27 Dec 2006
Beautiful Baubles(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 01,2007)
Fashion Jewellery & Accessories
The perennial appeal of quality fashion jewellery and accessories remains undiminished as designs and novel ideas continue to strike a ready chord among consumers - and variety is key.
Magnetic wellness bracelets, bangles, earrings and rings, for example, are a specialty of Win Favour Holdings Ltd, which devotes more than 90% of its production to these items.
"Magnets can improve blood flow and increase the efficiency of oxygen in the body," claims the eight-year-old firm's manager Janet Yip, adding that jewellery made of titanium, hematite, copper, alloy or stainless steel is magnetised by adding neodymium, a rare earth material also found in computer hard drives and speakers.
"Sometimes we use semiprecious stones like amethyst, rose quartz and green aventurine or even Swarovski crystals," Yip says, explaining that non-magnetic versions of the company's jewellery, using the same metals, are also available. "Laser-etched designs on stainless steel rings are one of the most popular sellers."
Bracelets, the company's best-selling item, cost from US$2-5 each FOB Hong Kong for minimum orders of 100 pieces per style. Delivery is 40-45 days after order confirmation to markets in the US and Europe.
Although primarily an OEM/ODM manufacturer, Win Favour has developed its own KM and Cheryl brand names for which 50-100 new designs are created per month. "KM is more casual and Cheryl is dressier," Yip explains.
To discourage competitors from copying its designs, Win Favour's strategy is to put the emphasis on more complicated and intricate styles. "We also target both younger and more mature customers," Yip says. "Younger people want trendy styles and more mature buyers look for classic designs."
Meanwhile, Neva Ltd splits its production into fine and imitation jewellery for a typical monthly output of 250,000-400,000 pieces. "We have four production lines covering karat gold, sterling silver, brass and stainless steel," says assistant manager Chris Kong.
For the brass and stainless steel lines, unit prices range from US$0.50-30.00 FOB Hong Kong. "The price depends on the design, the production process and whether we use glass or plastic beads, semiprecious stones or Swarovski crystals," says Kong. "Higher-priced models would have tiny diamonds." He reveals that unit prices for sterling silver jewellery range from US$0.99-20.00 per piece, while karat gold items cost US$4.80 and up.
The 11-year-old OEM/ODM firm pays close attention to fashion trends, and Kong notes there has been an increase in demand for large, more colourful rings and bigger jewellery overall.
With ISO 9000- and ISO 14001-certification, in addition to OHSAS 18000 and SA 8000, the company exports to the US, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and Japan. Delivery is 2-4 weeks after order confirmation.
Cufflinks are the main product at Tak Sun Imitation Jewellery Co Ltd, accounting for 70% of the 200,000 items the 26-year-old firm produces monthly. The company is known for its medium- to high-end brass, stainless steel or titanium cufflinks plated with gold or platinum. Many feature mother-of-pearl, semiprecious stones imported from India or Thailand or tiny diamonds.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$2 for plain rhodium-plated brass cufflinks to US$45 for ones set with Swarovski crystals or semi-precious stones.
Tak Sun's women's fashion jewellery, which represents the remaining 30% of sales, sells for US$0.30-1.00 per piece for premium items and US$2-20 per piece for non-premium goods.
Minimum order for all products is 30 dozen items per colour, with a delivery time of 30-45 days after order confirmation. "Our designs can be very trendy or very classic," says director-designer Elaine Lam.
The innovative spirit shown by Hong Kong's fashion jewellery and accessories manufacturers is ample proof of the growing strength of this exciting market segment.
WRITTEN BY PEARL KINCAID
Universal Mfg Co