6 Jan 2005
Crystal Gifts(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 01,2005)
For example, Flamingo Gifts Collection Ltd offers more than 1,000 crystal items. The company has embraced a range of decorative crystal techniques, including internal and external laser engraving, incorporating colour and adding different materials.
The result is an innovative selection of creative crystal gifts that includes trophies and awards, stationery items, perfume bottles and ashtrays. "We produce more than 100,000 pieces per month at our 250-worker, 16,000-square-foot factory in Shanghai on the Chinese mainland," explains managing director Angela Lau. She says that products are first sent to Hong Kong for quality control before shipment overseas.
"Trophies are our most popular items," says Lau. "Years ago, crystal was seen as expensive, but with lower prices and advanced engraving machines it is now standard for clients to want crystal with intricate laser engravings on the inside."
Europe is Flamingo's biggest market, accounting for 30% of its business. "Europeans love trophies for all kinds of sporting events," Lau maintains.
"However, our perfume bottles sell very well in the Middle East, while our crystal clocks and ashtrays are proving best sellers in Africa, which is a new market for us." She says the Middle East accounts for 20% of exports, as does Africa.
The company sources A-grade crystal from the Chinese mainland and its minimum order requirement depends on the item required. Delivery is two weeks after order confirmation and FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1 for an order of 50 crystal key rings with inside laser engraving to US$20 for orders of 20-50 large trophies.
OEM/ODM crystal company KT & C Ltd also offers a wide choice of more than 200 crystal products, including its popular paperweights, trophies and awards.
The company produces 30,000-60,000 items per month, depending on size, at its 80-worker, 20,000-square-foot factory in Shanghai.
"We help many clients translate their design ideas into reality and 3D laser engraving is very popular for crystal items now," explains sales manager Ryan Yeo.
The company also offers marking with graphics and logos, sandblasting, etching, screen printing, 2D and 3D laser imaging inside the crystal, as well as incorporating other materials such as metal and marble for unique creative designs.
"Our most popular products are key chains and paperweights using basic bevelling, as these make ideal premiums," Yeo adds.
The company's trophies are also in strong demand. "When the economy is good, customers prefer crystal trophies as they sparkle and have a sophisticated and expensive appeal, adding status to the award," he notes.
Although there are many crystal suppliers on the mainland, Yeo says KT & C sources from a few regular suppliers, as it needs high quality material for laser engraving. "We focus on quality rather than volume or price," he adds.
FOB Shanghai unit prices range from US$1.00-1.50 for a key chain to about US$100 for a trophy. Minimum order is 50 pieces, depending on the item, delivered 2-4 weeks after order confirmation.
Yeo says Europe is KT & C's biggest market, taking 30% of production. "The US absorbs 20%-25% of our exports and Southeast Asia is also an important market."
Also busy is Triumph Hope Ltd, which offers a very wide range of quality crystal items including trophies, key chains, gifts and decorative items, perfume bottles, animal and flower designs, candle holders, cigarette ware, clocks, balls and globes, frames and lamps.
"One of our most popular lines is a wide range of key chains with laser images, which are used as premiums," explains marketing executive Fanny Leung. "Laser engraving is very popular, especially for company logos."
The company sources quality, K9 crystal from the Chinese mainland for production at its 50-100 worker factory in Zhejiang Province that produces minimum orders of around 100 pieces, depending on size, delivered 3-4 weeks after order confirmation.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.30-1.00 for a key chain to US$20-40 for an elaborate trophy. Some 50% of output goes to Europe, while Japan and the US are other important markets.
A specialist in a wide range of crystal ware, including trophies, plaques, blocks, paperweights, prism towers, laser engraving, animal figures, globes and spheres, clocks, cigarette lighters and ashtrays, name card holders, models, containers, icebergs and key chains, is Create World (HK) Ltd.
"We produce about US$100,000 worth of crystal items per month at our 20-worker, 200-square-metre mainland factory in Dongguan," explains manager Kevin Chan.
Chan says that internal laser engraving has become very popular with computerised production. "The retail market likes animal figures, and logos are very popular for promotional souvenirs," he observes. "We also introduce new items regularly, such as the crystal musical box we launched recently."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1-1,000 (for a true-to-life model of a building) and minimum orders are 500 pieces delivered one month after order confirmation. The US accounts for 40% of exports with Europe, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore other important markets.
Around the world, when it comes to producing popular, quality gifts and premiums, Hong Kong's crystal manufacturers are a clear cut above the rest.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
AE Continent Ltd
Flamingo Gifts Collection Ltd
Hong Kong Yee Ya Crystal Arts Ltd
Triumph Hope Ltd