To many people, Supermama is a gallery shop, a souvenir label or perhaps, a firm supporter of Singapore design/ designers.
To Mei Ling and myself, it is a journey we took as a family. When we had our second child, I asked her if it was possible for us to steal a year off our retirement to spend a year long sabbatical with the family – and at the same time, to live out our dreams to start a shop. This would mean quitting both our full time jobs and the only way to fund this, is to sell our 4 room HDB apartment. It is not easy for any wife to say “yes” to such request especially when Toby was just 3 months old but she did, without hesitation. This is also the reason why I named the shop Supermama. I wanted my kids, Donna and Toby to grow up knowing this decision that their mum made, and to remind myself that she is and will forever be my best supporter. She is our supermama.
Without any business experience between us, we expected the shop to close within a year and to return to our full time jobs. We were so cash strapped that we did not even bother about marketing or branding. In fact the “official” brand logo was adopted only a year into the business. I remembered this night when Donna couldn’t sleep. She woke me up at 12 midnight and asked if I could draw with her. She did a series of drawings and one caught my eye. “It is hippo and elephant!” she exclaimed proudly. The drawing does not look like a hippo or an elephant (in a literal/visual sense) but it feels like one. A 3 years old child capturing the “feelings” of a hippo and an elephant with a few strokes is quite amazing. I wonder where did all these innate abilities to sense, to feel and to express disappear to when we grow up. So we decided to adopt the logo to remind us to always look at our world from the eyes of a child.
The journey is not without its challenges and one that allow us to discover the value of relationships. We are very thankful to all our friends, especially the design community in Singapore and crafts community in Japan, who supported us all these years.
We look forward to meet you at one of our stores.
– Edwin and Mei Ling