Along Orchard Road — above Spanish retailer Massimo Dutti and to the left of Hermès at the corner of Liat Towers — sits Declan Ee’s new flagship store for his furniture brand Castlery. Inside, Instagram-worthy sofas, rugs and potted plants sprawl across the two-storey space. Anchored by a pair of escalators crowned with 1,000kg of aluminium, fabric mesh and barrisol spelling Castlery in a geometric font on the ceiling.
There is no doubt that the space is a flex. Overall, the brand has sold about half a million products across Singapore, Australia and the US, much of it online. In fact, there was no showroom in the beginning. It started with just Ee and three co-founders in a basement office in Ubi the size of a two-bedroom flat.
While furnishing their homes with pieces from overseas, two of the four men realised there was a market gap for chic, quality furnishings at reasonable prices. It was 2013 then, just as online shopping was taking off.
It’s been three showroom upgrades, each larger than the last. But Castlery’s 24,000 sq ft flagship on the famous shopping belt — where annual rents reach millions — is a sign the nine-year-old brand has arrived.
“The aspiration was definitely to be a global brand,” says Ee, 40, a former investment banker, “because the furniture business is a business of scale.”
After gaining popularity in Singapore for good designs at affordable prices, Castlery broke into Australia in 2017 and the US in 2019. As the definition of home changed during the pandemic, the company’s business boomed sixfold. Ee explains: “It’s a place where you host friends, start a side hustle, and pursue your hobbies.”