This month, we’re celebrating the successes of savvy expatriates and Singaporeans, as well as the setbacks they overcame, to make life better in Singapore in our Expatpreneur Awards 2017.
Woody Antique House began as a labour of love in 2000 by Wei Chin’s parents, before she and husband, Chris Ang, more recently took over the family business.
The Dempsey Hill-based store is well known – by expats and locals – for its authentic Asian antiques and reproductions.
Read more about it below (and find out how we picked the awardees here)!
More on The Finder:
Expatpreneur Awards 2017: How This Expat Went From Trailing Spouse In Singapore To Successful Girlboss
Expatpreneur Awards 2017: This Singaporean Mom’s Love For Her Child Made Her A CEO
Woody Antique House is known for its quality antiques from various parts of Asia.
However, when Chris, Wei Chin and his parents-in-law first ventured into the business together, they were new to the market, which meant that they had a steep learning curve ahead.
They got the ball rolling by sourcing for and importing antique Chinese furniture with a little help from a long-time friend who had been in the antiques industry for some time.
Over the last 17 years, Woody Antique House has successfully expanded its range to include top-notch recycled elm and teak furniture, one-piece Suarwood tabletops, Indian vintage collections as well as synthetic outdoor products.
To Chris, success wasn’t just about providing a shop full of great buys; it was also about creating a memorable experience for customers. He drew on his work history as a product development engineer and product marketer to understand how a product transformed from an idea requested by a customer into something tangible.
His most valuable lesson? “I learned how important it is to match and sell the features of a product to meet a customer’s wants and requirements.”
And so, the 16-member team at Woody Antique House strives to create a personal connection with their customers. “We bring in weekly shipments, so if a customer can’t find a piece immediately, we will take note and then update them once it arrives,” said Chris.
Woody Antique House also offers furniture customisation as well as minor modifications and repainting to existing pieces that a customer likes. “Most importantly, we provide after-sales service to give them ease of mind when they choose our furniture.”
But what started as a family business still is one, and at the end of the day, family is equally, if not more, important.
Says Chris: “Our time is split between the business and the kids. It is hard to find time to go out on our own but we try to make arrangements to do that occasionally.” Their kids – three girls, aged 6, 4 and 1 – enjoy coming down to the showroom on weekends and “getting to meet new friends when our customers bring along their children for furniture shopping.”
By Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder (Issue 280), March 2017
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