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A Naiise way to bring joy to children
IT'S often said that there's nothing more satisfying than seeing a happy, smiling child. It is this ethos that led to local design retailer Naiise placing an emphasis on supporting children's charities in Singapore.
"Our children are our next generation, and if they live and appreciate design, we believe the world and their lives will be a better place," says Dennis Tay, founder of Naiise.
Amanda Eng, chief marketing and branding officer, says: "It is our belief that good designs can have a positive impact on an individual's mood and it is important to be able to share this joy, especially with children.
"It all started in the months leading up to Christmas in 2014, where our team wanted to organise an initiative as a way to give back to the community during the season of giving."
This resulted in a partnership with Club Rainbow as a part of its Grant A Wish campaign which "saw 100 Club Rainbow beneficiaries hang their gift wishes on our 'Grant A Wish' Christmas tree and customers could purchase gifts for the children from Club Rainbow".
These gifts were then purchased through donations made by Naiise's customers and gift-wrapped by its staff.
To top that off, a Christmas party was also held for the children and their families with activities such as a crafts session run by Naiise and one of its business partners.
"We were so heartened by the response from our customers and suppliers that we made it a point to have at least one CSR initiative annually, especially during Christmas time," says Ms Eng.
This success laid the foundation for what has become a yearly Christmas effort by the team at Naiise.
"The following year, we partnered Touch Community Services' Touch Young Arrows programme and 11 designers to produce 14 exclusive Christmas cards for sale at both our online and physical stores with all the proceeds going towards fundraising efforts for Touch," says Ms Eng.
A charity auction featuring artwork and design products made by Naiise's team of designers was also held during its Christmas party while the children were also treated to a crafts workshop.
In continuing with the tradition of Christmas campaigns, 2016 saw Naiise collaborating with Volkswagen Singapore and local influencers Charmaine Seah-Ong, Cheryl Tay and Tan Kheng Hua for the 1 Gift, 2 Gives initiative.
With the initiative, gifts could be purchased from a collection of products sponsored by Naiise's suppliers with all proceeds going to The Red Pencil Singapore, a non-profit organisation that helps children, adults and families through art therapy, to raise funds for its art therapy programmes.
"The items in this collection were also sponsored by some of our suppliers," says Ms Eng.
Naiise's CSR efforts are not merely geared to once-a-year initiatives during the holiday season as it also raised funds for The Red Pencil through the creation of a collection of four in-house-designed tote bags.
For each of these bags sold by Naiise, a S$2 donation was made towards the beneficiaries of The Red Pencil.
"As a design retailer, it's important for us to provide support for their cause as it caters for beneficiaries to express themselves and heal through art therapy, and also serves to promote art therapy as a profession," says Ms Eng.
Being a local business hasn't stopped Naiise from collaborating with international groups. In its other efforts, it continues to collaborate with Cause Corps, an international micro-volunteering community to provide space in its retail stores as an activity venue where volunteers can meet to socialise and teach new skills to others such as knitting or planting.
"Throughout the year, we have also been engaged in efforts to support and promote entrepreneurship to youth through talks, panel discussions, and mentorship programmes," says Ms Eng.
Looking ahead, she is keen for Naiise to continue in its range of efforts towards children's charities and is thus ready to tie up with new partners.
- This article is part of a series showcasing companies that prove size does not matter when it comes to giving. The Business Times supports NVPC's Company of Good programme as media partner. Go to www.companyofgood.sg for more information.