6 July 2007
Champions' League(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 03,2007)
Trophies & Medals
|AL-VI Signcrafts Ltd's trophy cups in various sizes and shapes are hot-selling items in European markets|
Nothing signifies success like an elegant and attractive memento of great accomplishments that stands as a permanent reminder of past glory
All kinds of triumphs - be they individual or team efforts - are treasured achievements that deserve to be commemorated in attractive trophies and medals.
The best trophies and medals at the most competitive prices can be found in Hong Kong's gift and premium sector, which is adept at creating commemorative items for buyers worldwide.
"My strength is in solid glass and how to translate it into beautiful items," says Premiere Collections Ltd director Roland Guettler, who established the company in 1989 after more than 20 years' working for renowned crystal maker Swarovski in Europe and Asia.
Premiere Collections mainly works with what Guettler calls "eco-crystal" - high-quality optical glass that, unlike crystal, is lead-free. "When it comes to transparency and reflection, after high polishing our eco-crystal achieves the same effect as crystal," he claims.
His beautiful items include the new Galaxy trophy (pictured, left), an elegant yet simple design which proved a hit with buyers at the recent Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair.
Galaxy is a three-kilo glass disc comprised of 5cm-thick glass halves, one clear and one coloured, that allows the trophy to be displayed in the centre of the 40mm-wide, 200mm-high circle.
Guettler spotted the original piece in the showroom of Singaporean ceramics artist Lasly Yeo, and convinced her to allow him to use it as a trophy design. "I have the contacts with people and factories that share my attention to detail and do a fantastic job," he insists, adding that the Galaxy costs US$50 per piece FOB China and comes in a gift box.
Other designs include a trophy with a metallic star set atop a glass base that comes in 255mm-, 280mm- and 305mm-tall versions and is unit-priced at US$16-20, and the Champion Cup, a trophy cup on a plinth that is available in 140mm-, 165mm- and 195mm-tall styles and sells for US$30-40 each.
Rather than run his own plant, Guettler opts to work with trusted factories on the Chinese mainland that can produce items to his exacting standards.
"This allows us to shift from one factory to another in the blink of an eye and get the best product," he explains. "We are famous for our quality, punctuality and reliability."
There is no minimum order requirement - although Guettler advises that "a sensible order" should not be less than US$3,000 in value - and lead time to the US, Japan, Australia, Germany and Austria is 6-8 weeks, depending on order size and season.
Acrylic is the preferred medium at Flomonta Acrylic Co Ltd, which has chalked up more than 30 years' experience manufacturing OEM acrylic items such as high-quality handmade trophies and other gift items from paperweights to name-card holders.
Some trophy designs are standard items, such as rectangular shapes set on a base, while others are tweaked from customers' concepts, explains assistant marketing manager Elisa Wong.
She says one popular design is a clear acrylic pyramid that sits atop a black base. "We can change the printing, shape or size, according to the customer's requirements," Wong adds.
Once the shape has been chosen, a mould is made, liquid acrylic is poured into the mould and the solidified shape is then polished, sandblasted and finally printed or etched - all by hand. "Embedding an object inside the acrylic is a very popular design feature among our customers," notes Wong.
Minimum order quantities depend upon the item but most orders come from importers supplying markets in Europe, the US, Russia and Asia, including Japan.
High-quality liquid and sheet acrylic sourced from Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Korea is made into 100,000 trophy and gift items a month at Flomonta's 12,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
Prices vary according to design and order quantity, and are available upon application. "Some customers say we are a bit expensive," admits Wong, "but we think our prices are reasonable because we believe quality is most important."
Metal-based medals are a speciality of A3 Gifts Co, which has been making metal gifts and premiums such as lapel pins, key chains and magnets for OEM customers since 2003.
According to manager Francis Leung, medals cost on average about US$1 each FOB Hong Kong. "The minimum size for a medal is 4cm in diameter, which would weigh around 200 grams, and the maximum size is 10cm in diameter, otherwise it would be too heavy," he explains.
The most commonly-requested metal is zinc alloy, followed by brass, copper and iron sourced from the Chinese mainland. "If customers want a cheaper price, then they usually choose iron plate painted with gold or nickel paint," Leung adds, noting that medals can be made into any shape but circular medals with wording on the front are the most popular.
A minimum order is 500 medals delivered in 30 days to major markets in the US, the UK, Malta and other European nations. "It is a competitive market, so we advertise in exhibitions and we have good salesmen who have good relationships with our customers," Leung explains. "We also offer good quality, prompt delivery and are able to accept small minimum order quantities."
Hong Kong is clearly in the champions' league when it comes to finding a manufacturer capable of making trophies and medals fit for winners worldwide.
AL-VI Signcrafts Ltd
Kar Wah Ind Bldg
8 Leung Yip St
Yuen Long, New Territories
Bestway Trophy Ltd
Unit D2, 1/F
Lucky Horse Ind Bldg
1 Bute St
Mong Kok, Kowloon