Every homeowner wants their place to look unique, and the journey to finding those special pieces of furniture is fun, but not as easy as we think — plus being different tends to cost more. Then there’s My Selection, a home accessories store founded by Alexandre Kebabtchieff, who believes in offering a curation of products that are quirky, yet have an iconic French and European aesthetic — and most importantly, are all at an affordable price point.
The online store started in August 2016, but Alexandre started to work on the concept back in October 2015. The first-ever physical store opened in May 2021 at Marne Road, with a quaint bakery corner called La Petite Boulangerie opening a year later in May 2022. Alexandre tells us that the bakery was supposed to open during the summer of 2021, but he had to postpone this opening twice due to the pandemic and the restrictions in place at the time.
Above: a rainbow selection of Luxembourg Low Armchairs ($840) outside the store.
“My Selection was built upon the simple idea that design should put the fun in functional — meeting the practical needs of a modern family, while making a design statement,” says Alexandre Kebabtchieff, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of My Selection. Walking through the store, you’ll find an excellent mix of products from local designers and exclusive brands, with pieces ranging from small home accessories like candles, pots and cushions, to larger furniture items like tables and cabinets. If anything, you’ll probably pick up some new tableware or a pastry from the bakery; this is a store that you’ll want to bring something home from.
Above: Canopee Floor Lamp in Rattan & Travertine Stone ($640) and Buisseau Armchair ($880) seen in my selection’s showroom at marne road.
The boulangerie (French bakery) being new to the place, is the first in Singapore to introduce the Merveilleux (pronounced “mair-vè-y-eu” and translated to mean “marvellous” in English), a traditional Belgium and French meringue dessert found only in France, Belgium, New York and some European cities.
Above: you can dine in at La Petite Boulangerie and have a lovely Merveilleux and coffee.
The bakery is helmed by pastry chef Celeste Teh, who also whips up traditional French Escargot pastries (a lovely, flaky dessert with a touch of pastry cream), croissants and baguettes that are all freshly baked and sell out pretty early in the day.
Above: Khoirul, the operations manager at my selection and La Petite Boulangerie.
We spoke with Alexandre about the most precious pieces in store to check out, and the must-try items from the bakery. Read on for our interview with him.
NYLON: Tell us about yourself and how you would describe your design aesthetic
Alexandre: I am a French national living in Singapore for seven years now, after living three years in Seoul, South Korea. Back in France, I worked in the finance industry and spent five years with Ernst & Young as an Auditor and another five years as the Head of Group Financial Reporting & Consolidation of a French company.
I always had a passion for nice objects and great designs. I am very much into colours because it brings life to a place and also it reflects your personality. I love to wear yellow, blue or red shoes for instance. I don’t have any preferred design aesthetic, and I get inspiration from reading magazines or browsing the internet. When I see an item that I like, I can immediately visualise how and where I would use it, and also see if there is any potential in the design. I really appreciate designs that stand out from the norm, which is exactly the unique DNA of My Selection and how I envisioned the brand to be.
What are the best sellers in the store?
Our best sellers are Fermob’s Balad ($150) and Mooon! ($780) lamps, both of which are indoor/outdoor unplugged lamps for added convenience. They are easily rechargeable using a USB cord for 14 hours of power with various ambience settings — these are must-haves!
Above: Fermob’s Balad ($150) lamps and a selection of cushions in store.
Next up would be Fermob’s iconic Luxembourg Low Armchairs ($840) that can be found everywhere in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris, followed by EMU’s MOM ($325) and STAR ($280) range of chairs and armchairs. Fourth would be the Dilma Armchairs ($950) from AM.PM – La Redoute, and finally, the Anatheme Armchairs ($490) also from AM.PM – La Redoute.
What are your personal favourite items from the store?
I love the Luxembourg Low Armchair — I use mine every day at home. It’s extremely comfortable and is also a great place for me to think while enjoying a glass of wine. As they are powder-coated and UV-resistant, you can feel free to leave them outside and the colour will not fade (mine are yellow).
My favourite indoor pieces would have to be the Epitre Study Desk ($990) and the Tibby ($490) Chairs. I love the mix of wood and iron in the Epitre Study, especially the shape of the legs. The sleek design of the Tibby is also very unique, and you can really feel the quality of the Italian upholstery.
Are there any items or brands that are exclusive to the store?
We are the exclusive reseller for AM.PM – La Redoute in Singapore, which is a very Iconic French brand.
Where do you curate your items from and where are they made in?
My Selection features a curation of quintessentially French and uniquely European pieces. A lot of the items were discovered while I was browsing through magazines or the internet. I tend to keep an eye out for pieces that are atypical in style that you won’t find everywhere in Singapore.
The key questions that I ask myself when adding a reference to My Selection are “Is it available anywhere else in Singapore”, “Is it nice”, “Is it affordable” and “Is it useful”. This is how I complement our offering to our customers. Aside from the iconic French and European styles, we have also added a range of gifts and home accessories featuring Singaporean brands and designers. This local curation came as part of our efforts to help provide local designers a platform to showcase their work during the pandemic, as well as to keep a “Singaporean vibe” at the store.
Above: memory boards trays by Merijke Böhm featuring shophouses, raffles hotel and other local imagery.
What are the must-try items from the bakery?
Definitely the Merveilleux, as this is the first time they are available in Singapore, exclusively at La Petite Boulangerie by My Selection. Our Merveilleux comes in a diverse range of flavours, just like our furniture curation. We worked with the renowned Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) Chef Jean Francois Arnaud, one of France’s most reputable pâtissiers, to develop flavours that are not too sweet to cater to the Singaporean palette, such as Kaya, Passion Fruit, Cheesecake and Tiramisu.
Above: Merveilleux in cheesecake and valrhona chocolate flavours.
The traditional flaky French Escargot pastries are also another highlight of La Petite Boulangerie. Originally called pain aux raisins (loosely translated into “bread with raisins”), we decided to call it the Escargot because of the remarkable resemblance the pastry has to a snail’s shell. Our Escargots come in both traditional French flavours such as Vanilla Raisins, Pearl Sugar and Praliné, as well as creatively curated Singapore favourites like the Pandan Kaya Coconut and Gula Melaka.
Above: French Escargot pastries at the bakery.
We’re also slowly adding savoury options to our menu, such as the Emmental Gougères – a baked savory choux pastry made of chouxdough mixed with emmental cheese. Similarly to our other pastries, we will also introduce another gougère pastry with a local twist.
Above: Emmental Gougères at the bakery.
What’s the story behind the Lee Kuan Yew artwork? Is it for sale? [Editor’s note: you can see this in store. Check out the picture below.]
Having lived in Singapore for seven years now, I am very impressed by how Mr Lee Kuan Yew envisioned the country and how he developed the nation through his ideas and the contributions of his fellow citizens. Hence, I wanted to pay tribute to him and to the visionary that he was. I drew inspiration from Obey’s “Hope” campaign poster for Mr Barack Obama and I commissioned a freelance artist to create a pop art image of Mr Lee, using the word “Vision” because it was the perfect reflection of who he was. This art print is not for sale, but I would be delighted to offer a copy to our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong!
Above: the lee kuan yew painting and Fermob’s Balad ($150) lamps in store.
Check out more images from inside the store below, and visit them at 2 Marne Road.
[Click on the images to enlarge.]