Happy Chinese New Year 新年快乐

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With only two more days to Chinese New Year, are you all feeling the CNY vibes yet?

Thinking back, this blog was created a year ago during the CNY period because of the questions I received from customers and friends on how to select the right shoes. Look how far we’ve come during this span of time. I definitely hope my posts have helped my readers make the right shoe choices this year. Let’s walk into the New Year with confidence (and shined shoes!).

With that said, I wish all of you a prosperous new year! Enjoy the quality time spent with your family and also the good food.

祝大家工作顺利,事业有成 !

Are You Shoe-Ready for CNY?

Hi all,

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Ten days to go to Chinese New Year! Are you all shoe-ready?

I believe most of you would have already purchased a pair of shoes to go with your New Year outfits. For those of you who have been too busy to go shopping, it’s not too late yet! Hop on over to our online store, we’ll get your shoes over to you before CNY!

Chinese New Year is the period that we all want to look our best. We’ll put on a nice pair of pants and wear a freshly pressed shirt. You don’t want to ruin the whole image with scuffed or dirty shoes. Your footwear makes a lasting impression and I’m sure you’ll want to present the best sides of you to your relatives.

If you think about it this way, it’s not just about getting your shoes to look nice and shiny. Conditioning and polishing your shoes extends the longevity of your shoes.

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You’re going to need these 4 items: Leather Shoe Cream, Shoe Brush, Newspaper, Water

Check back this post for a more in-depth demonstration on how you can get your leather shoes to really shine!


Best Deals: $49.90 Black Hammer/ Crocodile Genuine Leather Shoes

Click here now to check out more designs!4
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Measurement Counts

Hello gentlemen,

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Happy New Year!

There’s always a buzz in the air in the month of January. Especially this year! After Christmas, it was the New Year celebration and now the upcoming Chinese New Year. Furthermore, Chinese New Year falls in January this year! With only about two weeks to go, have you started your new year shopping yet?

Apart from our own online store, I’m pleased to announce that Black Hammer is now available on Qoo10! (Franson Group). We’ve had encouraging results so far and we’ll definitely strive to keep this up. However, we’ve been receiving a couple of enquiries regarding shoe sizes as well as a number of exchange requests due to wrong sizing.

If you’d like to purchase shoes online, the first thing that everyone should do is to get their feet measurements. Keeping in mind that not every consumer would know how to attain these measurements, we’ve included a video that teaches our customers how to DIY!

The team has worked hard in ensuring the accuracy of our size chart. The charts provided on our online store and Qoo10 are not generic, but specific to our shoes, right down to each series of our shoes. Our hope is that through the charts we provide, our customers get to know if the shoes fit right. The only difference is that customers aren’t able to feel the comfort of the shoes.

We have taken in feedback and realised there are a couple of reasons why customers request for a change in size.

If you wear a size 8 for your sneakers or sports shoes, it does not mean you are a size 8 for formal shoes.

Just like how you may size up or size down depending on the clothing retailer you go to, the same applies for shoes. Shoe sizes aren’t standardized; it’s an industry-wide issue because every brand develops their own fit for each shoe size. Even if you wear a size 8 for Nike sneakers, you may not be an Adidas size 8. Every shoe cutting is different thus you can’t assume. Compare your foot measurements to those provided by the specific retailer and find the size that corresponds to your feet length.

Don’t let the fear of buying the wrong sizes deter you from buying online. I hope this post helps you make better choices when you’re shoe shopping online. Happy CNY shopping fellas!


Best Deals: $49.90 Black Hammer/ Crocodile Genuine Leather Shoes

Click here now to check out more designs!

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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.

We’re now live – https://blackhammer.com.sg/

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Hello everyone,

I’d like to announce something that has been in the works for quite a while. You might be able to guess from the title, but yes, our e-commerce site is currently live ! Need a new pair of shoes but too busy to shop? You can now purchase Black Hammer shoes from the comforts of home, from your office or school.

Shopping for shoes online is very different from purchasing it in a physical store. The fact that you can’t actually try on the shoes for yourself has a significant impact. For those who are Black Hammer regulars and have tried on our shoes, you’ll know the type of material we use and even the comfort level of our shoes. For those who have never bought our shoes, we’re dedicated to helping you purchase shoes suitable for you online.

Its a well-known fact that exchanges occur more often for online purchases. Maybe you’ll have a 50 – 60% chance of getting a pair of shoes that fit you right when you purchase from other sites. However, at Black Hammer, we aimed for 85% chance of you purchasing a pair of shoes that fits you well. Yes, whilst there are many other sites selling shoes as well, we try to aid our consumers by providing a comprehensive size chart and showing you how you can get your feet measurements as accurately as possible.

Most sites will provide you a size chart that shows you sizing in UK, EUR, US. There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a pair of shoes. Majority of us know our standard sizing, length is usually not a problem. However, your comfort level can be compromised when the width or instep proves incompatible.  Thus, we’ve included the circumference of the width and instep.

The decision to go online isn’t a hasty one. I think we can all admit that most of us are turning to online shopping for its ease and convenience amidst our busy schedules. At Black Hammer, we’re always striving to improve ourselves. To be better, to bring you classic timeless shoes that can go the distance with you. Thank you for all the support and stay tuned, because we’ve got something special in store for you.

How To: Extend The Shelf Life Of Your Leather Shoes

SHELF LIFE

We all know and think that leather shoes ought to have a longer shelf life, which is why we invest on a quality pair of leather shoes.

  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day. I get it, you like your favourite pair a lot. Still, it’s advisable to switch it up because we sweat as we walk and that moisture isn’t good for our shoes. Give your shoes the time to air dry. Trust me, it makes a difference.
  • Use a shoetree. The lining of the leather shoes will absorb the moisture from your sweat and in the long run, can cause bad odour and the leather may crack too. Shoe trees are made from absorbent wood, which can dry out the shoes’ lining. Additionally, it can keep your shoes in shape.
  • Weatherproof your shoes. Waterproof sprays prevent the leather material in your shoes from absorbing moisture. Though not “waterproof”, it should leave a water-repellent coating on suede or leather. We’ve talked about waterproofing before and if you’d like to find out just how you should do that, you can read here.
  • Give your shoes TLC. Your shoes need caring and you can do that with shoe creams and regular polishing. Leather cracks when it’s exposed to too much moisture but the lack of adequate moisture can dry it out too. Caring for shoes is nothing new here and you can check out our guides here and here.

Save Your Wet Shoes

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It’s been rainy recently and that doesn’t bode well for our leather shoes. You probably already know this – leather and water just don’t mix.

  • Don’t fret. Here’s what you should do when your shoes get wet.
  • Remove your wet shoes
  • Ball up newspapers and stuff your shoes to draw out moisture
  • You don’t want direct heat on your shoes, trust me on this, don’t try to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer. That will only dry out your leather shoes and eventually leads to cracking.
  • After your shoes are dry, you can use a shoe tree to further draw out any remaining moisture and that restores the shape of your shoes as well

If you know that the weather might not be on your side for this period, you can protect your shoes by waterproofing it. It will not make your shoes waterproof so to speak, but it will at least offer some kind of protection. If you missed out on our previous post on how to waterproof, you can check that out here.

I hope this helps!