26 June 2008
Super Setting(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2008)
Photo Frames & Albums
Suppliers of photo frames and albums agree that creativity is a major focus of interest
With innovative designs and appealing features, the latest crop of photo frames and albums is set to extract picture-perfect smiles from satisfied consumers.
A good example of this is the range from Winson Metal Photo-Frames Ltd, which includes a wide choice of stand-up frames.
"Model 4RAP905, for instance, is made from zinc alloy with an antique-pewter finish," says Assistant Sales Manager Connie Kuan. "It also features a flower design around a 4x6-inch photo window."
Similar specifications apply to model 4RAP955, except that it has horizontal lines instead of floral pattern on the sides, Ms Kuan adds.
Silver-plated metal model 4RSS685, meanwhile, impresses with its gleaming surface and two rows of beads surrounding a 4x6-inch photo window. Similarly, the two-tone iron model 4RSM680, with silver and matt-silver plating and four rhinestone crystals as part of a ribbon pattern around the photo area, also catches the eye.
"Our products are hand-polished and lacquer-coated for protection and fit into the market's mid- to high-end range," Ms Kuan advises. "They all have elegant velvet backings."
Winson Metal's frames come in different colours, such as antique brass, gold, gun-metal, red, black, purple, green or blue. "In fact, we can make any colour," claims Ms Kuan. "And we do both OEM and ODM."
Another manufacturer of frames and albums, Chiangmai Int'l Dec Ltd, Part puts a premium on environmental protection, turning mulberry paper into earth-friendly products.
"We use just tree bark to make the paper," advises Managing Director Songwon Lanyose, explaining that the production does not involve any tree cutting.
He further advises that the firm uses natural materials whenever possible, and that "the natural touch makes our products unique".
Mr Lanyose adds the factory keeps machinery use to a minimum and prefers handmade products. "We do about 80% of the work by hand," he says. "Customers regard these products as handicrafts, and part of Asian culture."
One example is a ribbon-decorated, ivory-coloured frame with onion skin visible in its rough-texture paper. On another flower-adorned, light-orange frame, tiny circles of bark are glued to the surface.
Wedding album model WD298-2328, meanwhile, features a white cover embellished with a ribbon-and-bow, rubber-tree leaves and tiny flowers.
"The flowers are real, and come from a hill-tribe agricultural project sanctioned by the Thai king," notes Mr Lanyose.
Measuring 28x23cm, the album holds 4x6-inch photos with varying numbers of pages. An 18-page version, for example, is unit-priced at US$4.50 FOB Bangkok.
"We can create special OEM items for weddings, births, holidays or any other occasion," Mr Lanyose says.
For retro fans, workers at Fuzhou Lulu Art Crafts Co Ltd scrape cardboard frames with sandpaper to create an antique look. "The scratched finish is proving very successful," claims company owner Jocelyn Chou.
Among the firm's hot sellers are frames decorated with jute string, wood beads, porcelain buttons and imitation flowers. Of these, model LU-8110 holds two 4x6-inch pictures while LU-8111 accommodates one. They are unit-priced at US$2.00 and US$1.50 FOB Fuzhou respectively.
Another collection features polka dots, cardboard images of gifts and balloons, ribbons and tags with words such as "My First Birthday".
Each model in this range holds one 4x6-inch photo and costs US$1.50. A blue model, LU-8258-A, is meant for boys, and a pink model, LU-8258-B, for girls.
Fuzhou Lulu also offers unusual frames with clothes pegs on horizontal ribbons to hold five photos. "These frames double as memo boards," Ms Chou explains.
To encourage new creativity among photo keepers, Head Development Ltd offers scrapbook albums and kits. "With these kits, users can decorate album pages to suit their own ideas," explains Marketing Executive, Vicki Yeung.
The kits comprise stickers, tags, eyelets, ribbons, buttons and floral trims and other accessories to personalise and transform albums.
Kit model SB0751-88A, for example, provides the adornments for an album with 8x8-inch pages, while model SB0752-1212A fits 12x12-inch pages.
Special kits are available for different purposes, such as baby boys, baby girls and friendship. Others are planned for occasions such as St Valentine's Day, Christmas, Mother's Day, sporting events, graduations and birthdays.
Also based on festival themes are frames from Heng Tong Int'l Trading and Consulting Co, which are made from polyresin or ceramics.
Lots of love
Models 69882-35 and 69882-46, for example, are both red frames decorated with heart shapes which suit St Valentine's Day. The former has a cartoon-like girl gripping a flower basket and holds two 3.5x2.5-inch photos.
The latter, with the words "Love Forever", shows one 3.5x5-inch image. Both come with stands and sell for US$0.56 each FOB Hong Kong.
Among other products is stand-up model 1654, which boasts three-dimensional roses with leaves, stems and roots and a butterfly around a 2x3-inch photo opening. This frame costs about US$0.50 each.
"It is one of a flower series that also features carnations and other flowers in green, red, yellow, pink or other colours," says Manager Kan Ka Leung. "Within our limitations, we can create products in any shape."
Clearly, for buyers of the diverse assortment of well-designed and attractive photo frames and albums, hitting business targets is hardly a long shot.