A metropolitan like Kuala Lumpur is teeming with surprises. At a glance, one may feel awe being shadowed by towering buildings and overwhelmed by the fast-paced rhythm of the city. Hence, walking its streets is the best way to slow down and take in what the city offers. Walking along the Klang River, on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock you will see a blue Art Deco-style building.
Here, Selangor-born and bred Andy recollects fond memories of exploring the streets of KL as a kid. His favourite place to head after school was the blue building itself. Central Market was his go-to spot for a session of “jalan-jalan cari makan”. The building began as a wet market in 1888 and, to this day, is a hot spot for gifts and gastronomical delights. Now Andy himself runs a business there called KL Ideacraft Link, where he sells local crafts and souvenirs. His passion lies in sharing stories and the rich history of downtown KL with visitors.
People who drop by can expect to see Andy amongst shadow puppets, batik fans and other souvenirs available at KL Ideacraft Link. You can be sure to discover local crafts that embody Malaysia here. These crafts are the personification of the stories and cultures of the people they derived from. Without narratives, one cannot fully appreciate its existence. This is where Andy believes it is crucial to share the stories behind the items that he sells. Visitors returning home from their trips to Malaysia are not only bringing back commemorative souvenirs but a piece of the local history.
Andy has taken the initiative to shift digitally by marketing his products online. However, he feels it takes away the storytelling and intimate connections built through organically engaging with visitors. A charismatic character, Andy takes up the opportunity to run walkabouts and workshops highlighting the unique vendors, gifts and delicacies around Downtown KL. His love for Malaysian culture radiates throughout the Digital Experience Workshop conducted by Think City and Mereka.
The pandemic has reminded Andy of the importance of coming together, and he is looking forward to engaging with visitors at his shop in a new dynamic way. Head on to KL Ideacraft Link for gifts and crafts or to get to know Andy here!