Category Archives: Shop

Inspiring Enterprise

Fashion with a conscience

The Tamil word for thread is `nul’ நூல் and both Evlyn and Anne have made South Asia (India and Sri Lanka) their initial hunting grounds for all things crafty and artisanal.

Their new enterprise is aptly called `Southern Nools’ (threads from the south) and the long-term plan is to sustain the business by making it a social enterprise which is aimed at empowering women.

For a start, the siblings are offering quirky and fun items like yoga bags, healthy copper mugs, book covers, meditation cushions, cheerful mandala-inspired totes and a host of other colourful and quality merchandise.

Their debut at the Straits Quay weekend market last week served as a good test-bed to gauge consumer trends and interest and they will be back there on Saturday and Sunday (March 24-25, 2018) with more offerings.

The girls share their story below, and the photos weave more colours and tales:

“At Southern Nools we draw our inspirations from the elements of Mother Earth and the four beautiful seasons of the year to bring you and the rest of the world our eclectic array of designs,” they say.

‘Nools’ or ‘Nul’ means thread in most parts of Southern India and Sri Lanka. The thread is the central point in retaining the fabrics outlook, appearance and lifespan although it only represents less than 1% of the entire outfit., they share.

“While the fabric captures the essence of bringing alive its tapestry of colours, the thread remains the spindle that spools it together. “

Handloom weaving is a heritage handed down from generations. Masterpieces are created from the blessed and creative hands of skilled weavers. These hands represent the simple and humble artisans who brings alive the fabric that adorns its wearer. Southern Nools celebrates all designers through the richness and diversity of traditional and classic fabrics.

“We take pride in weaving together the magic of Mystical India and the Wonder of Sri Lanka through the windows of exotic exuberance set in the splendour and grandiose British era.

“Our passage of timeless collections is designed with fine attention to detail. At Southern Nools we believe in quality, uniqueness, comfort and sophistication with a flair. Our clothiers and collections carry the proud trademark of stitcheries and the spontaneous placement of colours and designs inspired by the eccentric brilliance of Mother Earth.

“Our philosophy is rooted in integrity, simplicity and contemporary elegance handcrafted with a conscience.”

The Southern Nools story goes beyond threads and spools.

“At the heart of Southern Nools is the mission to empower and create unlimited potential with life skills, entrepreneurial growth and leadership for the marginalised and the differently abled in society. We hope to not only empower our local community in Malaysia and beyond, but also to enrich their lives with dignified earnings and a life changing future.

“At Southern Nools we strongly support and promote Fair Trade as a path towards a sustainable economic development for these communities and their families.”

At Southern Nools “There Is A Season For Everything” and “There Is Something For Every Season”.

“Southern Nools is about making a difference in people’s lives. Each smile, each little thing, each blessing, each gratitude is an affirmation of our purpose and mission,” is the promise of Evlyn and Anne.

Watch this space …..

#southernools #thereisaseasonforverything #pb2j #blessingsinlife #fairtrade #empowerment #threadsandspools #india #srilanka #socialenterprise


Let’s go luxe

Luxe shoppers take note!

Michelle the magical queen of happening events, is uplifting Penang’s retail scene by a notch this coming weekend.

The Luxury Shopping Showcase event takes place on 9 Feb (Friday) from 3pm-7pm and 10 Feb (Saturday) from 10am-5pm at

Suite 010, Heritage Wing at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel on Farquhar Street in George Town.

After her successful debut in presenting global label Cocoon by Randi Kristoffersen to us last year, Michelle is now bringing it back to Penang shoppers.

This designed and made-in-Malaysia export, is one of the world’s premier nightwear brands – think silk, satin, silk-velvet and the finest cashmere (www.cocoonbyrandikristoffersen)

Discerning shoppers are also in for a treat with the launching of a new collection from luxury linen brand, The Sinclair Company by Anne Sinclair.

The collection is said to include easy-to-wear dresses and separates in lightweight European linen and available in limited quantities in sizes ranging from 4 to 14.

“No appointment necessary, admission is free and credit cards are accepted,” says Michelle.

“Call us on +60164570221 if you can’t find us! We’re in the old wing, ground floor of the E&O Hotel.”

(Images courtesy of Michelle Grimsley)

It’s baaaaaaaack!!!

The annual George Town Festival (GTF) returns for its 9th consecutive round with an international and local slew of events from 4 Aug till until 2 Sept this year.

“George Town will be a hub of entertainment and excitement with both free and ticketed shows available to audiences,” a press statement issued today said.

As in previous editions of the annual fest, the Penang Government has appointed Joe Sidek Productions Sdn. Bhd. to oversee the curation and management of GTF.

The appointed contractor today also expressed its thanks to the state authorities, Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang, the Penang Development Corporation, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang, Penang Global Tourism, and George Town World Heritage Incorporated for their continued support.

A ‘Call for Proposals’ for the fest which was initiated last October, has seen some 200 proposals both from Malaysia and abroad come in.

“We expect more will be forthcoming during this last week,” said festival director, Joe Sidek.

