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Terrific Ties(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2008)

Ribbons

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Papillon Ribbon & Bow (HK) Ltd provides quality decorative ribbon, custom-printed and custom-made bows with a large array of designs and an extensive colour palette

There is always a trade-off between cost and quality regardless of the product, but one factor that astute buyers always look for in a top-notch supplier is reliability.

That is why buyers go back again and again to Papillon Ribbon & Bow (HK) Ltd, which has been offering a wide variety of packaging ribbons, bows, rosettes and fashion trimmings to buyers in the US and Europe for 20 years.

Decorative packaging is a form of expression that adds a touch of colour and beauty to any occasion, claims Sales Manager Benny Tong. "Manufacturers and retailers use our packaging to enhance the presentation of their products, make them more attractive and capture the essence of special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, St Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, weddings or any event that calls for a special touch of elegance and delicate expression," he maintains.

Papillon's ability to reliably provide quality decorative ribbon, custom-printed and custom-made bows with a large array of designs and an extensive colour palette has seen the company grow steadily over the past two decades.

"We have recently started to expand into the Japanese market, and we're also in the midst of preparations to open an office on the Chinese mainland this year," says Mr Tong.

The company was founded by an entrepreneur who moved from Hong Kong to Canada more than 20 years ago and opened its first sales offices in Montreal and New York in 1987.

This was followed by sales offices in London, Paris and Hong Kong. "Our group also has factories in China that make most of the ribbons we sell," Mr Tong explains.

"These factories are owned by our group, although they operate under a different name, and produce 80%-90% of the items we sell."

The firm's name is derived from the French word for butterfly, and the trademark butterfly logo imparts a sense of femininity to a huge array of bows, rosettes and ribbons in virtually every colour of the rainbow.

Papillon's polyester or nylon ribbons offer a variety of satin, chiffon, velvet and grosgrain finishes, while bows are decorated with pearly grains, rosettes and diamant?

Product designs, which range from simple and elegant to intricate, frilly, elaborate and sensual, are produced by the company's five-person design team based in Montreal.

They meet the seasonal demands of customers, most of whom are top global brand names from the lingerie, kids' wear and gift packaging industries, by producing two new collections every year - spring/summer and autumn/winter.

Attending trade shows around the world helps the designers keep abreast of fashion trends and gain ideas for new designs, and results in enticing products such as the series of pleated bows and bows with delicate printed motifs and coloured stones that the company will launch this spring.

Another of Papillon's greatest strengths is its ability to deliver quickly, thanks to the group's policy of maintaining high levels of inventory in the US, Europe and the mainland.

"US and European buyers generally expect shorter delivery times, and having a big inventory is one of the strongest supports we provide to customers," Mr Tong says.

All the company's sales offices have "huge" warehouses, enabling Papillon to deliver products from its standard colour card any time. "For example, take basic satin ribbons - we have tens of millions of yards of these in different colours in our warehouses," Mr Tong elaborates.

Having high inventory levels mean high storage costs, but he counts that as part of the investment needed to grow the business. "We have to keep investing, and we just have to manage the inventory more efficiently," Mr Tong reasons. "Every season, we review the inventory and make adjustments."

He notes that all Papillon's products comply with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and are tested under product class II, which relates to articles that come into contact with large areas of human skin. "We have had this certification done every year for the past seven years," Mr Tong adds.

"We have had a lot of queries from buyers in the past half year or so about our standards, and we will continue to produce quality ribbons and bows for lingerie, kids' wear and packaging that meet and surpass the latest global criteria."

TEXT BY CHIARA WONG

Fast Facts

Papillon Ribbon & Bow (HK) Ltd
15/F, Pat Tat Ind Bldg
1 Pat Tat St, San Po Kong
Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2323-8818
Fax: 852-2321-9225
Email:
bennytong@papillonhk.com
Web: www.papillonribbon.com
Year Established: 1999
Major Product Categories: woven-edged polyester ribbons, bows, rosettes and fashion trimmings
Own Brands & Certificates: Oeko-Tex Cert. Class III
Minimum Order: 5,000 yards per DTM ribbon colour, US$1,000 per shipment
Monthly Production: 3,000,000 yards of polyester ribbon
Delivery Time: 4-5 weeks
Factory Size & Location: 30,000 square metres; Tianjin, Guangzhou
Workforce: 350