With decades of experience under their belt, Just Anthony and Woody Antiques are a go-to for anyone looking for antiques, reproductions or vintage pieces. We find out how these two vintage furniture stores in Singapore maintain a passion for business and remain so popular.
This is one of those popular vintage furniture stores in Singapore. It all started in an attap house in Paya Lebar over 45 years ago by Anthony Lee. Just Anthony is today managed on a daily basis by his daughter Danielle. Her father still keeps an eye on the business, visiting the shop daily, keeping in touch with suppliers and stocking up on older items.
In the antique and vintage store, you’ll find a huge range of furniture to browse through the 15,000 square foot stores. There are Chinese antiques, screens, ceramic stools and lamps, reproductions of brightly colored storage pieces, and plenty of repurposed furniture (doors as dining tables, for example), which means nothing is getting lost.
Danielle didn’t always know she was going to be part of the family business. “I used to help out here on Sundays during my college days. I studied marketing at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and my plan was to just sort through my CV and get a job in marketing, but when my dad asked me to join the family business , I agreed to help him.
She developed her interest in Chinese antiques once she joined the company and started taking sourcing trips to China. “I’ve always had an interest in interior design and decoration, first for more modern pieces. But finding parts and seeing how people lived really helped me bring it all to life, and my interest grew.
Just Anthony is also well known for his reproductions and repurposed furniture. The team began making these items over 20 years ago and demand has continued to grow. “We’ve also been reusing pieces for a while – it’s a great way to use something and not lose it. Beautiful sculptures made into coffee tables were initially very popular, and now we have a huge variety, including including daybeds turned into coffee tables and shutters into room dividers.
Danielle’s interest in the provenance of pieces helped develop her passion for the work. But it’s the relationships she’s built with clients over the years that really drive her. “We have clients from over ten years ago who no longer work in Singapore, but they come to visit us whenever they are here. It’s so comforting.
So how does she see the company progressing in the future? “There is always a real interest in vintage and antique pieces, but also in newer pieces that incorporate antique pieces. We are always looking for new ways to recycle old components. We are also focused on bringing our items online and increasing inventory in our online store. »
Local Recommendations – Danielle Lee
“Not far from us are two popular restaurants in a kopitiam setting: Geylang Prawn Noodles and Katong Laksa. These are great places to have lunch before visiting us! We are also close to NEX, a large shopping mall. There are plenty of restaurants there so you have plenty of choice. Another option is Serangoon Gardens, which also has hawker centers, cafes and cafes.
379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | justanthony.com
Ancient wooded house
The furniture carried by this 21-year-old antique and vintage store in Singapore comes from husband and wife team Chris Ang and Wei Chin. Their store in Dempsey is a treasure trove of colors, textures, history and passion. They offer pieces from China, Tibet, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
According to Chris, one of Woody Antique’s strengths is their customization process, a great option if you’re looking for something unique and interesting for your home. “Often our customers are inspired by something they may have seen, but it may not be the right size, color or finish that they want. We work closely with them to design and craft a truly unique piece that they can proudly display in their home. We also take repurposed and vintage furniture and give it a modern twist.
The couple’s love for the business stems from bringing unique vintage furniture and items from various parts of Asia for their customers. “We also love our sourcing trips where we learn about regional cultures, as well as the stories and history behind the pieces. Each trip has been an enriching experience – experience that cannot be acquired from books or Internet.
Working as a husband and wife team is not without its challenges, however, and the couple admit they don’t always agree on work matters. Their solution is to sit down and list the pros and cons of their various points of view and decide on the best way forward. “Company business tends to carry over after work when we’re at home. We try not to talk about homework unless absolutely necessary, so as not to affect the quality of our family time! »
At Woody’s, it’s not just antiques, reproductions and repurposed parts. You will also find a range of outdoor furniture that departs from the more common standard synthetic rattan products. “Many of our customers are looking for more modern metal and powder coated furniture with clean lines. These designs are stylish and elegant – frames and cushions add color to your balcony or garden.
More recently, Chris and Wei Chin have noticed a trend towards colorful pieces. “A few years ago, everything was black and white; now we find that our customers are asking for brighter and bolder colors,” says Wei Chin. These days they are repainted in bright colors like red, blue, green, orange and white to blend in with modern decor, and used for storage – wine, for example, or even shoes.
Local recommendations – Chris Ang
“Dempsey is well known for its food and beverage offerings. Many of our customers go for a meal or a drink after shopping in our showroom. I would personally recommend two places: for lovers of cakes and desserts, PS.Cafe is a good choice; while for those looking for a cozy place to have a meal with friends and family, Blu Kouzina serves excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a charming setting.”
13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com
This article first appeared in the July 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can buy the latest issue or subscribeso you never miss a copy!
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