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Better made to measure: from bags to bikes

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Better made to measure: from bags to bikes

Forget one-size-fits-all – this city’s a playground for those who prefer things bespoke. Whether you’re after a stylish sofa or a pimped-out bike, you can probably find someone to custom make it

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Furniture
Tired of teak? The charm of rattan rubbed off? I-Ching Decor offers custom-made furniture to suit most tastes. The interior design firm, which sources luxe fabrics from overseas, can whip up anything from a plush sofa to a coffee table in under a month. Their design portfolio includes the sleek interiors at K’Nyay restaurant, and the art deco-style armchairs and custom-made glass-top tables at The Cigar Shop. You come in, they create a sketch from your ideas and then give you a 3D
drawing and a quote. All designs are made in-house, so you can keep a close eye on production. Prices range depending on materials, but a modest sofa with local fabrics is yours from $700.
# 85, Sothearos Boulevard

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Jewellery
Like most things in the Russian Market, Mrs Channa’s stall isn’t easy to find. But if you do manage to navigate the maze of cramped alleys (head in off Street 450 and look out for the Friends store), you’ll be glad you made the trip. Channa’s family specialises in custom-made designs. Their most popular items are the rings, bangles and necklaces featuring Khmer inscriptions in silver. Rings start at $20, with necklaces costing up to $28, and they can sometimes manage a next-day turn around. The family is also at ease with copying from pictures. Their back catalogue includes a sizeable number of engagement ring commissions.
Shop #419, Russian Market

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Bags
Junk is converted to treasure in front of your eyes at Smateria, which has outlets on Streets 57 and 178, and at the airport. Scrap from Cambodia’s most ubiquitous items, such as fishing nets and motorcycle seats, are converted into stylish bags. All kinds of bags are stitched together, from small colourful tablet bags made of fish nets to large handbags made from the stripped leather of motorbike seats. Customers may buy from the shop or also ask for designs to be tweaked by the artisans, who work on site. Custom embroidery is also offered.
Smateria has outlets at #8E0 Street 57, #7 Street 178, and at Phnom Penh International Airport.

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Leather
South American expat Diego Wilkins produces lovingly handcrafted leather goods – from satchels to iPad cases, wallets and belts – using high quality, mostly European materials sold under the brand name D Wilkins. Customers can purchase off the shelf or order bespoke pieces. Prices aren’t cheap (a belt costs about $65, while a bag can range from $250 up to $800), however, the stylishly designed pieces, sold at Wilkins’s workshop at the Samai Distillery on Street 830, are intended to last a lifetime. Custom orders take three to four days to make.
D Wilkins Showroom and Workshop, the Samai Distillery, #9b, Street 830. Email: [email protected]

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Motorbikes
For the boys behind Moto Cambodge, a motorcycle is an extension of its rider’s personality – and what could be a better way to match a bike to an individual than to get it custom made or modified? A basic customisation of an existing bike starts at $1,150 while more advanced jobs start at $2,000. Tyres are not included. Complete bikes start at $3,000 to $4,000 for a 250cc, with bigger bikes costing more. Moto Cambodge only work on cafe racers, street trackers and brats. All the bikes are put together at the Moto Cambodge Takhmao workshop.
Moto Cambodge. Email: [email protected]. Web: facebook.com/motocambodge.

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Shoes
There’s not much to set Beautiful Shoes apart from the welter of open-front shoe shops that line the streets around Tuol Sleng, but over the past few years the small store has established itself as the place to come to for reliable craftsmanship. It’s nothing fancy: a quick snap of your chosen shoes on a Smartphone (bringing a picture is a better bet than browsing their in-house catalogues), a pay-what-you-like deposit and you’re ushered out the door. Luckily, the system seems to work. The shoes that emerge following a two-week turn around are comfortable, reasonably priced ($25 for women’s shoes and $35 for men’s is the ballpark) and as stylish as you choose to make them.
#138 BEo, Street 143

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