Last week, we were very privileged and honoured to meet with latest Tiger Uncage Personality, Quanda Ong, and he shared with us some really helpful advice about starting a business.
In case you are wondering what Tiger Uncage is all about, the campaign was started by Tiger Beer to salute young adults across Asia who dare to pursue their passions and overcome barriers that may hold them back from realising their full potential. Previous personalities who have been featured include molecular gastronomy Chef, Han Li Guang of Restaurant Labyrinth, and popular online comedians, Tree Potatoes.
Embodying the Uncage proposition, Quanda’s obsession with details and uncovering hidden design led him to kick-start his relentless journey through researching materials, designs, and manufacturers to launch his own collection. After three years of brainstorming, Quanda swapped his calculator for a ruler and shears; leaving his two and a half years in the banking industry to become a full time storyteller, or a ‘Master Talesmith’ as he calls it.
In the pursuit of making his dreams a reality, his brand, Gnome & Bow was brought to fruition through a crowd-funding appeal in 2013.
“Unsatisfied with my job in the private banking sector, I knew that I had to chart my career in something that was creatively fulfilling. With a natural instinct to protect me, both family and friends warned me against leaving the stability of a nine-to-five job, but looking back I could not be happier that I dared to take the plunge. I am so honoured and stoked to be recognised as an Uncage personality, and truly feel that my personal journey resonates strongly with Tiger’s proposition. As an independent designer, every day brings exciting opportunities, and I will use this as yet another fresh beginning”, shared Quanda Ong, Founder and Designer, Gnome & Bow.
When asked what advice he would give to budding entrepreneurs, Quanda Ong said, “It is very important to have the passion and drive for whatever you are about to embark. However, what is even more important is that you carve out your own unique selling point / niche area and differentiate yourself from others.” Quanda Ong also highly recommends the book, “What Color is Your Parachute 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-changers” by Richard N. Bolles.
Having closed a chapter with its first collection based off a twist on Aesop’s Fables, Book I: The Hare & the Flying Tortoise, Gnome & Bow’s sophomore collection turns toward a darker and more poignant source – Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Drawing inspirations from a classic novella by the famed Scottish author, the collection explores and reinterprets the idea of duality, change and acceptance. The theory of a dichotomous human nature is explored and evident throughout the collection, with wallets and cardholders designed to showcase two contending faces of human nature: the rational, reserved side versus the wilder, more uninhibited inner self.
These two sides are represented by the two colours chosen for the collection – Deep-sea Blue embodies the classy and collected Dr. Jekyll, while Jungle Green characterises the spontaneous and thrill-seeking Mr. Hyde. This concept is especially synonymous with Tiger’s Uncage proposition, where the ‘cage’ represents one’s submission to societal norms at the cost of his/her passions and personal interests, and being ‘Uncaged’ celebrates our whimsical nature and unique motivations.
Crafted from full-grain US cow leather, Quanda Ong has designed an exclusive Tiger UNCAGE x Gnome & Bow cardholder in Deep-sea Blue. Evident on the outside is a loop stitching that is in signature Tiger orange, contrasting beautifully with the glossy blue exterior. Other story design elements include an emblazoned crest, symbolic of the uncanny semblance between a fountain pen and a tattoo gun.
An emblem that represents the coming together of two home-grown brands can be seen on the flipside, with a debossed quote from the novel that reads: “It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it” when the cardholder is opened. The quote taken from the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde serves as a reminder for one to feed their uninhibited side and pursue their curiosities.
The collection that is once again designed to showcase Gnome & Bow’s pursuit for classic, elegant aesthetics whilst embracing the art of storytelling is available from 28 November 2014 on gnomenbow.com and selected stockists from SGD$125 onwards. The exclusively designed Tiger UNCAGE x Gnome & Bow cardholder will be available for sale at Keepers: Singapore Designer Collective and on Gnome & Bow.
As a way to reward its loyal fan following, Tiger Beer is also providing five lucky Facebook fans an opportunity to win the limited edition cardholders, encouraging fans to share how chasing their curiosity opened the door to a memorable experience for them. The competition will run from 28 November till 5 December 2014 so do check out Tiger Beer Singapore Official Facebook Page!
On a more personal note, we really like the wallets, name card holders, and bags that are creatively designed by Quanda Ong. The details of the design are very intricately and meticulously thought about and we are quite tempted to get the Linden Billfold Wallet from Gnome & Bow’s first collection, “The Hare & The Flying Tortoise” that cost SGD$185. Furthermore, the leather goods come packaged in Gnome & Bow’s Signature Storybook Box and that really makes it a perfect gift for loved ones.
Do check out and like Gnome & Bow’s Official Facebook Page for more details!