Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Ming Sing Flowers


98 Arab Street, Singapore 199794
Get Directions

Flowers for All Seasons

Name of business:Ming Sing Flowers
Name of business in other language:民生花店私营有限公司
Business location:98 Arab Street, Singapore 199794
Business type:Artificial Flowers and Decorations

Ming Sing Flowers started out by selling toys under the name of Ming Sing Toys Pte Ltd at Bugis Street (current Bugis Junction Building) back in 1975. In 1987, the family diversified the toy business and began selling high quality artificial flowers, which was so successful that it became the cornerstone of the business.

“Even after so many years, we continue to sell flowers. Over the years, our flowers have become so much more realistic. For example, if you touch our orchids now, it feels like fresh petals. Our flowers and plants are getting more and more life-like.” There is a sense of pride in Ms Irene Chua’s tone—the third-generation owner of Ming Sing Flowers—as she proudly showed off her artificial orchids that look as good as real ones.

Ming Sing Flowers was started by Irene’s grandfather in 1975 at Bugis Street. Back then, it operated under the name of Ming Sing Toys. Later in 1987, the family diversified the toy business by selling artificial plastic flowers, which was so successful that it became the cornerstone for the business. From then, the shop changed its name to Ming Sing Flowers and became one of the pioneer wholesale artificial flower shops in Singapore. At that time, the shop was in Blanco Court at North Bridge Road (the site of present-day Raffles Hospital). Ming Sing Flowers has always carried a diverse range of artificial flowers, plants, and unique pots, and one can find decoy versions of almost any breed of flora and fauna that is found in a real flower shop.

Since young, Irene and her siblings have been actively helping in the family business. While they were in primary school, they would help at the shop during the weekends and school holidays. Irene reminisces that festive seasons like Chinese New Year and Christmas were the most fun, as they could deck the interior of the shop with festive decorations to attract customers. “Till today, people still seek out Ming Sing Flowers for our extensive range of festive decorations, especially during Christmas, Hari Raya, and Lunar New Year. We are very happy to see our customers come back year after year! We always try to keep our collections fresh and up to date.”

Elaborating further on how they keep up with current trends, Irene says, “During our dad’s time, we had the copyrights to sell battery-operated Ninja Turtle and Dragon Ball lanterns. We also sold paper lanterns, which use candles for light. For safety reasons, we then sold LED light battery-operated lanterns for a period of time. Nowadays, we have moved towards traditional lanterns such as the Chinese- and Vietnamese-designed ones, which are more popular. This is how we extend our collection to keep up with current trends and preferences.”

To attract the new generation of buyers, Irene and her siblings work on bringing in a variety of new products. She also frequently changes the shop’s display to showcase more contemporary products and styles. During the pandemic, when the shop was not as crowded, Irene took the opportunity to renovate the shop to create more space for their designs and products, and to provide a better shopping experience for their customers. The results of the renovation received compliments from customers, with some even commenting that they thought it was a brand-new shop.

The shop at Arab Street can be considered their flagship store, with another outlet at Kinex Mall. Even though the rising rental cost at Arab Street is a concern, Irene hopes to stay for as long as she can and is open to the idea of expanding the store if the right opportunity comes about. She treasures the good relationships with all her neighbours and the clientele she has built up over the years. To show her appreciation to her neighbours who have become her friends, she even offers an “Arab Street Members’ Discount”. She values the connections she has made, putting in the effort to strike up conversations and extend a helping hand when needed.

When customers come to her store looking for something that she is unable to provide, she introduces them to the neighbouring stores instead. Likewise, her neighbours are always helpful in referring customers to her shop. Her clients are equally enthusiastic - some offer suggestions to help improve her shop display, while others offer to promote the business on social media. Suggestions and help sometimes come from her own children, nieces and nephews, “They will tell me, ‘yiyi (姨姨, means “aunt” in Chinese), I think you have to add in one two little things over there... And here it’s just nice, don’t put anything more. Sometimes, they will come to the shop and offer to help me do things.”

Moving with the times, Ming Sing Flowers has started an online platform for the business. However, Irene notes that not all their products are listed online as Ming Sing Flowers offers an extensive range of hyper-realistic products that are best seen and felt in person. As such, Irene encourages her customers to come to the shops physically to shop for certain products as seeing and feeling the product for themselves is integral to the retail experience at Ming Sing Flowers.

Undoubtedly sentimental about her family businesses, Irene is doing everything she can in the hopes that they can continue to do better in the future. With the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions gradually lifting, Irene is optimistic that things will pick up for Ming Sing Flowers, “Come and support us! Come by to say hi and see what we have!”

Share on