Backstage Pass: Meet the lady behind creative agency that produced Archifest and Creative Circuits

Stella Gwee is the founder of Shophouse & Co, a creative agency developing cultural projects in urban spaces through collaborations with the creative community. With more than 15 years experience in PR, marketing and events management in arts, music, lifestyle and entertainment industries, Stella had produced, rebranded and marketed Archifest 2012 & 2013 together with festival director, Adib Jalal. It was through working together in the festival that the vision of Shophouse & Co was formed – to use culture as the social glue to work with local communities, private and public organisations across Asia to create vibrant and meaningful urban spaces. Most recently, Shophouse & Co was commissioned to curate and produce the first design trail, Creative Circuits during the inaugural Singapore Design Week and other events to activate the newly opened National Design Centre.

Stella Gwee, Founder of Shophouse & Co

She will take the stage amongst seven other speakers at Backstage Pass, Peatix‘s community event for organisers. In the lead up to Backstage Pass, Stella shares a little snippet into her thoughts on #HomeGrownSG.

Favourite Local…
Food: Tough one but whenever I get back from my travelling, the first meal I will want to have after leaving Changi Airport is a bowl of dry Bak Chor Mee Pok with extra chilli from my favourite stall in Jalan Tua Kong and bowl of chendol from the same coffee shop. If I arrived at night, it would then be a plate of freshly fried Hokkien Mee! I guess those are my comfort food which makes them my favourite or favourites?

Chill-out spot: Hmmm… My place? When you are busy running events and planning projects, the best hangout spot to me is chilling at home with my two cats, listening to playlists on Spotify, surfing the internet and discovering new stuff,  reading my favourite magazine alongside my chai latte, getting friends over for dinner party or drinks,the list goes on……

Event: Actually, even if the event originated from overseas, it is still organised by locals when it gets here, so does it still count? If I have to pick one local event, I pick Mosaic Music Festival for giving me the opportunity to experience so many other genres of music way before Indie was cool and before there were platforms such as Spotify etc. Unfortunately, this festival has just ended it’s last run earlier in March this year.

Creative: There are many local creatives in different fields that we had worked with that I had so much respect for, and some others that I had yet to collaborate with but would love to one day. People like Kelley Cheng from The Press Room, Bjorn & Rob from Edible Gardens, Josh & Shing from Lekker Design, Yong from Somewhere Else, Jasmine from Gastrogig, photographer Rebecca Toh. They all do great stuff in their own field. Like the food question, how do I single out any favourite local creative? What is more amazing is when these creatives come together and collaborate on awesome ideas and produce great projects.

The best part about organising events in Singapore is we are small, so that makes it easy for logistics, marketing,publicity, etc. But of course, there is also a limit to the scale of events that can be staged due to market size, competition etc. But as events people, we never look at problems. We find solutions and turn things around. .

The thorn in our flesh when organising events is our tropical humid and can be really wet weather when we do outdoor events but we nipped it in the bud by chilli bawang! ( don’t laugh, it saved our asses more times than once. Events folks practice this urban legend of planting a chilli above an onion on a satay stick and have it planted on event ground by a….VIRGIN in exchange of good weather for outdoor event! )

Collaborations is #HomeGrownSG to me!

Backstage Pass by Peatix #HomeGrownSG

Hear more from Stella about growing events commissioned to Shophouse & Co from the ground-up in Singapore and join other event organisers in discussing more #HomeGrownSG event ideas! Get your tickets here.

Meet the other speakers at Backstage Pass:
* Justin Hall, co-organiser of Walkabout Singapore
* Adrianna Tan, founder of Culture Kitchen
* William Hooi, founder of Singapore Makers
* Lim Su Pei, founding member of See and Be Seen
* Richard Korff, co-organiser of CreativeMornings Singapore
* Mogan Vithilingam, co-founder of Singapore Pub Crawl

Community, Global, Singapore. permalink.
Claire Ding

Claire Ding is the Community Manager at ticketing platform Peatix in Singapore. She runs a community event for organisers, Backstage Pass , where organisers connect with others and learn tips on event management. Quite the thrill-seeker, Claire’s gone skydiving, bungee jumping, and enjoys anything that puts her on edge (quite literally), it’s no wonder she’s in the business of events with never a dull moment!