Chatuchak Weekend Market is going increasingly upmarket. A prime example is HeWi, a furniture store that specialises in Dutch and Mexican designer products such as modern furniture and home decorations. Hidden at the back of the designer zone, this small shop is opened by the Dutch native Hendricus Wichers.
Hendricus doesn’t fit the profile of your typical weekend market shopkeeper. Prior to Bangkok, he spent 40 years in Mexico City, where he ran an exclusive home décor store in Polanco. He sold famous European brands and self-designed products to the country’s well to do, as well as handling the interior decorating of the biggest mansions on the block. “I wanted to be in Asia, and Bangkok is by far the nicest place to attract the Asian market,” Hendricus explained. Since he has set up the shop at Chatuchak, he has been receiving orders from around the globe, including Switzerland, France, USA, China and even his former residence of Mexico.
There’s nothing that gives him more pleasure than watching the world walk by from behind the comfort of his air-conditioned glass storefront, as shoppers do a double take when they see the stylish offerings he has put on dazzling display. Favouring minimalism, black-and-white colour schemes and sleek lines, the store carries an array of contemporary, made-to-order chairs, tables, outdoor furnishings and other home décor products. While his store promotes modern Dutch designer brands, such as Lonc, it also features Hendricus’ own brand named HeWi, which offers resort furniture and novel home designs. On top of that, he is also working with young, emerging talent to co-create new products.
Hendricus is convinced that the unassuming location at Chatuchak serves him well and he would not have had the same traction had he opened his store in one of Bangkok’s glitzier malls. “My store is very accessible,” he said. “People don’t feel intimidated when they come here”. HeWi is now an open secret known to local interior designers, architects, store outfitters, and restaurant owners. And when regular Chatuchak consumers stumble upon the shop, they are always impressed with the cool, intriguing designs that it offers. The sometimes-hefty price tags don’t seem to deter shoppers at all. Then again, we would all love to furnish our beautiful homes and spice it up with new stylish pieces.
“You don’t need to have a lot of money to decorate your home tastefully. One statement piece can be enough,” Hendricus said. “If you invest in quality, you don’t have to buy something new every five or ten years”.
HeWi, Chatuchak Market, Room C 163 (Zone C, opposite JJ Mall), Bangkok, hewicompany.com