"I pick items and brands which I would not mind using for the events that I'm planning for, or even for my own home," says Ms Wang. These brands are exclusive to Shop Wonderland in the Haji Lane area.

Shop Wonderland used to be located a few doors away but it was too small, so Ms Wang moved to this bigger space in December. The retail space takes up the second floor and with eye-catching bric-a-brac sprawled on a big table or on shelves by the side.

Paper lanterns hover cheerfully overhead on the ceiling, lighting up the workshop space which Ms Wang uses to create floral displays or to conduct classes on floral crafts and watercolour illustration on weekends.

Since reopening Shop Wonderland, Ms Wang has added a small cafe on the ground floor. She calls it The Pantry, and sells an assortment of cakes, muffins and pastries from Maple & Market, Carpenter & Cook and Plain Vanilla, alongside a selection of teas from Gryphon.

"Again, I wanted to work with local artisans," she says. Instead of paper lanterns, vintage lights with floral lampshades hang from the ceiling.

The overall look of Shop Wonderland is a little whimsical and magical, especially in the evenings. "It's funny how visitors have used these terms to describe the place, but as long as it's not labelled as cute that's fine," she quips. "Actually, I see Shop Wonderland more as an emporium of services, from cafe to retail with workshop space."

taysc@sph.com.sg