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Turning a House into a Home: A Chat with Felicia and Sara from Gallery 278

We have partnered with six furniture showrooms across the whole of Singapore! This partnership was something that happened naturally because making our living spaces feel like home is personal to many of us and what better way to do it than discovering new furniture finds that you adore.

 

Gallery 278 Romo Sarouk Green Living Room

Image credit: Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Many of you have made a trip down to our office just to understand our products better and we appreciate and understand that as consumers ourselves. That’s why with our bedlinen, weighted blankets and towels at our partners’ showrooms, we strive to make your customer journey with us more seamless, convenient and easy to visualise in your own homes.

 

Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Taupe at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing
Featuring Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Taupe and Weighted Blanket at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

So come visit us at any of our partners’ showrooms to touch and feel our TENCEL™ Lyocell and cotton sheets, weighted blankets and towels for yourselves during their respective opening hours!

 

Weavve Home Towels Range at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing
Featuring Weavve Home Towels Display at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

When we reached out to our brand partners we made many considerations, one of the most important being ensuring that both brands would be a good match in terms of our brand vision and product offerings.


Gallery 278 Second Floor
Featuring the Second Floor of Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing is a partner that we felt a strong synergy with, in terms of their eco-conscious, custom-designed, functional furniture pieces made to be lived in. We resonate very strongly with their love for simplicity and comfort that comes first and foremost in every aspect of their people-centric design.

 

Gallery 278 Leoni Shears

Image credit: Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

We're happy that both Felicia and Sara, the Principal Designer Director and the Sales & Marketing Manager respectively at Gallery 278, agreed to let us join them for a chat!

In this interview, Felicia shares about how she formed her team at Gallery 278 and her thoughts on eco-consciousness in Singapore while Sara tells us about why they decided to join hands with Weavve Home and about the first piece of furniture she has ever designed.

 

Felicia Koh and Daniel Tan at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing
Featuring Felicia and Daniel at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Daniel: Hi Felicia and Sara, thank you for doing this interview with us! To start off, what are three words that you would use to describe your brand?

Felicia: Three words - eco-conscious, simple, comfortable

 

Gallery 278 Ma Moderna Outdoor Facing

Image credit: Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Daniel: Maybe you can expound on one of them and tell us about what it means to you and your customers. Let’s go with “comfortable”.

Felicia: Okay, comfortable. Our philosophy and interior is making spaces liveable. It has to be down-to-earth, it has to be extremely real. There are a lot of show flats that are, to me, pretty pretentious. That’s why it’s called a show flat, it’s just for show.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Mist Grey at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Mist Grey at Gallery 278 by Esco LeasingFeaturing Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Mist Grey at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Felicia: For us, the interior is so important that you need to think about the real people who live in the home everyday, how they function, how they rest, how they spend their dynamic time and their resting time. So to me, I’m glad you picked that point because comfort to a lot of our clients is paramount important because it’s the real stuff, it’s not just aesthetic.

 

Gallery 278 Casual Sofa

Image credit: Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Daniel: Yes, that’s really important. I think how a space looks is one thing but when you live in it everyday, it has to be something you actually enjoy and can relax in. How would you say simple actually adds to the comfortable parameter?

Felicia: First of all, let’s work with the three things that I think it’s very important to be comfortable.

The first thing is the mattress because I sleep generally eight hours, sometimes twelve. Excessive but I love to sleep, I love my mattress!

 Weavve Home Cotton Sheets in Cloud White at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing
Featuring Weavve Home Cotton Sheets at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Felicia: The second thing is either the chair or the sofa. The third thing is my shoes because you’re either walking, sitting, or sleeping.

 

Gallery 278 BE Katsu

Image credit: Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 

 

Daniel: You’ve probably seen the industry change quite a bit in the last few years. How would you comment on the changing consumer mindsets to eco-consciousness?

Felicia: In the context of Singapore and Asia, too slow. When I was in the UK, Europe, and the US, they were generally more mindful and more conscious but Singapore is probably ten years slower.

When I started back 31 years ago for our branding, it’s about recycling, upcycling, and re-innovating so most of our furniture is produced from recycled wood unless somebody wants some plywood. Sometimes, I reject doing such projects.

 Gallery 278 Rattan Chair and Designer Guild Fabric Cushion

Gallery 278 Coffee Table

Gallery 278 Chairs with Designers Guild Cushions and Coffee Table

 

Felicia: We recycle old floorboards to make dining table tops, old architectural columns to become a four-poster bed and rafters, that are beautifully carved, into a mirror with intricate carvings. I love doing that because we are just recycling what people call “junk” into something beautiful and that requires a lot of manhours of reinventing things. It’s a great way to spend time.

 Gallery 278 Bed Frame with Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Pillowcases in Taupe

 

Daniel: I think for you guys to have done this, it requires a few things. One is to be pretty mindful of and deliberate about materials and waste. The second is to reimagine what something could be.

What do you think would then be the catalyst for the rest of Singapore to start to be more conscious about ecological sustainability?

