Bold, funky + fun

This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 26, 2019 - September 01, 2019.
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Apom uses humour to help us laugh at ourselves and look at Fractious MATTERS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT. Tan Gim Ean talks to its founders, husband and wife Kelvin Long and Chantelle Teoh, who left advertising for laughs.

The best laughs — deep, loud, ­spontaneous — come from the belly, right after you have been gobsmacked. Shoppers ­sauntering into The Apom Store at Bangsar Village in Kuala Lumpur may not know what to expect. Many leave with A Piece of Malaysia — what the brand name stands for — astounded and amused by how their fellow Malaysians view the country.

Humour is the generous topping on the products that carry the Apom label, founded by Kelvin Long and his wife Chantelle Teoh in 2017. Dig into it — by a happy coincidence, apom is the peanut pancake sold at roadside stalls — and you will find a delectable crust baked from a mix of what is funny, funky and quirky around us.

The seed of the pair’s business sprouted when visiting friends wanted to take something home from Malaysia and they did not know where to go beyond the typical souvenir shops.

“We felt, man, Malaysia is so interesting but no one is bringing that sort of products to life,” Long says. More than just stuff tourists would chuck into their cupboards after unpacking, they envisioned well-designed, quality items locals would wear and proudly call attention to because they reflect what is real in their lives.

“As creatives, what we want to do is put daring ideas out in the market and push them to the max. As an ­independent brand, we can,” he says.

For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (August 26, 2019) at your nearest news stands or visit optionstheedge.com.