Jim Art and Craft

Filed under Store Fronts

Jim Art and Craft

Carving a business out of wood

Jim Soh and daughter, Kim

Indian lamp shades

Jim’s interest in Asian handicraft began when he left school and went to work for a furniture shop. There, he became interested in wood carvings from the region.

After a few years, Jim decided to start his own business but with little resources, he could not make any headway. Then, he came up with a brilliant idea.

The year was 1970..  Jim persuaded his brother-in-law to drive him around in his van making house-to-house visits in Sembawang, Nee Soon, Jalan Kayu  and Chip Bee Gardens. These were the estates where personnel of the British Army were staying. And Jim knew that they were a market for oriental handicrafts. Jim went around taking orders for custom-made furniture from antiques catalogue, and selling handicraft, wood carvings and lamp shades, which he carried in his van. It was a huge success.

Coloured boxes

After moving around for a couple of years, and with some savings,  Jim managed to persuade the owner of a shop in Holland Avenue  to share with him his premise (where Body Shop is now) and he began to display his goods visibly on the shop’s pavement. After that, Jim Art relocated a few times within Holland Village Shopping Centre. Then in 1980, it found its present premise.

Indeed, Jim knows the art of doing business very well. Of his business philosophy, he says, “We sell what our customers want, so I cannot say that what we have now will not change. Just a few months ago, you will not find in our shop some of the things you see now. But we have some very good items which we have been selling for a while, like our Pashmina shawls. This is the best you can find in the market and everyone comes here to get it because we are the agent. We are also selling Christmas decorations since it is December.”

Pashmina shawls

Jim Art and Craft imports goods directly from these countries:

India – rugs, wooden carvings, lamp shades, etc

Thailand – cushion covers, Buddha carvings, etc

Indonesia – chest, boxes, glass lamps, etc

China – handbags, chests, mugs, boxes, etc

Burma – puppets, etc

Vietnam – hand bags, etc

Jim is assisted by his daughters, Karen and Kim, and his son Kelvin. Kim says of her dad, “He has no hobby. This is his interest. If possible, he won’t leave the shop. He is here every waking moment.”

Carved chest

If you were Jim, you wouldn’t want to leave this beautiful shop too. It’s also a reminder to him of what he has carved out over all these years.

Note: stocks shown on this page may not be available. Please call merchant to check.

Jim Art Pte Ltd
211 Holland Avenue
#03-04
Holland Road Shopping Centre
Singapore 278967
Tel/Fax: 6468 2858

For opening hours, please call the above telephone number.

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