31 May 2005
Ideal Home Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 06,2005)
Aman's home, so goes the popular saying, is his castle, and Hong Kong home decor manufacturers front up with stylish designs ranging from classic tableware to luxurious ornaments fit for a king.
Typifying opulent design is United Wilson Porcelain Fty, which produces more than 3,000 high quality items from medium to large size ranging from candlesticks, vases and jewellery boxes to chargers and umbrella stands.
"Approximately 50% of our business is handmade porcelain and 50% ormolu - which is the French word for delicate, high-end bronze mountings on porcelain," explains manager Nelson Chung.
He claims that when the company began making handmade porcelain with bronze mountings some eight years ago, it was the first in Hong Kong, the mainland or Macau to produce this delicate, treasured artwork.
"Ormolu, which began in the 18th century when the French started bronze mounting fine porcelain imported from the mainland, is still highly valued as prestigious home ornaments and decoration," says Chung.
Production takes place at a 500-worker, 150,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. Clay comes from the mainland and brass ingots from Korea, and finished products go to the US and Europe - each accounting for 40% of business. Prices are available on request for minimum order values of US$5,000, delivered 45 days after order confirmation.
Also catering to a unique art market is pewter and alloy ornament manufacturer Worldlink Industrial Co, which specialises in ornate enamel jewellery boxes. "We have more than 500 designs and produce 20-30 new styles a year, as well as welcoming customers' own designs," explains marketing manager William Ho.
Some 500 skilled workers produce more than 50,000 jewellery boxes per month at the company's 100,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong Province, with the output mainly satisfying buyers of gifts, premiums and collectibles. There is a wide range of shapes, including hearts, eggs, animals, telephones, crowns, watering cans and even ladies' handbags.
"Red, green and blue are popular enamel colours, while the most popular styles are heart- and egg-shaped jewellery boxes - especially in the US market, which takes about 50% of our exports," says Ho, adding that Europe, Canada, Hungary, the Philippines and Hong Kong are other important markets.
Worldlink sources its crystal from the Czech Republic and pewter from the Chinese mainland. On average, jewellery boxes cost US$3-10 each FOB Hong Kong for minimum order values of US$5,000 and 100 pieces per design, delivered 35-40 days after order confirmation.
The classic look is a favourite of 13-year-old Sunny Industries Co Ltd, which specialises in tableware, gifts and premiums in silver or chrome plate and stainless steel.
The company produces about 50,000 items per month in styles ranging from highly ornate and classic to functional and contemporary at its 50-70-worker, 3,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan.
There is an extensive array of tableware, including food warmers and table servers available in silver and chrome plate and glass, and stainless steel and glass.
Sunny also produces a wide range of elegant giftware ranging from candleholders to photo frames. "Our most popular products are candleholders and table warmers," notes sales manager H.M. Lam, adding that Sunny has no minimum order quantity requirement.
Examples of FOB Hong Kong unit prices include US$1-2 for a 3-inch ornate glass and silver-plated candleholder and US$2 for a 12-inch silver-plated tray, delivered 40 days after order confirmation.
Sunny, whose major export market is the US with more than 50% of business, sources metal from Japan and processes plating with materials from the UK.
Also specialising in silver-plated metal and stainless steel ware is 11-year-old Regent Silverware Mfg Ltd, which produces a wide array of food bakers and warmers, trays, candleholders, fruit baskets, servers, bar ware and accessories and tabletop home articles at its 600-worker, 12,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan. "Silver-plated ware is our biggest business and we produce a total of more than 600 articles off-the-shelf," explains director Wilson Lee.
Furthermore, some 65% of the company's business bears the Regent brand, with the remaining 35% for OEM. "Our most popular products are food bakers and warmers, of which we have some 30 design collections including Linear, Harmony, Euro, Atlanta and Frutti Tutti," notes Lee. "Most of our products are dishwasher-, oven-, microwave- and freezer-proof."
The company is always looking for new features to highlight its designs. "Our latest series uses leather accents with glass, silver plating and stainless steel, such as a warmer with leather-wrap handles," explains Lee.
He says this collection was launched successfully at the Frankfurt Ambiente Fair in February and the Hong Kong Houseware Fair in April.
Regent exports worldwide with major markets being Europe, with 35%, and the US with 25%. It sources glass liners from France, Italy and Brazil, stainless steel mainly from Japan and Germany, and other metals from Japan.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.30 for a napkin ring to US$20 for a twin warmer unit for minimum order values of US$5,000 per shipment delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
With such a range of choices, competitive prices and speedy delivery, Hong Kong is keeping a firm hold on its worldwide reputation for affordable, quality home decor and tabletop ware.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Regent Silverware Mfg Ltd
Sunny Industries Co Ltd
United Wilson Porcelain Fty