A Sprinkle of ‘Bloesem Magic’ to Start The Year

It’s been quite a long hiatus since our last update on ePloof! and that’s because I’ve been busy with my son, Otto and my day job.

ePloof! for me is also a journey where I need to learn about how to promote my business, how to engage with like minded people, work on collaborations, identify opportunities for pop up shops and generate sales.  Since we don’t have a physical shop front, online visual content is very important to help reflect the quality and the unique range of kid’s products we have selected.

A New YEAR means a new start so I thought, right I really ought to learn about this and improve my online content creation and visual story telling skills. I had a long think about what visuals and online stores/children themed materials inspires me in Singapore? Time and time again, I find myself always looking wondrously at the beautiful pictures, compositions of Bloesem Blog by the talented Irene. I was pleased to see they held workshops on this EXACT topic too ‘The Art of Visual Story Telling‘! So, without further ado, I signed up.

In the session, Irene shared valuable insight on the colour palette, some tips and tricks of photography, setting the scene and most importantly, the harmony of the images together with the words, fonts and content to create a complete package. True to her philosophy, the session came complete with a yummy lunch and a useful beautiful notepad they had designed.

bloesemuse

Bloesem workshop

 

Putting her lesson into action, recently ePloof! has been working on a partnership with a Japanese hair salon called Covo located on 43 Keong Saik Road. Incidentally, it’s where we get our hair cut and we take our little boy there too. The idea came up in that wouldn’t it be nice for mothers who were having their hair done that their kids can sit and play with some educational wooden toys whilst waiting? Or that mums can browse some unique kids products while enjoying a hair treatment? 🙂 Hence, the idea was born for ePloof! to have a Pop Up Shop event at the super cool Covo Hair Salon and to have it coincide with the Japanese ‘Girls’ Day on March 3?……..

When? Feb 3 – March 3.

Where? 43 Keong Saik Road (right opposite the cool burger joint, potatoe head). Call ahead to book an appointment on 62214585!

Selection of ePloof!  products such as:  Atelier Mokku Wooden Giraffe & Elephant Throw Hoops,  Arty Frog 4 pcs set of the ‘La Mer‘ and ‘Gaspard & Lisa‘ Series, the very popular Track Ball, Uncle Goose Alphabet blocks in Classic English, Chinese and French (upon special request), Musical Cars, Mastro Geppetto Animal Zoo (Noe Set), UK’s Kerry Layton’s Seventy Tree Prints and Posters and the beautiful ‘Butterflying’ cloud mobiles to name the key ones. So pop in store during the month of Feb and let your children explore, play and discover the art of playing with traditional toys while waiting rather than sitting watching the iPad.

SPECIAL OFFER – 15% OFF all ePloof! items bought in store at Covo.

SPECIAL OFFER – 20% off for all first time customers to Covo.

SPECIAL OFFER – $25.00 Wash & Style (UP $35.00) for all customers who quote ‘ePloof! blog’

And I’m proud to say to Irene & Zara, I’ve created this banner myself in photoshop (with some illustrator) with your workshop lessons and tips clearly in mind 🙂

eploof pop up covosalon_banner3

ePloof! pop up at covo, 43 keong saik road

Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you soon at Covo!

*Elizabeth

 

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お久しぶりのブログです

こんにちは。久しぶりのブログアップになってしまいましたが、今日はエキサイティングなお知らせをお届けします!

まず、ePloof!メンバーのElizabethのベビーがあと二カ月ほどで生まれる予定です!ePloof!メンバー全員で楽しみに楽しみに待っているところです。

第二に、大好評のメラミン食器、Arty Frog Parisより新しいデザインが届きました。近日中にオンラインショップに並びますので、楽しみにしていてください。

三つ目のお知らせは、イギリスで創刊され国際的なトレンドを発祥しているMonocle誌に、 ePloof!でも動物のブロックnoeが大人気の日本のおもちゃブランド、Mastro Geppettoがフューチャーされました。私達が大好きな日本の良いおもちゃが世界から注目され、私達にとってもとても嬉しいできごとでした。

monocle_MG

記事は購読者のみ見られるのですが、ここで特別にPDFバージョンをお見せしちゃいます。

記事は私たちがいつも質問されることと同じことに触れていました。いつも聞かれるこの二つ。

大量生産で安価なプラスティックのおもちゃだけではなく、iPads等もこどものおもちゃとなっている今、高価な木のおもちゃを買う親はいますか?

ePloof!が選んでいる商品は基本的に私たち自身が自分のこどもたち、大切な友達のこどもたちに買いたい商品です。プラスティックや電子機器とは違った、クオリティが確かであり、子供たちが触れることで何かを得られる物を、海外にもお届けしたいと思っています。

出生率が1.2となっているシンガポールをベースにしていますが、マーケットについてはどう考えているのですか?

