Joining the Handmade Movement…

It’s no secret that I enjoy making things… fashioning Harry Potter inspired magic wands, crafting my own RFID-blocking duct tape wallets, making sleeping dragons out of clay… so I was really thrilled to meet a fellow kindred spirit, Irwin Lim of The General Company who identifies himself as a builder and lives by his life’s motto of “don’t just buy things, experience them.”

Dedicated to sharing the forgotten knowledge of happy builders to busy city folk engrossed with technology, Irwin and his team at The General Company have been doing what they do with passion and drive. Their retail store Tyrwhitt General Company is located at 150a Tyrwhitt Road right above Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar, which stocks a well-curated selection of quality crafted brands, as well as, locally made goods by young emerging crafters and makers.

I think there’s quiet satisfaction in making stuff… You’re deeply entranced in that beautiful moment, fully present, almost in a meditative state and completely focused on the formation and development of your unique creation, which forms a deeply rooted bond which transfers, should you decide to keep what you made with your hands or ultimately choose to gift it to someone deserving.

In magic, there’s actually something called the “too perfect theory”. It’s not a good thing per se, and I agree with that philosophy. There’s a very special charm in imperfection and the Japanese were perhaps the first to recognize that quality, poetically calling it “wabi sabi” – perfection in imperfection.

Irwin Lim, founding partner of The General Company, standing on right

Check out what Irwin has to share about the handmade movement in our candid scribble project interview, just up today. Also, The General Company has very generously provided an exclusive workshop discount for all NingThing readers for the entire month of August, celebrating National Day and SG50. Yay hey!

…So if you enjoy craft work like me, I guess I’ll be seeing you at their upcoming workshops… TGC’s leather stitching and basic leather craft workshops look mighty interesting, but they’ve got more than just leather smithy stuff happening. Concrete casting, wood work, or screen printing anyone? 🙂


Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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