Borneo Trading Post creates regional craft buzz

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia – Locally-managed Borneo Trading Post opened here recently. Aiming to exhibit and enhance the image and popularity for local arts, crafts and motifs, the owners hope to raise the profile of the shopping experience for tourists visiting Sabah and locals alike. While showcasing their own unique brand, the outlet also affords the opportunity for art and craft enthusiasts throughout Borneo, to exhibit, exchange, purchase or sell quality items of value as the outlet’s name implies.

Managing partner Jeannie Chin proudly presented the hip new outlet, Borneo Trading Post located at the Waterfront complex in the middle of the city, an area that is expected to become the heart of the tourism belt. At the same time, Ms Chin announced the corresponding website and introduced the The Post’s delightful icon and logo, including the tall,  lithe and impish Borneo Bob – “The Spirit of Adventure”.

“We created Borneo Trading Post with three main objectives, really. We wanted to raise the shopping experience and awareness of Sabah by incorporating the unique and exotic Borneo motifs in a creative way and in products and quality levels to suit a more international up-market clientele.” Chin said.

“At the same time, we wanted to expose the wonderful and unique nature/adventure aspect for which Borneo is becoming recognized, by creating a range of adventure garb and equipment. We thought the best way to do that would be to identify a character to embody that spirit of nature and adventure, and hence the depiction of Borneo Bob. But we didn’t want “ Bob” to be too serious as we believe that the appreciation and participation in those pursuits, should be fun, so you will notice the “tongue in cheek” look for Bob.” She explained.

(For the full story of the origin and legend of Borneo Bob, see the attached story below).

“And then we recognized that there are, in fact, many wonderful artisans and craftspeople in Borneo. But often, they did not have the opportunity or wherewithal to showcase their work, or perhaps they needed some advice as to how to best produce and present their work. And that became the “Trading” aspect where we will afford that opportunity to those people who have anything of quality, creativity and value” She further elaborated.

Through this enterprise, the founders of Borneo Trading Post hope to expound the staggering variety of indigenous handcrafted products, wares, arts, crafts, mythologies and beliefs of the local Borneon tribes. “ Wherever feasible and appropriate, we accompany all unique items with a commentary of its origins: from the tribe or person that made it to the material or ingredients used and even its significance,” Chin explained.

“We conduct considerable research into the depths of the land and combine it with utmost respect for the people and nature to put each item sold at The Post,” assured Chin. “Those precepts are embodied in the legend of Borneo Bob. It is a fact that the creators of the artifacts not only sell their craft but also help create deeper knowledge of their locality and culture and thus, appreciation for their own heritage.”

To a lesser extent, The Post, Chin revealed, serves also as a trading hub for crafts from other parts of the world.

The Post’s mascot, Borneo Bob, is a spin-off from the Spirit of Nature and Adventure in a tongue-in-cheek attempt to create an icon around which we hope locals in Sabah will identify and adopt as their own, Chin revealed.

“We adopted ‘Borneo Bob’ as mascot of The Post because we feel he epitomizes the spirit of Borneo – adventurous, exciting and fascinating. Through him, we aim to educate international art enthusiasts about Borneo, focusing efforts primarily on Sabah as the state is headquarters to Borneo Trading Post and Borneo Bob’s ‘birthplace’, ” explained Chin.

© Borneo Trading Post. All rights reserved.