A look back at 2016.

2016 is drawing to an end, how fast the year has passed.

 “Change is the only constant”

This is true.

I suppose most of us would feel nostalgic at this time of year. Before the New Year rolls around, I’d look back at all the changes and all that we’ve achieved for Franson Group.

Instagram & FaceBook

We live in the social media era – Small changes we’ve made include weekly updates on Instagram (@blackhammerannablack) and Facebook (blackhammer.annablack).  These are the ways we can connect with our customers as well as to update them of our new arrivals and promotions.

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Corporate Website

Our corporate website was due for an upgrade – a complete revamp was done in November. The look and feel is fresher and the site more user-friendly as well.

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Online Store

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The second major achievement was the start of our online store (https://blackhammer.com.sg/). This was something that we’ve planned to launch this year and we did it. I suppose this was only natural, considering that online retailing is gaining popularity in Singapore. This is also our way of moving forward with our consumers.

We’ve made changes and with that, we progressed.  To all our customers, I’d like to say thank you for the support. At Franson Group, we strive for continuous improvements and there will definitely be better things coming your way.

With that, I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year! May good things come your way this 2017!

Food Feature: Char

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Char was previously located at Guillemard Road, but now the restaurant is located at 363 Jalan Besar. My friends told me that we were going to a spot famous for Cantonese style roast meats, so when I saw the layout of the restaurant, I was taken by surprise.

The interior of the restaurant is reminiscent of cafes we see a lot of these days – industrial chic. Char occupies two storeys, so there were plenty of seats. However, it was still fully packed at dinner time! So if you’d like to check out this place, I recommend that you make reservations prior to your visit.

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We tried a couple of items of food items on their menu, such as the fried rice, salted egg vegetables and roasted duck. All of which tasted good, though some more memorable than others.

Overall, I enjoyed the whole dining experience! The place left an impression on me, so I went to find out more. Char was opened by two brothers, Anthony and Alvin, who aimed to change the Cantonese Roast meat scene in Singapore. They tapped on Alvin’s cooking experiences in Birmingham – a mix of Asian and various Western techniques that resulted in the unique taste of their dishes. It’s interesting to note how they also brought in ales and ciders to serve in the restaurant.

With the increasing number of hipster cafes and restaurants, it’s nice to see people putting in efforts to preserve our traditional food items by adding a fresh take to the whole dining experience. Do check out this place if you’re looking for a spot to bring your family, significant other or friends to dine at and let me know how it went for you!

Entrepreneur Feature: Ninja Van

With many young, passionate and driven individuals at the helm, the start-up scene in Singapore has been thriving over the past few years. Recently, with the start of Black Hammer’s online store, I’ve looked at many courier service providers.

Today, I’d like to talk about a company that has caught my eye, as well as the eyes of many. It’s none other than Ninja Van. I’ve seen many features and articles on the owner Mr Lai and felt some of his experiences truly resonated with me.

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Entrepreneur Lai Chang Wen started one of the fastest growing logistics companies in 2014 – Ninja Van. The company now handles 20,000 deliveries a day in Singapore alone, with clients including major brands like Zalora and Toys ‘R’ US. However, before Ninja Van became a success, Mr Lai had to overcome many difficulties and make sacrifices for his business.

Ninja Van started because Mr Lai realised a gap in the market – there was no one to deliver e-commerce parcels well in Singapore. Very much like how Black Hammer was started, I felt that there was an opportunity for Black Hammer in Singapore: to offer mass market shoes to the men in Singapore, shoes for every event.

 ‘’Our biggest challenge was simply not knowing enough” – Mr Lai, 2016.

Mr Lai did not have any prior experience in the logistics industry – Mr Lai, along with his co-founders would even create fake deliveries to each other so they could ask couriers questions. It’s indeed admirable, to go to such lengths to learn the technicalities of delivery systems.  Like us, we were new to Singapore’s retail scene when we opened our first store. The learning curve is steep for an entrepreneur, there is so much to learn. In fact, it’s safe to say every day there’s something new.

The second challenge for an entrepreneur is to build relationships with people. For Ninja Van, they needed to build good relations with business investors as well as partners. They did so by attending networking events and conferences. For Black Hammer, it was essential for us to build good relations with each mall management.

To manage a business and to do it well, you’ll need to make sacrifices. Your social life takes a backseat because working hours can be really long. To aspiring entrepreneurs, you have got to be prepared to make such sacrifices because the start is never easy. However, don’t be daunted. With hard work and a keen mind, success is definitely possible.

Christmas Gift Guide

Hello everyone,

Today’s the first day of December – the month of giving! Christmas is around the corner and that also means, gift shopping.Present shopping can be fun for the women, but for us men, it can be quite stressful. So today’s post is a gift guide for you.

The upcoming festivities mean there will be a lot of events and parties to go to. With that said, why not get a pair of shoes for your father, brother, buddy? Not forgetting, how about a pair for yourself as well?


The Dapper Man

Monk Strap Shoes are a great option for someone stylish. It is a highly versatile pair and can be worn in different settings; from a business meeting to a night out. If you’ve got a friend who’s always jetting from work to play, this might just be the perfect gift for him.

 

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The Free-spirited

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Every guy needs a pair of casual shoes for weekend errands. These shoes can be worn with chinos, berms or casual jeans. With varying colours available, you won’t go wrong with this.


The Ever Classic Man

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Oxfords are timeless. They suit every man, regardless of age group.  These shoes go well with suits and it wouldn’t go wrong for a dressier event either. No matter the recipient, he’s bound to appreciate this classic pair.  P.S If you didn’t know, the details on the side of the featured shoes are a patented design of Black Hammer. A special touch for the classic man you know.

If you’re too busy with work or if you hate crowds, don’t forget you now have the option of buying online. This way, you get your gift shopping done on time with less hassle as well!

I hope this gift guide has been of use to you and makes gift shopping a more enjoyable process for you. Here’s to the festivities, it’s going to be an interesting month ahead.