Small Business Friends | Seraina Peter from Helvetia and Sons
It's not news to say local small businesses are really feeling the pinch. Now more than ever, we need to band together and support our local businesses (it doesn't necessarily have to be buying from them!) so we can stay afloat through 2020. I'd like to introduce you to my lovely friend, Seraina, who runs Helvetia and Sons! Helvetia and Sons is an inspirational multi-brand pop-up store featuring carefully curated and hand-picked items from different Swiss brands and designers. Focusing on quality and design, they create a haven for beautiful products – a small Swiss oasis in Singapore's tropical urban jungle.
What does your business do?
There are so many remarkable Swiss products beyond chocolate and army knives. Developed by entrepreneurs with a vision, they make an impression with their unique design, high quality or clever innovativeness. We, who live in Switzerland, or grew up here, are familiar with many of these great products and brands. Online, as well as in our Pop-up Store on Haji Lane, we sell traditional brands like Tiger Swiss (baby and kids shoes), Trauffer (wooden toys), Petit Stellou (baby basics) as well as young hot brands like Viu Eyewear (sunglasses), QWSTION (bags) or Soeder* (soap and sanitizer).
Far too few of these products make it across our borders, into neighboring countries or farther afield. And that is exactly what we intend to change: with Helvetia and Sons, we want to provide a unique platform where we offer selected Swiss products in prosperous, design-oriented Singapore, and conjure up a small Swiss oasis in the midst of the tropical urban jungle. The aim is to present a carefully hand-picked selection of Swiss products in Singapore. The assortment available from this globally unique concept store comprises products in which one does not notice the «Swissness». at first glance, but which captivate the beholder with their form and quality. Good design and quality enjoy great popularity in the Asian metropolis, which is sometimes also referred to as the «Switzerland of Asia».
How did you get started in the business?
I carried the idea around for many years. Finally, in 2019 I used my maternity leave to finalize the concept and to get in touch with the brands on my wishlist. Once I had enough brands onboard and enough encouraging feedback from family and friends I decided to quit my corporate job and to jump into this adventure. I was lucky enough to find the perfect location on Haji Lane to start the business with a pop-up space. Everything was ready for the opening on April 1. But then Covid hit and we all know the rest of the story. I had to change my strategy and develop an e-commerce platform that I am currently promoting. Something I have never done before and I see a very steep learning curve ;-)
How did you meet Elise?
Through our lovely friend Marlies.
What is life like for you at the moment, and what’s your outlook for the coming year?
It's a roller coaster. I am glad that my family is safe and healthy. However, being a person with a lot of drive and ideas the current situation is challenging. I hope that shops and restaurants can resume business soon and that we all get used to a new normal.
How can we help?
It would be awesome if they'd think of us when they need a gift next time or if they want to treat themselves with our lovely products. We sell amazing natural soap, beautiful blankets, or comfy sneakers amongst others. And of course, following us on FaceBook and Instagram.
For more information on Helvetia and Sons you can visit their website or social media. #supportlocalbusiness