Felicia: Education and exposure. Because until you are desperately unwell, you’ll never know what health is. And until your Earth is truly destroyed and the global warming situation gets really severe, it’s hard to get Singaporeans to be eco-conscious.

 Gallery 278 Coffee Table with Singapore City Guide and Potted Plant

 

Felicia: But I am very fortunate to be working with a team of people who are like-minded. I have hired and fired a lot of people. Eventually my daughter decided to leave her very high paying job in Landor and came here to work. She has observed my style of interior and the whole motto of how we work, how we live, our lifestyle, and she decided to join us.

My son-in-law also joined us, and last but not least my son also joined us. And then you can’t fire your children, so to speak. One thing is I can’t fire them, second thing it’s just morally wrong for me to have to fire them, so we make things work.

 Blue Gradient Pottery Display on Wooden Bookshelves at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Felicia: The flip side of the coin is that they also felt that it would be morally wrong to quit on me and so they also have that changed mindset of “we just have to make it work”. I feel that the tenacity of when you have the mindset and motivation to stick to something and make it work, it’s a very formidable force.

So we have achieved a lot by sticking together and finding all the different solutions, products, and materials that gel with our concept. It has been a fun four years.

 Painting of Pink Flowers at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Daniel: That’s good to hear! Do you have a particularly funny or memorable story to tell from the business/ a product/ of a customer?

Felicia: I have one that’s weird funny. I made a really beautiful four-poster bed out of recycled columns and the husband loved it so much, he brought his wife here to see. Her question to me was “Got spirit live in there anot?”. I just looked at her and for once I couldn’t have the right answer, the politically correct answer. So then I just told her, “What do you think?”

I’m rarely dumbfounded but that was really a memorable one. I didn’t know how to answer her and I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh.

 Gallery 278 Wooden Bed Frame with Weavve Home Cotton Pillowcases in Cloud White

 

Daniel: Did she actually answer your question?

Felicia: No, her husband just said something sarcastic to her and I just went thankfully I’m not the husband.

Daniel: Did they end up buying the bed?

Felicia: Did not, they bought a newly made bed.

Daniel: The one without spirits.

Felicia: I don’t know and it was really funny. So I was telling the husband, “You sure you want to order this bed? It’s not a four-poster bed, it’s just a regular headboard with a platform.”

And then the husband said, “Can you please not tell my wife that the headboard is made out of recycled floorboards? Just tell her it’s seasoned timber.”

I said, “Okay, can you tell her? She’s your wife not mine.”

Daniel: Oh my goodness.

 Gallery 278 Rattan Chair and Designer Guild Fabric Cushions with Butterflies and Flowers Print

Featuring Cushions with Designers Guild Fabrics at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Felicia: I tell you, this has been a really fantastic career, I love my job. Everyday, you get a really good dose of humour and a lot of stupidity but the whole journey has been really enriching. My clients, good, bad and ugly, once taught me many different things and I seriously quite enjoy frontline work.

 

Gallery 278 Casual Living Area

Image credit: Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 

 

Daniel: Cool, I think we’ve also learnt a lot from you and it’s quite exciting that we’re working together. So just share with us, what are some of your bestsellers?

Sara: One of our best sellers is the two and three tier towel rack. We intentionally brought in more stock for the two tier towel rack and now the three tier towel rack is already out of stock. It’s affordable and goes well with the interior which is what our customers love about it.

 Gallery 278 Wooden Two Tier Towel Rack

Featuring the Two Tier Towel Rack by Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Sara: It’s very easy because when you first want to move in, after you get all the furniture, you naturally need towels and bed linens so it’s just been a very complimentary product.

 Gallery 278 Wooden Two Tier Towel Rack

 

Daniel: What is your favourite piece of furniture from the shop?

Sara: I think my favourite would be that very unassuming piece over there, in front of one of the beds. It’s actually a children’s set but it’s very modular. It can convert from a small drawing desk with two pull out stools at a lower height, and if you flip the stools over it’s a higher height.

 Gallery 278 Children's Desk and Storage Set with Assorted Colours of Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Pillowcases in Laundry Baskets
Featuring Children’s Set by Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Sara: For children who are about two years old and just learning to draw or colour, they can go on the low height. And when they are a bit older like four or five, you can flip it over and they can still use it. Then when you flip that whole desk over, it actually becomes a cosy two-seater for children.

So by far, because of the “transformer” abilities of that piece, that has been my favourite. Also, the price point is quite reasonable because that’s the first piece that I worked on together with one of our designers.

 Gallery 278 Children's Desk and Storage Set at the foot of bed fitted in Weavve Home Cotton Sheets in Cloud White

 

Daniel: When we first reached out to you, it was quite interesting that your team responded very positively. So what caught your eye or made you interested in the first place?

Felicia: First of all, it was Sara who noticed your brand and she did quite a bit of research herself. Because bedding was never our core line, I did not put the necessary attention to it. I’m a big picture person, so my directives were not bedding. We’re leasing and so I arrange a lot of furniture, I design a lot of furniture.

When Sara came to me and said “This brand really gels with our philosophy. First of all, it is a material that is natural.”

