SINGAPORE: It was half past eight on a Thursday morning (Aug 18) at Toa Payoh MRT station, as commuters filed into Exit D on their way to the train platforms.
Many of these people were about to start their day, but for Mrs Catherine Ang, who sat on the bare, brown-tiled floor along the underground walkway to the fare gates, the day is about halfway done.
Mrs Ang, 56, crochets coasters, bottle holders and little handbags at home as a decades-old hobby. From 6am to 9am every weekday, she sells these items for between S$1.50 and S$6 at the MRT station. Then she makes the short walk home to rest before spending the rest of her day crocheting again.
Her mini business went viral after Facebook user Jaya Dutta posted about it in a community kindness group on Saturday. Ms Dutta said she bought some crochet bottle holders from Mrs Ang, who “broke out in tears as she had no (sales) for last few days”.
The post also led to several media articles and a Reddit thread.
This might be why Mrs Ang’s wares were almost sold out when CNA visited on Thursday. She was about to keep a brown picnic mat she uses to display her items, although she still had a few bottle holders and small handbags left to sell.
Mrs Ang welcomes custom orders, saying that she has crocheted shawls, decorative pieces, larger handbags and tablecloths. These pieces, however, cost more and take much longer to make. For instance, she can crochet a tablecloth in two to three weeks and sell it for S$60.
“Whatever you want, I can make,” she told CNA, often repeating this line throughout the hour-long chat.