Shades KL is your one-stop-shop for unique home furnishings and accessories

The hassle of looking for a parking space at The Row KL on Jalan Doraisamy or walking from the nearest LRT station to get to your destination is totally worth it, as you will be met by a hidden gem that is Shades Kuala Lumpur.

Shades KL is located on the first floor of The Row, which is a merger of twenty-two store buildings from the 1940s from the pre-war period that was resumed to house a group of independent and complementary companies. Shades KL is welcoming, with a relaxed atmosphere. The stairs leading to the store have an industrial design, which gives a very aesthetic entrance. At the front door painted a warm red color, a sign with Japanese words catches our attention.

“Pre-pandemic, we hosted customers from all over the world and many of them came from Japan,” explains Joshua Yap, owner of Shades KL, as he satisfies our curiosity about why he chose to display a Japanese sign.

Step through the doorway and you will be met by a sea of ​​colorful objects on the left. At the same time, the other side of the store has several tables that can fit up to 10 customers at a time. “The small-scale café is designed for customers who may feel tired of surfing the store and want to take a break with a cup of coffee.”

Yap took over the retail business from its uncle, Peter Hoe, and renamed it Shades KL just a month before the first shutdown in 2020. “Looking back, it feels like the timing was out, but we will slowly get back on our feet and get more products. “

Like many other companies, Yap found a way to keep his business afloat during difficult times. He launched a virtual shopping service to receive customers around the country who can not visit the store.

“There are people who ask about the home products we post on Instagram, but we do not have an online store yet where customers can see the goods in detail,” says Yap. “We are waiting to get more products before launching the site.” A website for its online store will be established next year.

With the help of video calls as a communication medium, Yap guides its customers through products available in the store and gives them advice on what best suits their needs for home furnishings. “We will help them choose items and they are usually happy with it.

“If they receive the product and do not like it for any reason, they can always return and exchange the product,” he says, adding that customer satisfaction is his top priority.

Yap can afford you who are considering renovating their home: “First, decide the base color of the space. For example, you need to know the color of the sofa before adding accessories such as pillows. ”

Japan’s plan is for Shades KL to be a one-stop-shop for people who want to decorate not only their homes, but also accessories themselves. “We sell a little of each. There are home products and also fashion accessories. When customers come to the store, they can go back with a variety of items. ”

Its best-selling products such as pillowcases – there are more than 100 patterns to choose from – and ceramic plates come from all over Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia and China. “We then work with the local community to help us sew the fabrics we bought,” adds Yap.

He works to serve customers with products that are of good quality, unique and affordable, many of which come in limited quantities to ensure their exclusivity. Shades KL often welcomes returning customers who would receive gifts for loved ones after they have bought taxes for themselves first.

Shades KL also satisfies its customers’ hunger pangs with its well-known homemade pies and chicken mango salad. “At the moment we are short, so we can not sell them at the café. We accept pre-orders via WhatsApp and deliver directly to your home “, says Yap.

The inspiration behind the name Shades KL was quite simple. “I looked at products in different shades and colors and I immediately thought that Shades was the best name for the store. KL is where the store is located. Who knows, in the future there may be Shades Penang or something similar,” he laughs.

Longing to meet customers face to face after a long, quiet year, Yap radiates the very idea that people should be able to go out and enjoy their time outdoors. “We just welcomed children to the store again the other day. It felt delightful to hear the sound of excitement from them as they looked around the store,” he says. “I’m glad to see a piece of Shades KL in my customers’ homes and closets certainly expect more products soon. ”

This article first appeared in issue 102, Winter 2021 of Haven.

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