My love for all things classic started when I was involved in a vintage restoration show. My job was to research, write and direct several episodes of Mission Restorable. Every time I go to the field to do my recces, I always end up with so much happiness and excitement in my heart. I always tell myself that someday, I’ll have my own vintage collection too!
In each episode of Mission Restorable, we feature numerous profiles with different collections that need some restoration and we find the right people to restore those valuable items. We also have this mini segment showcasing an interesting profile who refurbishes his own vintage stuff.
Meet one of the people I met while doing my research.
He’s Jeffrey Koh. A vintage collector. Up-cycler. Restorer.
He used to be an airline crew who eventually resigned because he’s no longer happy with his job. His real passion is to collect old stuff from overseas and local vintage shops. The very first item he bought was a gramophone and it didn’t take long when he began adding a lot more rare and valuable vintage in his stash.
In 1998 Jeffrey and his wife Yoko opened C.A.N. café, named after their two daughters Christa and Naomi. They were inspired by the vintage themed cafes they visited overseas so since Jeffrey loves old items, he decided to make running a vintage café his full time job. He puts his collection in his shop for customers to see. Once you go there, you’ll think of it as more of a vintage showroom than a café because the place is really filled with all things classic—the ceilings, the walls, the tables, chairs, even the telephones they use were vintage!
Once in a while he would encounter old non-working items such as fans and radios that need minor repairs and he would fix them. If he can’t restore them, he finds someone else to do it.
Aside from buying vintage stuff that capture his eyes and bring back memories of his childhood and old Singapore, Jeffrey also up-cycles.
He turned a container drum into a table and put an altered signage above it.
He gave grills new purpose–as wall or design of a door.
He also has a tub up-cycled as a lamp shade.
Now he still visits vintage shops to look for things he will add to his collection even though his wife keeps telling him to stop. Vintage is his bliss.
If you happen to be in Singapore, try to visit C.A.N. café and marvel at its beauty. I heard food in there was also terrific! Here’s the complete address: 730 Upper Serangoon Road #01-01 Yeyley Building 534613 Singapore!
Please let me know if you know of similar cafes wherever it is. I plan to travel the world you know. I might drop by! Wink!