Ong Chin Huat speaks with well-travelled tastemaker Juliane Bailey about her new online store The Jungle Emporium and finds out why there couldn’t have been a better time to launch this lifestyle boutique.
If you ever fancied living in one of those dreamy Black and White bungalows located in genteel residential enclaves dotted around Singapore, brace yourself as the cost of renting one might shock you. The next best alternative, however, is to indulge in the exquisite homeware, furniture and décor accessories inspired by these swoon-worthy colonial-style homes.
Juliane Bailey comes from a lineage where design and style are encoded in her DNA. Hailing from Germany, her father was an architect while her mother worked in the fashion business and her interest in all-things stylish began when she was very young, having grown up surrounded by art.
Obtaining a degree in fashion journalism at Hamburg’s Akademie Mode & Design, Juliane then worked as a fashion journalist and marketing in places such as Sicily, Venice and New York before returning to Hamburg to start a successful children’s furniture and clothing business.
Moving to Singapore with her British husband and two children in 2017, Juliane fell in love with the spacious and airy black and white houses, and while her powers of manifestation might have been responsible, luck also played a part, and she found herself eventually moving into a black and white residence she so desired surrounded by lush and verdant greenery.
Taking cues from her environs – the mischievous monkeys which swing from her palm trees can claim credit for becoming part of her new logo – Juliane has recently launched The Jungle Emporium, a collection of beautifully-crafted and sustainably-made homeware accessories, furniture, artwork, jewellery, antiques and soon to be launched, resort wear.
“The Jungle Emporium reflects everything I love about travel and the little discoveries that instantly transport us back to a favourite place or experience,” Juliane says. “Every object speaks to a strong spirit of passion and authenticity, of pieces that I personally connect with. It’s my way of sharing all the treasures that I’ve come across on my travels in Asia and beyond.”
From coral-inspired candelabras from Chiang Mai and rattan elephant side tables from Java to tiger-emblazoned wool carpets from Kashmir to vintage Murano glass bowls from Venice, everything on sale at The Jungle Emporium has chosen by Juliane herself and passed her discerning eye.
Artisanal made, sustainably sourced and made by hand using traditional methods often from small family-run businesses, every object sold in The Jungle Emporium reflects Juliane’s eclectic taste and commitment to social responsibility.
“The Jungle Emporium reflects everything I love about travel and the little discoveries that instantly transport us back to a favourite place or experience,” she explains. “Every object speaks to a strong spirit of passion and authenticity, of pieces that I personally connect with. It’s my way of sharing all the treasures that I’ve come across on my travels in Asia and beyond.”
Although sold exclusively online and in a showroom located in her black and white home, The Jungle Emporium also partakes in travelling pop-ups. A percentage of all sales from the Jungle Emporium are donated to ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC) which is Singapore’s first facility dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and injured native wild animals.
Juliane Bailey spoke exclusively to Luxurious Magazine from her showroom and home in Singapore.
Luxurious Magazine: Could you tell us why you decided to launch The Jungle Emporium in the midst of the pandemic?
Juliane Bailey: The idea to launch The Jungle Emporium was born quite a while before the global pandemic, and the idea was born in our beautiful Black & White house in the middle of the jungle. I started working on the brand two years ago, starting off with the name and later with the logo which was inspired by the numerous monkeys playing in our garden. We soft-launched The Jungle Emporium this July and whilst in the beginning; it was a bit daunting to introduce the brand amidst such uncertain times, it has proven to be well-timed.
With most of us currently spending much more time at home, many have taken the chance to redecorate their homes and treat themselves to new homeware to brighten up their day and night. As a result, we have seen a steady increase in orders and are happy to see our customer base grow.
LM: What kind of objects does The Jungle Emporium sell?
JB: The Jungle Emporium offers a curated selection of exclusive furniture, ceramics, tableware, clothes, jewellery and bags, as well as vintage pieces, sustainably and ethically produced in South East Asia and beyond. I am currently busy working on the expansion of my range and designing a new The Jungle Emporium crockery collection, more rattan accessories and a range of resort wear fashion and accessories.
I will continue to curate and widen my selection, adding more signature pieces to the collection as well as a selection of children’s toys and will only add on pieces that I personally connect with.
LM: Where do you source all your items?
JB: Over the past two years, I have been constantly travelling across Southeast Asia and India to source and personally meet my suppliers. I always look for small family-run businesses to offer a unique selection at The Jungle Emporium and to support small businesses. As travel has come to a halt, I continue to work with our existing suppliers and only take on new suppliers that are personally recommended to me and provide convincing samples.
Yet we ideally want to continue to meet the people that supply The Jungle Emporium as soon as travel is possible again. Most goods come from across Asia, and I have recently added on timeless pieces from France, Italy and Spain.
LM: What led you to create The Jungle Emporium?
JB: I have always been passionate about interior design and sourcing objects to beautify my home. I wanted to share the treasures that I have come across upon my travels throughout Asia and beyond and saw that there was a gap in the market. The Jungle Emporium reflects my cosmopolitan background having lived in Hamburg, New York, Venice, London and now Singapore and always travelling – I also have a huge passion for Italy, so there will be more distinct pieces from Italy added on to my collection. The brand perfectly reflects everything that I love and enjoy!
LM: Will you consider designing your own range of homeware in the future?
JB: I am engaged in personally designing a new The Jungle Emporium crockery collection, more rattan accessories and a collection of resort wear clothes and accessories. I am involved in all aspects of sourcing and curating my selection, and I have forged close relationships with my suppliers, working hand in hand with them.
LM: You live in a beautiful home; tell us how often do you entertain at home?
JB: At the moment not as much as we used to, which is mainly due to a lack of time as I am focussed on growing my business! Nowadays we organise spontaneous get-togethers as often as possible, and as soon as I have more time, I will be arranging more dinners and special evenings again.
LM: What do you think makes a successful dinner party?
JB: A successful dinner party consists of a combination of great food & wine. Good music and lighting create the perfect ambience while investing a lot of love into the smallest details, such as the table decorations are a must! And last but not least is a mixture of interesting people.
LM: How do you describe your own interior style?
JB: My interior style is quite an eclectic mix! I love classic interiors as much as I love colours, so I just tend to combine everything: Antiques with mid-century and modern furniture and pieces mixed with strong colours and patterns.
LM: What is your favourite object in The Jungle Emporium and why?
JB: I literally love all the objects in my collection. Otherwise, I would not be offering them! A few of our signature pieces would be our rattan elephant side tables which I discovered in Java, our ceramic candle holders from Northern Thailand and our block printed table cloths from Jaipur.
LM: Do you design interiors as well?
JB: I am always happy to extend recommendations to my clients yet employ all my time in designing and sourcing new and stunning pieces for The Jungle Emporium’s collection.
LM: Can you tell us about the paintings you sell and how The Jungle Emporium is nurturing the artists whose work you sell?
JB: We have recently collaborated with Lucie de Moyencourt, a South Africa based artist and have imported her ceramic shells to Singapore. This was extraordinarily successful, and the shells almost completely sold out within a few days. As art is something that has always been close to my heart, we have now teamed up with Singapore based creative Fleur Kakashi and are currently discussing options. There will also be many more artist collaborations to look forward to.
LM: What is your inspiration behind the resort wear that you are planning to launch?
JB: I absolutely love designs and patterns and am obsessed with Ikats, so many of the dresses and kaftans that I am designing will be inspired by these. The entire collection will be lightweight, easy-going, yet elegant, taking the tropical heat into consideration.
For further information on The Jungle Emporium, please visit www.jungle-emporium.com.
To read more interviews by Ong Chin Huat, visit our dedicated section here.