“In addition to online submissions, we have also been conducting ‘Proposal Clinics’ to encourage local creative individuals or groups to meet with us to help fine-tune their artistic ideas and to help them submit a proposal for the festival,” he added.

Shop for a (fashionable) cause

Retail therapy has taken yet another twist in Penang where you can shop for a cause and stay in fashion.

Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) recently unveiled a new and meaningful project in the form of a thrift shop.

WCC is a not-for-profit organisation that supports abused women and children.

The noble intention behind the opening of this shop is for its profits to be ploughed back to further WCC’s work.

The WCC Value Value Shop is located on the mezzanine floor of Island Plaza, where bargains abound.

Quality new and used items have been tastefully grouped and displayed, with prices starting from RM1.

This little Aladdin’s Cave tucked away at the shopping mall, has interesting finds ranging from books, branded apparel, shoes and bags and quirky fashion accessories, to name a few.

The warm and friendly atmosphere found in the shop is so infectious, where strangers end up chatting and laughing with each other.

The WCC Value Shop, says the centre’s president Mariam Lim, is an initiative aimed at not only providing a steady flow of funds for the organisation, but also advocates sustainable living and provides customers with good quality goods at affordable prices.

The store is run by a cheerful band of volunteers who are out to encourage “Every people that change is possible,” notes Lim.

Bargain surprises and cute finds pop up daily, we are told and it is also heart-warming to see donors walking in with quality items to give away.

The candy-striped brand new blouse I walked away with (RM5) was yet another reminder that one should support private and socially meaningful enterprises such these. And the three funky tops picked up by Debbie at equally attractive prices are reason for us to return there, soon.

Thank you Mariam & Susan for a lovely welcome and congratulations on such an innovative enterprise!

More details on operating hours and the latest offers and good buys are found on the WCC Value Shop Facebook page.

(Images courtesy of Mariam Lim)

Ode to the Penang Lang (people) and their love for food

It’s that time of the year when food and presents figure in our personal and corporate space, all in the name of Christmas.

Sculptural jeweller Jonathan Yun has come up with some real novel ideas to gift oneself or loved ones.

Charmingly called the ‘makan2’ series, necklaces, bracelets and stackable rings have been carved out of sterling silver into exquisite items which pay homage to the Peranakan (Straits Chinese) culture.

“The makan2 series is an extension of my miniature series dedicated to all things Peranakan,” Jonathan says.

“As you know the Penang Nyonya take their food very seriously so its an ode to the delicious food as well as a playful take on the beautiful culture of the Peranakans.”

How much more playful can one get by stacking chopsticks with a plate and spoon and carrying them off with class and style?

Prices start from RM209 and go up to RM1,299 for these quirky pieces.

Pop into Jonathan’s shop at 150 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 Penang and be blown away by his other pieces while you are there.

(Images courtesy of Jonathan Yun)

Swallow @ The Saw Emporium pops up in George Town

Penang’s first sawmill – The Saw Emporium – is set to morph into a clever multi-concept dining destination from next weekend till the first quarter of 2018, and tagged Swallow @ The Saw Emporium.

The 1950 art-deco heritage building and godowns along Jalan Macallum, are being transformed by lifestyle brand developers The Steamship Merchants into a pop-up multi-concept culinary and lifestyle locale.

Swallow @ The Saw Emporium is located within George Town’s UNESCO heritage core zone, within the 7 Streets Precinct (also known as ‘chit tau lor’) and will open its doors from November 10 at 6pm.

This new destination offering in Malaysia’s foodie haven (read:Penang) is being touted as a space where guest chef takeovers, pop up kitchens with interesting and creative food concepts, musicians, designers, craftsmen and community activities will feature.

The line-up of stars announced include Chef Teppei Yamashita, owner-chef of the 2017 MICHELIN Guide Singapore Bib Gourmand Man Man, who is bringing Teppei Syokudo to Georgetown, while TAPS Beer Bar, The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur 2017 Best Beer Bar, pops their craft beer bottles and taps. These heavyweights are being joined by SOi 55 Modern Thai Food, Embers Asian Grill, Qwenchers Juice Bar and more, within an industrial-themed heritage sawmill.

(All photo credits: Swallow @ The Saw Emporium @TheSawEmporium

Penang Goes Luxe

A rare sino-Islamic porcelain blue and white brush pot with Arabic inscriptions is one of many rare items being showcased in Penang this weekend during an exhibition of luxury collectibles.

The late 19th century Qing Dynasty artefact, measuring 13cm x 13cm and carrying a tag of between RM5,800 and RM 7,800, will nestle alongside an exquisite 1950s/1960s handpainted figurine of a laughing Buddha with children perched on his shoulder and arms.

The “Famille Rose Porcelain Buddha” which stands at a height of 30.5cm, is priced between RM10,500 and RM15,000.

These fine items will be joined by other antiques, fine art, luxury watches, automobiles and jewellery during the RHB Premier International Luxury Collections Week from Oct 27-29 at Gurney Paragon Mall.

(Images courtesy of CHT Network)