Nobody is exactly sure which year this happened. Sometime in the 1950s, Chan Sek, a carpenter, started a tiny carpentry operation in a squatter hut in a Hindu Cemetery at Geylang Lorong 3. This hut was also home to him, his wife and his five young children.
In 1975, Chan Sek had to shift his workshop because the government had plans to develop the Geylang area. He found a new cozy spot in Bishan Cemetery and established Sek Hoe Carpentry.
Only a few years later, Chan Sek learnt that the government also had plans for developing Bishan and the cemetery had to go. So after spending close to 30 years with friends from the netherworld, it was time to bid farewell. Sek Hoe Carpentry moved to Paya Lebar industrial estate.
In the years leading up to 1980, rapid economic and population changes were taking place in Singapore. Chan Sek saw an opportunity to also venture into the loose furniture business in 1980 under Sek Hoe Furniture.
In 1990, Chan Sek was diagnosed with colon cancer and passed away. Three of his children, Jack, Sunny and Rose took over Sek Hoe Carpentry and Sek Hoe Furniture.
With the children at the helm, Sek Hoe Carpentry & Sek Hoe Furniture were able to expand its retail operations to 3 locations islandwide. Jack was in charge of carpentry and Sunny was in charge of the furniture business. In the same year, Rose decided that neither carpentry nor furniture was her calling and left the business to her brothers.
In the era of Yellow Pages, Sek Hoe Furniture was renamed AA Furniture so the company would appear at the top of the business directories listings. It was also this year that Sek Hoe Furniture moved to Marsiling Industrial Estate.
The 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis was absolutely brutal for everyone. The resulting recession that followed led to widespread retrenchments and businesses in every sector suffered. Sek Hoe Carpentry was surviving barely, but Sek Hoe Furniture's business went to the dogs. Determined to rise again, Jack and Sunny refocused their efforts on carpentry and registered JS Furniture in 2000.
Without the furniture business, Sunny decided to retire early. The youngest son, Jack, is now the sole owner of JS Furniture.
The island zoning plans led to a large cluster of carpenters and building materials suppliers to be located in the Sungei Kadut industrial estate. In 2005, Jack moved JS Furniture to a 2700 square feet workshop in Sungei Kadut to be closer to the suppliers and skilled carpenters from Malaysia.
It was in this year that Jack met Dale, a self-taught interior designer. This is the beginning of the partnership that led to the founding of modern JS.
As co-founder, Dale changed the logo, printed new namecards and designed a brand new JS Furniture website which it ended up as No. 1 or No. 2 search result for "carpentry singapore" on Google Singapore for 8 straight years.
Dale designed and introduced the now iconic blue uniform. Days that workers seemed like tourists plucked off the streets to work in customers' homes were finally over. While minor non-carpentry work was always part of JS Furniture's service offering, JS Furniture was beginning to undertake full and complex renovation for residential and commercial projects.
Coordinators were hired to attend to customers' carpentry and renovation needs with a focus on delivering customer satisfaction. Without a budget for marketing, JS Furniture depended on referrals and recommendations for survival.
From 8 full-time carpenters at the beginning of 2011, JS Furniture grew to 15 carpenters by the beginning of 2014. The carpentry workshop next to us went kaput and Jack took over the space, immediately doubling in size.
JS Furniture went on Channel 5! Kumar Goes Back To School featured JS Furniture on an episode about carpentry apprenticeship starring Kumar, the comedian and Steven Toh, our most senior coordinator!
Demand despite doubling in size just a year ago, JS Furniture found itself doubling in size again. The new home is an absolutely beautiful 7000 sqft facility that used to be Lazada's warehouse and a 3000 sqft ground floor unit.
JS Furniture was renamed JS Carpentry & Contracts to reflect the business more accurately. We also built our first showroom.
When the 3 years were up, JS Carpentry & Contracts found itself in a familiar spot again. Confident with the backing of existing customer base in the form of constant referrals, JS took over the entire second floor of the building, all 14,000 square feet.
2019 is a new beginning all over again. A brand new website, a brand new workshop, a brand new office, a brand new materials library, a brand new showroom and a brand new management. Dale has stepped down from the management team to pursue other interests outside the company. A carpentry workforce of almost 60 skilled carpenters and more than 10 experienced renovation coordinators in our family. We grew, and will continue growing to serve you better.