1 Jan 2003
Straight From The Heart(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 01,2003)
Straight From The Heart
Bags Of Surprises
One Heart Greeting Cards Ltd
|The production of an innovative array of new musical greeting cards every three months has seen One Heart Greeting Cards Ltd stay ahead of emerging trends|
Born 14 years ago, One Heart Greeting Cards Ltd had an unlikely parent - Bestone Electronics. With the rise in popularity of musical greetings cards, Bestone soon found itself manufacturing more and more of the sound modules and decided there were obvious synergies between the two businesses.
"We were making the insides and thought it made good business sense to make the cards as well," recalls marketing manager Alice Lo, adding, "That decision led to the forming of One Heart, which has grown into a highly successful company."
One Heart maintains a head office in Hong Kong, and runs a 60,000-square-metre factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland employing more than 1,200 skilled workers.
"Electronic components still play a large part in many of our cards," says Lo, "but it's not just music anymore - now we have voice and lights as well."
The One Heart range has also expanded to include other paper products such as gift bags and wrapping paper associated with special occasions.
"Our major markets are Europe and the US and, with so many special occasions, including Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, weddings and birthdays, we are kept very busy all year round," she says. "The only major occasion for which we do not offer cards is Chinese New Year."
The company sells directly to department and chain stores, importers and some of the world's best-known card publishing companies. "At One Heart, we place emphasis on quality, fresh ideas and innovative designs," says Lo.
"We have two teams of designers, one in Hong Kong and one on the mainland. Both teams include computer graphic designers and traditional painters to bring together the best of the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary."
New designs come out every three months, and keep the company ahead of emerging trends. "We are also very experienced at custom-making cards to client specifications," says Lo.
"Recently," she adds, "the focus has been on handmade cards and bags, which are our speciality. Making these items may take up to five times longer, but it's worth it as they are popular and sell very well."
Many of the intricate handmade designs have a real arts-and-crafts feel to them, with great textures and high-quality materials. Some use sponge and cardboard cutouts to create a 3-D effect, and others come with music and lights to add to the impact.
"We make many other types of greeting cards, too, and our metallic finish and pop-up versions remain highly popular. We also have a new range of cards called e-motion, with pictures that change as the card is opened," she explains.
With the support of the latest computerised technology, design and production functions meet consistently high standards.
One Heart is flexible, and tailors orders to suit individual customer needs. "A typical order might include at least 24 designs, and more than 3,000 pieces of each," says Lo, who is convinced excellent service is a key factor that keeps customers content.
WRITTEN BY ALISTAIR WADDELL
One Heart Greeting Cards Ltd
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