When Danish expatriate Charlotte Cain started lifestyle retail pop-up Boutique Fairs in 2002, it was a modest event at Fort Canning Park that comprised 17 vendors, including herself. The avid potter first arrived in Singapore in 1989 as a trailing spouse. The idea for Boutique Fairs came about because Cain wanted to create a fair where she and other expat wives with creative passions could sell their creations and interact with customers in a meaningful manner.
Twenty years on, Boutique Fairs has evolved into a biannual, three-day event that occupies two floors spanning more than 8,000 sq m at the F1 Pit Building. Today, the pop-up’s highly curated list of vendors comprise mostly Singaporean or Singapore-based designers and brands specialising in fields ranging from fashion to homeware.
In 2019, Boutique Fairs hosted 350 brands and 37,000 customers — numbers Cain feels had grown too large. Although the pandemic posed tremendous challenges and resulted in a two-year hiatus for the event, it also gave Cain the chance to reset and bring the event back to a more comfortable scale.