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As a boutique-style, interior design and carpentry studio, Hock Hoon build well-crafted homes that stand the test of time.

As a boutique-style, interior design and carpentry studio, Hock Hoon build well-crafted homes that stand the test of time.

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2024  SPECIAL

FIFTY AND FIVE

PART II _
TRANSITION AND REBRAND

50

years of craft

5

years of design

In 2024, we honour a dual milestone: the golden jubilee of our founder Ng Chin Hok’s masterful woodworking legacy and the 5th anniversary of the brand’s vibrant renewal under the stewardship of his son, Ng Ci En, alongside his future daughter-in-law, Soh Xin Hui and his buddy, Chua Min Sheng.

In this special feature, we delve into our origins and the evolution of our brand over the last five years, offering insights into the strategic journey that has shaped our identity.

Ng Ci En, son of Hock

Being clear on his goal of being an interior designer, Ci En chose Design and Technology as a module during his O'levels and enrolled in the Diploma of Space and Interior Design offered by Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore through a selection process of Direct Poly Admission. 

He found his lessons in the carpentry workshop useful. Being sensitive to details helped him craft and visualise spatial constructs, such as in the competition projects in which he participated. He met his mentor, who conducted studio projects that developed his critical thinking skills and sensibilities in spatial design.

Ci En’s initial position at a boutique firm revealed a stark contrast between his expectations and the industry’s reality. He questioned the practice of design, particularly when untrained colleagues could posed as design consultants, relying solely on their eloquence rather than formal design education.

Wood Working

Driven by a deep interest in woodworking, Ci En transformed a corner of his father’s workshop into his own creative studio. There, he explored traditional joinery techniques with guidance from both his father and online resources. This journey led to the creation of his brand, muke. He dedicated his weekends and leave days to crafting unique pieces, such as a cat house, a stool, and a sought-after watch holder. Despite a brief partnership in a friend’s woodworking venture, differing principles eventually led them to part ways.

Return to Hock Hoon

In 2019, Hock asked Ci En to return to Hock Hoon to manage the business. Not wanting Hock Hoon to remain a carpentry workshop, Ci En knew that he wanted to establish an interior design brand but didn't know how.

 

Hock immediately got a bigger workshop to accommodate the increase in projects after Ci En's takeover, which gave him extra stress at that point. Similarly, he craved a small room out of the workshop to establish his studio, where he would do his design work. He had to assist Hock with carpentry from time to time. 

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Why Hock Hoon?

Ci En’s choice to revitalize and rebrand Hock Hoon rather than launch a new interior design label surprised many of his friends. They doubted the association of ‘Hock Hoon’ with interior design.

 

However, Ci En saw value in continuity; amidst a sea of brands, few possess a narrative as rich and authentic. He envisioned a brand where design and craftsmanship resonate on their own merit, with Hock Hoon symbolizing his father’s principles and legacy.

The rebrand andchallenge

Ci En took charge of a series of rebranding campaigns, beginning with a refreshed logo and the establishment of a website and social media presence. He documented his father’s craftsmanship through film, capturing the essence of their foundational work.

The pivot to interior design presented challenges; clients traditionally sought Hock Hoon for bespoke carpentry, not design services. Undeterred, Ci En crafted custom pieces, showcasing them in the portfolio through his adept photography, thereby gradually introducing the firm’s expanded capabilities.

First 

The rebranding efforts were successful, resulting in Hock Hoon’s first engagement for interior design services. The client was impressed by the commitment to quality craftsmanship and came through a referral from a colleague. This marked a significant milestone in the company’s expansion into the design industry.

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