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Singapore’s a global city — take a walk down any major shopping street and you’ll see familiar brand names from the world over, but look a little closer and you’ll find some home-grown gems. While the modern market’s awash in a sea of international start-ups, we highlight eight long-standing local brands that embody the Singaporean entrepreneurial spirit.

OSIM

OSIM is a brand name synonymous with massage chairs, handheld massagers and other wellness products. Established in 2003, OSIM has since established its franchise across the globe (with stores in Hong Kong and London), and seen a multitude of high-profile endorsements from international celebrities such as Fan Bingbing, Gong Li and Andy Lau.

What to buy: The super sleek and portable OSIM uGem handheld massager
Where to buy: OSIM stores island-wide, including #03-21 Raffles City Shopping Centre and more

Tiger Balm

This trusty herbal pain rub is a medicine cabinet staple of many Singaporeans. Its beginnings in Singapore hark back to 1908, when Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par (The ‘Haw Par’ brothers) brought their Chinese herbalist father’s ointment recipe to our island. The cure-all ointment has been a household name since, used by locals to treat muscle aches, rheumatic pains or colds.

What to buy: The classic version of the pain relief rub — Tiger Balm White
Where to buy: Any Guardian, Watsons or Unity pharmacies island-wide

Axe Brand

Axe Brand dates back to 1928, when founder Leung Yun Chee came into possession of the axe oil recipe during a chance meeting with a German physician. He then produced, marketed and sold the range of medicated oils under the Axe Brand name in Singapore. Axe Oil’s signature smell is a blend of menthol, camphor oil and eucalyptus, and the sharp scent is said to keep headaches, muscle pains and an array of other ailments away.

What to buy: Axe Brand Universal Oil
Where to buy: Any NTUC FairPrice outlets island-wide

Tiger beer

Need to beat the tropical Singapore heat? Take a swig of quintessential Singaporean brew, Tiger Beer. Launched in 1932, Tiger Beer has become the beverage of choice for many a local over the years. It’s currently brewed in 11 countries and enjoyed in more than 75 the world over, but is also a staple beverage of your friendly neighbourhood hawker centre regulars. So the next time you swing by a hawker centre for local fare, don’t forget to order a Tiger beer to wash down your hokkien mee (stir-fried prawn noodles), or try pairing your laksa (spicy noodle soup) with the tangy fruity flavours of the Tiger Radler, a bottled version of the classic lemon and beer mix.

What to buy: Tiger Beer or Tiger Radler
Where to buy: Any NTUC FairPrice outlets island-wide

X-mini

Founded in 2006 by brothers Ryan and Reuben Lee together with Barry Choo, X-Mini is a manufacturer of audio products best known for their pocket-sized capsule speakers. Don’t be fooled by their size — these miniature speakers pack a punch with their full, rounded sound. Enjoy your music on the go in a variety of styles — have a pick from their range of mini speakers and other audio tech.

What to buy: Get the best of both worlds with the X-Mini wireless hybrid headphone and speakers
Where to buy: Harvey Norman at #03-22/23 Raffles City Shopping Centre and more

Creative

Founded in 1981, Creative helped launch the multimedia revolution in Singapore and has held its own in a competitive international market. The Creative ZEN Neeon multimedia players, though now discontinued, were a favourite of young Singaporeans when they first burst onto the market in 2005. Now, Creative is still going strong with its new innovations in audio technology, MP3 players, and other audio accessories.

What to buy: Sound Blaster X7, a powerful audio amplifier with Bluetooth connectivity
Where to buy: Harvey Norman at #03-22/23 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Challenger Superstore at #02-34/35 VivoCity, and more

Razer

Razer had its beginnings in a tiny shared office of gamers back in 2005. The brand was born when CEO Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff wanted to create high quality products by gamers, for gamers. Over the years, Razer has earned its place in the gamer community, evolving into a gaming lifestyle brand with a devoted following.

What to buy: Razer’s latest cutting-edge tech, the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook
Where to buy: Best Denki at #05-01/05 Ngee Ann City Podium, Harvey Norman at #03-31 Centrepoint and more

Prints

Vibrant colour-coordinated displays of desk accessories, notebooks, greeting cards and more are the hallmark of a Prints retail store. Prints is the go-to stationery and décor stop if you’re looking to brighten up your workspace with creative flair. The Singapore-based upmarket stationery shop was established in 2003 by Neny Suparman and Lars Vikman, and has since expanded its brand past Singapore’s shores, setting up franchises in Hong Kong and Japan.

What to buy: Prints’ Singapore-themed postcards for the perfect travel memento
Where to buy: Prints stores at #04-26 ION Orchard, #B1-12/14 CityLink Mall and more