8 July 2005
Decorative Items(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 03,2005)
For example, Chinese tradition says that an aquarium full of fish in the home ensures prosperity and health. However, as animal rights activists deplore the keeping of fish in small aquariums, Chi Da Toys Enterprises (HK) Co Ltd came up a solution: small aquariums full of remarkably life-like fish that are actually battery-operated toys.
"We have many sizes of lighted aquariums containing realistic forms of marine life to bring good fortune to the home," says director Stella Hsieh. "These items were designed and engineered by our own team, but we also work with customers to develop their ideas."
The 30-year-old company has a well-established international market, selling to the US, Europe and Japan, and monthly production reaches 600,000 items at its 11,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. "Minimum order value is US$10,000 per shipment," says Hsieh, "for delivery within 30-45 days of confirmation."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for various gift items from Chi Da range from US$2.60-20.00. "We also produce musical and electronic toys under the Wanda brand name," says Hsieh.
Also popular are porcelain dolls, similar to those beloved of little girls in Victorian England - and they are a speciality at Unisia Mfy, established in 1984. "We have a substantial market share," claims marketing manager Daniel Ng.
"Today, porcelain dolls are more likely to be for adult collectors rather than children," he observes, "so we take great pains to make them as authentic as possible. Victorian hairstyles and dresses are still popular, while we also have demand for dolls in modern clothes. Our designers produce very elegant clothes and accessories made of wood or metal."
Made from porcelain clay sourced on the mainland, the dolls are sold under the Le-Jardine brand name or according to customers’ requirements. They are manufactured by 300 workers at the firm's 50,000-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland, and sizes generally range from 6-10 inches in height.
"Price is usually based on size, and FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1-10," Ng says. The monthly production is 15 TEUs of dolls and gifts, and the minimum order requirement is one TEU for delivery within 50-60 days of order confirmation.
Original oil paintings, frequently reproductions of famous works of art, can be rated among the most desirable of gifts. One major supplier is 1981-established Choi Yin Fong Art Gallery.
The firm's founding director, Choi Yin Fong, says a team of 200 talented young artists working on the mainland produce paintings for the Hong Kong gallery.
All employees are art school graduates. "I choose them especially for their technique and talent in copying," Choi says. "I employ both young artists able to produce original works and veterans who are already well established. I like to think I am giving a chance to mainland artists to do the work they love."
The gallery exports oil paintings on canvas and wood panels. "Our monthly production is small because each piece is meticulously hand-painted," Choi says.
Minimum order value is US$300, and delivery takes 30-60 days from confirmation. "Clients can order a single painting if they wish, but some of them order up to 1,000 at a time," Choi says.
The wood for the panels comes from the mainland, while canvas is from Korea and Italy. "It is not possible to quote FOB prices," says Choi, "as they vary enormously with the complexity of the work involved, but we are competitive."
In 1984, Roland Guettler bought former fashion company Premiere Collections Ltd and turned it into a crystal products manufacturer with his late wife. Prior to that, Guettler was managing director and vice-president of the Swarovski organisation's Asian operations.
"Some 1,200 skilled workers in Austria and the mainland produce hand-cut, hand-engraved works of art that are timeless and elegant gifts," he enthuses. "Each is made using a product we call eco-crystal - that is, crystal without any lead content."
Monthly production is 50,000-60,000 pieces, and the minimum order is 50 pieces. Delivery time varies according to the products ordered. The gifts range from very small items to large figurines and FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1-350.
"In addition to exporting to the US, Europe and Japan, we make corporate gifts for many local companies, including the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Cathay Pacific Airways," Guettler says. "The engraving is done in Austria and, since we do not operate any factories, we contract work out to a number of approved and highly reputable factories on the mainland."
Showing that for fine gifts in a plethora of styles and presentations, Hong Kong is second to none.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
Choi Yin Fong Art Gallery