6 July 2004
Photo Frames/Albums(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2004)
Cameras & Photographic
Chu Kwun Kee Metal Mfy Ltd uses silver-plated zinc alloy and wood rim metal to create these stylish photo frames
It might be old-fashioned to have framed portraits of loved ones on the sideboard, but this age-old practice remains popular. Hong Kong helps maintain this tradition with a great diversity of photo frames and albums.
One leading supplier is Asia Gravure Ltd, which has been in business since 1969. "We manufacture photo frames using aluminium and bonded leather," says marketing manager Alex Lee. "Popular items include photo frames combined with items of stationery. We also have a three-sided rotary penholder combined with a photo frame to add some novelty."
Besides photo frames, the company produces albums. A minimum order is either US$10,000 in value or 1,000 pieces per design, size and colour, and delivery takes 45-60 days after order confirmation and receipt of L/C.
Asia Gravure uses its own 21st Century brand name, and produces its range at a 1,500-worker, 400,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
A company with a new line of photo albums in synthetic leather is Tai Cheong Metal Plastic Mfy Ltd, established in 1990.
"Most of our photo frames are finished in zinc alloy or are silver plated, while the synthetic leather items are quite new. We showed the leather ones at the April Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair and they drew a lot of attention. We also offer aluminium, chrome, brass, matt silver, and zinc alloy pewter (and white pewter) plating in addition to rhinestone and crystal finishing," says marketing executive Mabel Chan.
The fair was a very busy time for the company: "Our photo frame clocks and photo albums attracted a lot of interest," she says.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for smaller (4x6 inch) albums holding 36 photos start at US$3. Unit prices for larger models start at US$4. Tai Cheong uses the TC brand or manufactures according to customers' requirements.
Major markets are Europe and the US, and a minimum order is 1,000 pieces for delivery in 30 days. Production takes place at an 80,000-square-foot, ISO 9001-certified, 400-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.
A long-established firm, Kei Fung Metalware Mfy Co Ltd, which began in 1977, produces all kinds of silverware.
"We started out making metal trays and did that for more than 20 years," says export manager Lawrence Yeung. "We then developed photo frames and albums, most of which we ship to Europe and the US."
Metal is sourced in Japan. "Working basically in tin plate or cold-rolled sheet, we finish the products in silver, chrome or nickel plating," says Yeung. Other finishes include two-tone matt nickel.
"We have more than 50 different styles and produce on an OEM basis for customers in Europe and the US. We also do any tooling," he says.
Production takes place at an 80,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland that employs 300 workers. A minimum order is either US$2,500 in value or one TEU, and delivery takes about 30 days after order confirmation.
When it comes to photo frames in wood, Bigfield Goldenford Holdings Ltd, established in 1982, offers handcrafted frames.
"Our big sellers are photo frames with wood borders," says sales executive Ivan Ho. "Albums with quality paper backing are also in good demand, and the leather-look is popular. We use PU rather than genuine leather, and artificial suede on other models. We also have albums with a paper-like look that are actually made from PU."
Bigfield also offers lines suitable for young people. "We produce a novelty puzzle photo frame and a photo board - all in wood," says Ho. "We also have classic picture frames with bevelled borders in antique gold that are suitable for paintings."
Main markets for Bigfield are Europe and the US, and delivery is 45-60 days after order confirmation. The firm has two factories on the Chinese mainland with a combined area of 100,000 square metres and a total workforce of about 8,000.
Established in 1972, Jingle Metal Products Co Ltd has a fine ring to its name. "We specialise in products that highlight the qualities of different metals," says marketing director Stephen Chow. "Currently, our brushed aluminium photo frames are selling well. We also have silver-plated frames in addition to brass, steel and cast metals (or zinc alloys). We also have photo frames with clocks and we even do acrylic models."
In addition to metal frames, this firm also uses a type of recycled leather to produce smart albums. "Any of our photo frames can be turned into albums," says Chow. "We also produce album boxes with felt lining, and we continually create new lines. Our full product range is huge."
Metals come from Japan and Australia, while the bonded leather comes from the US. A minimum order is 600 pieces per model and size - or US$5,000 per order value. Delivery takes 45-60 days, and major export markets are North America, Europe and South Asia. Production takes place at a 300,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland that employs about 1,000 people.
It's a positive print! For fine photo frames and albums, Hong Kong is the place to go.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Asia Gravure Ltd
Rm 401, Tower II
75 Mody Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Chu Kwun Kee Metal Mfy Ltd
CKK Ind Bldg
1 On Lok Mun St
Fan Ling, New Territories
Double Keen Industrial Ltd
Flat E, 4/F, Phase II
Superluck Ind Centre
57-63 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Tai Cheong Metal Plastic Mfy Ltd
Flat J, 9/F, Blk II
Golden Dragon Ind Centre
162-170 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories