Monument Lifestyle brings a slice of California to Duxton Road
Owners of Monument Lifestyle, Dustin Ramos and Iris Sangalang, must be the most likeable couple in the neighbourhood.
When you first step into their concept store and café along Duxton Road, you're greeted with sunny smiles and a cheery hello. Ramos is usually behind the counter making coffees or manning the till, while his wife Sangalang potters around the retail space, ready to answer any queries you might have.
Within seconds, you'll be pulling out your phone to snap pictures or put a video up on Instagram Stories. The front of the store is an industrial-chic retail space that looks straight out of a design catalogue. Monument Lifestyle stocks Californian home and menswear brands that are making its foray to Singapore for the first time — a reflection of Ramos' and Sangalang's American upbringing. From Alex Mill's well-cut essentials, to surf company Katin and Faherty "for the surfer that has grown up", the couple have chosen to focus on menswear for its quality offering and laidback, relaxed vibes it brings to the store.
You'll also find custom Deus Ex Machina surfboards and hipster gift ideas from the likes of Happy Socks, P.F. Candle Co and Gentlemen's Hardware — the latter which crafts cool portable barbecues, hipflasks and refillable water bottles paying tribute to bygone eras. "You know how women have Anthropologie? We hope to deliver the same concept to men here, where they can walk in and easily pick up a gift for another male friend," explains Ramos.
Venture towards the back and enjoy a drink in the café — reminiscent of the Saturdays NYC shop along Crosby Street in New York, which adopts a similar shop and café layout. Coffees here are taken seriously, and the founders themselves have spent days perfecting a good cuppa at Four Barrel Coffee's roastery in California. Ramos and Sangalang have also invested in a Poursteady machine, a game changer when it comes to making a precise pour-over coffee. Prefer a cup of tea instead? Their single origin tea blends hail from Samovar Tea in San Francisco. Pair this with a slice of sourdough toast slathered with smashed avocado or apple caramel. From April onwards, Monument Lifestyle will also offer an exclusive selection of sandwiches from Park Bench Deli.
"Monument Lifestyle is all about celebrating the everyday moments," says Sangalang. United in their love for coffee, the beach and quality products, the duo believe that when you surround yourself with things made with passion, you're able to live a more monumental life. Pop into their space and be pleasantly surprised — their love and zest for life is infectious.