lifestyle • 17 Aug, 2017
First Look: The Craft House
A Craftily Curated Solution For Essential Homewares
The Craft House at 28 Nguyen Trai is a concept-store that’s curating all made-in-Vietnam products. And there’s a free gift-packaging service so if you’re grabbing last-minute gifts it looks like you had everything under wraps for weeks and didn’t do it yourself the day before…in the dark.
In fact, most of the merchandise comes from creatives that are part of Saigon Cube, an organisation of self-proclaimed makers of a range of awesome products. You’ll find co-founders Tom and Nancy on the top floor in their co-working space plotting the next steps for a global operation with a reliably local mindset.
Especially appealing is the industrial denim apron from The Craft House’s own brand — perfect if you took up our suggestion of joining an art class. Their customisable Everboard smart organisers are likely to revolutionise our disastrously disorganised desk space. And their market-leading souvenir line, Tick & Pick, will be filling our Rimowa on our next trip west (their ‘Nuoc Mam’ bag is already our new about-town tote of choice).
The Craft House present products from a small number of other non-affiliated local makers who make the grade too. There’s tea and coffee from Hum restaurant’s Bloom line, and also the adventurous vegetarians’ slender bottles of apricot, passion fruit, lotus and black glutinous rice wine. There’s Green Garden’s traditionally handmade soaps, Tòhe’s ethical bags and accessories printed with artworks produced by disadvantaged kids, Hannson’s hand-dyed vegetable-tanned leather wallets and cases, and Paperstory’s fine line of stationery that includes some snazzy Moleskin-style notebooks.
“This is our first concept-store,” Tom explains walking us around the first-floor Craft House products’ booths. “In this building, you can also find affiliates like Nosbyn and Desino (both on the ground floor), but in future stores every room might be a custom mini-store with leatherworks and other craftspeople, and instead of the minimal design here, we might go vintage or urban,” he smiles ambitiously. “And we’re thinking of creating monthly subscription boxes with a special seasonal mix of our products,” the co-founder adds.
For now, if one product sums up this buzzing new space then it’s the Smaller than a fly... line of insect insignia t-shirts — a sure symbol that this homegrown Vietnamese store is about to take off.
Vibes: Cutesy and curated with each local brand having its own booth to showcase their wares.
The Selection: Mostly from creatives under Saigon Cube’s umbrella, but with some seriously special guests like Hum’s Bloom eco-products and Hannson’s leather cases and holders.
Don’t Miss: Picking up a phone case for your boyfriend while you grab that Everboard organiser to resurrect your disastrously disorganised desk space.
Why You Should Go: Because it’s half-past your partner’s birthday, and because it’s always better to outsource your gift-wrapping so you look like you mastered this impossible art form.
Founders of The Craft House: Tom & Nancy
Words by David Kaye
Photo: Tuan Tran