 Gallery 278 Wooden Bed Frame with Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Pillowcases in Mist Grey and Taupe

 

Felicia: I love cotton and so she mentioned to me the wonderful thing (referring to Weavve’s TENCEL™ Lyocell Collection) and how it actually feels great, but I am a hardcore cotton person. So I prefer Weavve’s cotton, but Sara and my entire team prefer your lyocell and I felt, “Okay, if you’re so convinced then let’s pursue.” And that’s how we got in touch with your team.

She gave me a whole page summary and said, “I already made it concise, there are so many good things about it.” and I went “Okay, alright”. It’s a pretty dynamic team, I love them and I feel that their passion shows forth.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Taupe and Mist Grey, Cotton Sheets in Cloud White at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Felicia: At first, I was not truly convinced because when I saw the colours, I was not convinced. I am very visual and I love achromatic colours so the purple, the pink, is not my favourite. So Sara gave me a solution, she said, “Why don’t we start with the sand colour, the grey, and the white?” and I said “Fine”.

I want to support what they feel strongly, and I feel that it was a good start. She actually felt very rewarded when those clients she presented to actually bought it.

 Gallery 278 Painting with Black and Dark Red Brush Strokes on an Orange Background

 

Sara: To be fair, when Xing Ru first reached out to us, we already had one supplier that we were working closely with, but the thing is that they only did Egyptian cotton. They were interested in expanding into other types of cotton such as Supima cotton.

When we spoke with Lim Heng and Xing Ru for the first time, they were quite informative when they were sharing. We also knew that lyocell was something that was on the market that a few of our clients had asked us about but we had always just told them that we had this one supplier who did cotton.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Pillowcases in Assorted Colours at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Sara: As you know, Felicia was saying that she likes cotton a lot so she’s pushed for cotton. In all fairness, that was really how we had started off, on that footing.

But because of the interest that other clients have had towards lyocell, even though we didn’t know as much about it, the second time round when they brought samples to show us and then we touched it, we could really feel the difference in that it was very silky soft and it was quite cooling which is great for Singapore’s very humid weather.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Mist Grey

 

Sara: The rest, as they say, is history because we don’t really have to speak about it (referring to Weavve’s TENCEL™ Lyocell Collection). Even when we bring clients here, we briefly explain about the product to them, then we just let them touch and feel.

After they do that it’s enough for them to say, “You know what? We like this. We’ll get a set.” or “When our house is ready, we’ll come back and buy a couple sets.” So it’s been as easy as that for us.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Mist Grey with Gallery 278 Bedside Table

 

Sara: Other than the experiential touch points, for us, it’s the fact that you’re able to trace the sustainable origins of TENCEL™ lyocell as well as your brand having the Oeko-Tex® certification.

As a brand that deals with a lot of natural materials, like woods, linens, cottons, and now lyocell, it’s very in line with the rest of the other products that we have. So it hasn’t been a conflict, I would say it’s just been an extra value add proposition for people who want to furnish their homes.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Taupe at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Daniel: As you’ve been using the lyocell sheets, what do you like most about them?

Sara: I like that it feels very very soft even from the first use. So before I used the lyocell sheets, I was using cotton sheets and you really need to have it go through the wash a few times in order to achieve that softness which you do get. But with lyocell, you really get the softness from the start.

Daniel: What colour do you use?

Sara: The midnight.

 Weavve Home TENCEL™ Lyocell Sheets in Midnight

 

Daniel: Why do you like midnight?

Sara: Everything in the house is quite light coloured and I’m a very practical person, even when I dress. On my wedding day, the thing that I was most afraid of was that a white dress would sure get dirty, confirm. Give me ten minutes, I’ll dirty it. Because on that day, there’s food involved, people touching your face and putting on makeup.

So even though I really like white as a colour, because in photos and everything, it’s great. When you go into a hotel room, the spread looks very nice. But in terms of practicality, I always dirty it. Actually water also can spill on my white shirt.

 Weavve Home Cotton Sheets in Midnight Blue at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

 

Sara: Choosing midnight for me was more for practicality reasons. If we dirty it somehow, or do breakfast in bed and jam gets on the bed, it’s very easy to wash and nobody will know that you had breakfast there.

Another thing that I liked was being able to have a colour range, it makes it easy to pair. If I have a dark bedspread, I don’t have to have the complete set. I can pair with other neutral colours like white or grey. So that’s what I liked about it, having the flexibility to choose and also from a practical viewpoint, the dirt doesn’t show.

 Gallery 278 Black Chair with Birds Design

 

Thank you, Felicia and Sara, for joining us! If you’re in the central area do come and visit!

 

Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

Website: https://www.gallery278.com/

Address: 203 Henderson Road (Wing A) #11-01/02, Henderson Industrial Park, Singapore 159546 

(Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru) Click here to view on Google Maps.

Tel: +65 6271 2021

Email: mail@gallery278.com

Operating Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 10.00am – 6.00pm

Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed

 

 Weavve Products On Display (Full Range):

✓ Bedsheets   ✓ Weighted Blankets  ✓ Towels

Cash and Carry Available In-Store

 

Check out the rest of our showrooms here!

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