IKEA and I go a long way back. I mean a loooong way back. Think 1995. A certain basement in the Old Wing of One Utama. We Malaysians were long envious of our next door neighbours (hint: Singapore, 1978!) who have enjoyed their unfair share of Swedish meatballs years before. And so began our journey with the creative, innovative Swedish marquee, founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, renowned for its designs and low cost. My relationship with IKEA actually started about a week or so before it opened its doors to the general public. I was commissioned to be one of six caricature artists stationed in-store for the first five days, as part of the special five-day opening activities. Still a college student back then in my final year (ok, the secret’s out), I of course, jumped at the opportunity.
[ad#Google Adsense 336×280]
Back then I remembered thinking, “this is such a cool company to work for and what an awesome place to work!”. That amidst holding back my drool over the never before seen designer furniture, accessories and all the bells and whistles which make IKEA…, well, IKEA. I met awesome people at IKEA and worked alongside some talented peers. When the doors opened, the rush of people was quite a rush (pun intended). Caricatures were given out for free, and I had a splendid time interacting with customers who sat in stillness in front of me while I scribbled and doodled my way on the supplied IKEA easel.
Fast forward to present day, IKEA is still the brand and furniture store I love, admire and try, almost always failingly, to avoid at all costs (because I end up checking out with only my underwear, which isn’t a pretty sight). It is still the brand that lives and breathes creativity, minimalism and sustainability.
Just over a week ago, I joined a bunch of influencers for a pre-sale walkabout and breakfast at our favourite store. I ended up RM500 poorer – trolley filled with knick-knacks, a table for my brother and accessories for the office. But ultimately, 30% happier with a 40% bigger grin and not as a result from an overdose of coffee from the scrumptious free IKEA breakfast.
And just so you know. The big IKEA sale isn’t over. In fact, how’s this for an incentive? Our Swedish friends are giving out further reductions with super low prices. Think big. Think low. And it ends this Sunday. It’s the F1 weekend, but heck, you know people will be racing with their trolleys, curry puffs in hand and enjoying the crazy low prices.
I’ll see you there, I guess?