私たちはシンガポールをベースとしていますが、オンラインショップであり、世界中へ商品をお届けしています。たとえこどもの数が少なくても、子を持つ親としては、かならず木のおもちゃを与えたいはずです。私たちはその気持ちを嬉しく思うのです。

Mastro Geppettoのデザイナーである富永周平氏は、こう答えていらっしゃいます。「この仕事をしているのは、情熱があるから。そしてクラフトマンシップやクオリティは、必ず人々の望みに応えるものだと思うからです。」

時々お客さまからこどもたちがおもちゃで遊んでいる写真が届きます。この写真はロンドンから!こういうこどもの顔を見ると、私たちは本当に嬉しくなるのです。

NOE_RUI

 Mastro Geppetto の商品はこちらから!

Happy Sunday all,

ePloofie, elizabeth

Been a while … but we’re back :)

Hello,

It’s been a couple of months of silence from us here at ePloof! But alas, it is silence no more, we’re back and on track with some exiting updates too!

  • First of all, founder of ePloof! Elizabeth is expecting her first born soon – in about 8 weeks time so it’s exciting times for us.
  • Second is that we’ve stocked new designs from Arty Frog Paris so the dinnerware has just gotten even more so better looking – watch this space when we feature the new designs and stock.
  • Third is that we’re so pleased to announce that one of our Japanese suppliers, Mastro Geppetto has been featured in the Monocle magazine. I came across it last Sunday whilst lazy in the sun…

monocle_MG

The article is available for subscribers only… but sshhhh…. we’ve downloaded a PDF version for you – click on the image above.

I liked this article not only because it features MG but because it’s tackles questions we at ePloof! get asked all the time

1. In times such as these you are competing with the cheap plastic mass produced toys at prices you simply cannot beat, furthermore most kids these days engage with iPads and not wooden toys. What makes you think people will buy wooden toys these days?

The products we choose here at ePloof! are based on the philosophy that each product is something that we ourselves have bought for our kids or our friend’s kids. We believe in the quality and want to make them available to an overseas market. The focus is definitely on quality kid’s products and having the kids touch, feel and gain a sense of keepsake for belongings.

2. You’re based in Singapore…… Isn’t the average kid per family something like 1.2? Is there a sufficient market for the business?

We are an online business model, we ship internationally though we are based in SG. We do have some wholesale and consignment customers whom we value in SG and we’re aiming to grow this customer base. In fact, we try to think of it in a positive manner in that since each household has only 1-2 children. As parents you want to give your children a variety of simulating education toys,  some of which will be quality wooden toys.

Thus in many regards, we share the same view as Suhei Tominaga-san, “We do it because we’re passionate about it and we think craftsmanship, quality is something that people desire.”

We really love it when our customers send us pictures of their children playing with the toys too – this one is from London – such a brainiac don’t you agree 🙂

NOE_RUI

The full range of Mastro Geppetto is available at ePloof!

Happy Sunday all,

ePloofie, elizabeth

Countdown to Christmas – pressies with a Wow factor!

Christmas pressies that WOW!

Christmas pressies that WOW!

We’ve been really busy with our first Christmas orders! And we get asked for recommendations for gifts that are interesting, unique and best sellers. We put together a list here: It’s the Atelier Mokku Trackball – a large frame, study Japan designed wooden trackball. Fun for kids and parents and even grandparents! We also recommend Uncle Goose – alphabet sets. Also Olivelse’s musical Ukulele.

Don’t forget, we’re also selling our goodies and stocking fillers with many items less than $40.00 SGD at Oh Deli – at 421 East Coast Road so grab your pressies there too!

ePloofie

Oh Oh Oh it’s magic – Christmas is here… no wait… Christmas is at Oh Deli! East Coast Road

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way…. It’s that time of year again. My favourite! A time of sharing, laughter, good food, catching up with family & friends and a time of giving!

ePloof! is a proud partner with Oh Deli this year for the Christmas period – grab your pressies for the special little ones in your life. The selection includes:

Ohhh…. and if that’s not enough to entice you, we LOVE the Oh Deli team because they make the best sandwiches in Singapore AND they stock quality fresh produce. So you can always stop by for festive food from Phippas (Melbournians, you know what I’m talking about!) Plus… a secret is that their coffee is FAB!!  Don’t take our word for us, go and visit them at East Coast Rd now.

They are found here:

421 East Coast Road
Singapore 429008
Tel/Fax:  +65 6440 4409
Customer Hotline:  +65 9743 6628
Store hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Sunday: 8.00am – 9.00pm
(including public holidays, unless otherwise stated

ePloofie

Spotted, ePloof! at Kizuki Less Is More (Raffles Hotel, 4th flr)

Just a quick note to tell you that we’ve spotted ePloof product on display at ‘Kizuki’s Less is More’ hair salon at Raffles Hotel. It’s our favourite hair salon!  We love chatting to Eng Chong who knows all the happening things in SG and we always .. … of course share foodie tips and favourites.  The person who looks after my hair is Oba-san. He’s the one with the biggest doe eyes you can image. Ever friendly and spot on with what I want. If you are in doubt which hair stylist to go for, I would recommend you try Oba-san.

At the Kizuki salon,  you can see Mastro Geppetto Animal ‘NOE’ set as well as the Uncle Goose Classic Alphabet.

Please feel free to touch and feel with your kid’s too if you are waiting for your turn at the hair dressers 🙂

ePloof! at KIZUKI

ePloof! at KIZUKI
Kizuki Salon Raffles Hotel

Kizuki Salon Raffles Hotel

Drop us a note if you’ve spotted them and tell us what does the letters spell? I wonder where else you can spot our products on display in and around Singapore?…… mmmm…… Watch this space!

Ciao,
ePloofie, Elizabeth

Fridays = Busy Busy Busy

Today’s been a busy day! To kick start the Friday, a good friend helped me pack 200 pieces of wooden products ready for a marketing campaign with a beauty company that will be launching a ‘Mummy Box’ in October J Sorry but we’re not supposed to disclose the name of the company until AFTER the event… so… for now, I must keep ‘mum’.

What’s a ‘Mummy Box’ you must be wondering….No… it’s nothing to do with Egyptians… so fear not. It’s about offering a number of different skincare and beauty products that would fit the profile of a young mother. So in this box, we decided to also add a little something different – by adding our best sellers as a treat for mums as a keep sake and to let their children have a play – Made in the USA Uncle Goose Classic Alphabet Blocks and Made in Japan, Mastro Geppetto, Cedar Wooden Noah’s Ark figures. Each piece serves as proof of excellent craftsmanship, unique product feature to help promote what ePloof’s all about.  Wonder which 200 lucky women out there will be receiving them soon ? J Very exciting indeed. Have a look at the little bundles of goodness 🙂
ePloof's Mummybox goodies

After preparing the small gifts, I had a quick visit of The Fairs and Bazaars in the Hilton to check out the customer scene, layout and potential fit for ePloof! as I’m deciding whether it’s something that would be good for ePloof in the near future.  I only had 10 mins to have a look around and get a good feeling on the ground of the customer segment, products, price and general atmosphere.  From my 10 mins, the impression I had was that it was more handicraft and very mixed, clothes besides wine shop and home décor store too. There was a few kid’s related stores there but nothing that really stood out and caught my eye. I went around 3.30pm so there wasn’t a lot of people at the time, perhaps around 10 customers walking on the floor amidst the stall owners and assistants.  I’d been keen to hear feedback from anyone who’s actually traded at one of these fairs or visited…. What do you reckon? Worth us going? Plus, we’re excited that the ladies behind ‘Babyccino’  gave us the thumbs up just this afternoon :).
Babyccino’  is  a beautiful online portal of curated kid’s stores. Have you ever come across it?  It was started by 3 ladies from different countries,  whom all met whilst living in London. They soon became friends, got talking and decided to do something cool. Sounds familiar huh? 🙂 See for yourself, isn’t it just a great trusted resource for parents? Ideas are refreshing, they’ve got excellent taste, photography is inspiring and they have their fingers on the pulse in the world of the little ones. Oh yes, these ladies KNOW the kids and family market.

babyccino

babyccino

In fact, in many ways, Babyccino inspired me visually as well as conceptually when our little group of TTT’s were brainstorming what we wanted to create and launch here in Singapore….  Well… keep watching this space for some updates on that soon! On the Japan side, today we posted our first batch of orders for customers in Singapore who wanted to send the item as part of a gift basket to friends in Japan…… OK… so logistically that was a little tricky because we didn’t anticipate this demand.  Still, our wonderful JP team, Mr S & Reiko sorted this out and all went smoothly! *Gold service awards* Ohh…… I almost forgot, in between the visit to the Hilton Hotel and playing ‘photographer’ to my friends at the East Coast, I was pleased to find out that one of our good friends gave birth to a healthy little boy! Can’t wait to meet him soon. So… don’t you agree? Fridays ARE just BUSY BUSY BUSY! OK – off to Zzz now.

Have a great weekend all.

ePloofie, Elizabeth

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