SINGAPORE: It was half past eight on a Thursday morning (August 18) at MRT Toa Payoh station, as commuters made their way to Exit D en route to the train platforms.
Many of these people were about to start their day, but for Ms. Catherine Ang, who was sitting on the bare brown tiled floor along the underpass leading to the passage doors, the day is about halfway through.
Ms Ang, 56, crochets coasters, bottle holders and small handbags at home as a decades-old hobby. From 6am to 9am every weekday, she sells these items for S$1.50 to S$6 at the MRT station. Then she makes the short walk to rest before spending the rest of her day crocheting again.
Her mini-business went viral after Facebook user Jaya Dutta spoke about it in a community kindness group on Saturday. Ms Dutta said she bought crocheted bottle holders from Ms Ang, who ‘burst into tears as she had no (sales) for the past few days’.
The post also led to several media articles and a Reddit thread.
This may be why Ms. Ang’s goods were nearly sold out when CNA visited on Thursday. She was about to keep a brown picnic rug which she uses to display her wares, although she still has a few bottle holders and small handbags left to sell.
Ms. Ang welcomes custom orders, saying she has crocheted shawls, decorative pieces, larger handbags and tablecloths. However, these parts cost more and take much longer to manufacture. For example, she can crochet a tablecloth in two to three weeks and sell it for S$60.
“Anything you want I can do,” she told CNA, repeating that line often throughout the hour-long chat.