the one and only

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the name is unmistakably japanese – or so it’s easy to deduce of monoyono, but it’s really an acronym that stands for a mouthful: my one and only, your one and only. conceived by three friends as a retail outlet that offers whimsical, memorable collectibles that uplift and that even if you don’t buy anything, you come out of the store feeling a little different. monoyono certainly lives up to its aim.

warm, cosy and eclectic at a glance, as small as the outlet at vivo city is, it takes time to browse through as you’ll inevitably find yourself stopping at everything – in wonder, in amusement and in awe of the simple but brilliant ideas that creative minds come up with. take the series by the singapore heritage board, a mixed bag of small curios designed to reflect local culture and childhood fancies. the ‘five stones’ game set, for example, consists of five tiny bean bags shaped like bachang, complete with pink raffia string tying them together. there’s also the singlish notebook, hardcover plain paper books that carries footnotes on the bottom of each page, defining oft-used local colloquial words and phrases. among them, kenciong spider, which is also the inspiration for a line of wristwatches – comes in black and white models – with blank faces, except for an illustrated spider.

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the singaporeana range aside, monoyono’s other offerings are sourced from all parts of the world though mainly from the usa. we had a hard time choosing from the little prince range of stationery goods (in the end, we just couldn’t resist the the pop-up card); framed up meaningful sayings (‘life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain..’ won us over); if we could fit our rears into the seat we would most likely have bought the mini pink leather armchair. We found gift items for various occasions – ‘free babysitting session’ ticket, a pink and blue pair of humpty dumpties for new parents, wooden tags and buntings for a hen party.

monoyono 01-92 vivocity, harbourfront walk opens 11am-10.30pm tel +6534 8982 and b1-06 plaza singapura, orchard road opens 11am-10pm, mon-thu, sun & ph; 11am-10.30pm, fri-sat & ph eve; tel +6884 3551 www.monoyono.com / Facebook