9 Oct 2007
Little Luxuries(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2007)
Coin & Key Holders
|Beauty Art Industrial Ltd's small leather goods such as this selection of animal print coin and key holders are popular in Italy and Japan|
They are awesome organisers that help everyone manage their day, which makes them perennially popular best sellers the world over
An elegant purse to hold loose coins, and a holder to keep all the house or office keys in one handy place, are among life's little luxuries that most consumers crave.
But form and function are equally important when it comes to crafting quality leather coin and key holders, as shown by Hong Kong's stylish offerings in a range of rich leathers and colours.
DeYoung Leather Co fashions its key holders and coin purses from natural and dyed cowhide. "We use both aniline and pigment dyes for the dyed leather," says President and Founder DeYoung Shih, adding that crocodile leather accounts for "a small percentage" of the firm's output.
The 12-year-old company manufactures approximately 20,000 key holders and coin purses per month at its ISO 9002-certified factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. "We used to mass-produce but now we make small quantities because we want better quality and higher value," Mr Shih explains.
DeYoung maintains an inventory of 10 key holder models and a similar number of coin purses priced from US$2-15 FOB Hong Kong per piece.
The OEM/ODM firm favours classic styles with no decorative metal extras, and utilises leather sourced from Italy, Korea, Taiwan and locally.
Stitching either matches the colour of the leather or can be sewn in contrasting colours, Mr Shih explains, noting that men's and women's models and matched sets are available. "Eighty per cent of our output is exported to Europe and 20% to the US," he says.
Minimum order is 300 pieces each for both key holders and coin purses, and shipments are on their way 45-60 days after the order is confirmed.
Even younger, two-year-old Crescent Leather Products Ltd is the Hong Kong-based arm of Crescent Tanneries Ltd, a fast-growing, well-equipped tannery which has been operating in Bangladesh for 30 years and produces a wide range of cow, goat and buffalo crust/finished leather.
"We are known for our basic, simple styles," claims Sales Manager Michael Fung. "Almost 90% of our products are handmade, and while we can make any colour, black and brown are the preferred choices."
Typical of the 15 styles of key holders and zippered coin purses that Crescent makes is a model containing six key hangers that closes with a snap button.
Both key holders and coin purses sell for US$2.00-2.50 FOB Bangladesh per piece for a minimum order of 500 pieces, with delivery to markets worldwide 30 days after order confirmation.
Although primarily an OEM/ODM company, the firm plans to set up its own shops in Hong Kong and the mainland next year selling wallets, handbags and key holders/coin purses under its Nodi brand name. "Ten new key holder and coin purse models will also be added by the end of this year," Mr Fung adds.
Committed to producing equally high-quality leather goods, Beauty Art Industrial Ltd's traditional strength has been in manufacturing small leather goods.
Key holders and coin purses account for about 60% of total production of 80,000 pieces per month at Beauty Art's 30,000-square-foot mainland factory in Foshan, which meets TQM standards
One new unisex key holder/coin purse set is made of light-coloured calf hide with dyed black spots. "It's selling well, especially in Japan," reports General Manager Kenneth Ching.
Prices start from US$8 per piece for key holders and US$10 for coin purses, which can be made of other materials including lambskin, cowhide, goat, kid, sheep, crocodile and python.
"Cowhide is our best seller because it costs less," says Mr Ching. Unit prices for cowhide items range from US$3-4 for key holders and US$5 for coin purses.
Natural leather colours are preferred by most customers, but bright colours are popular for women's models in Japan, which currently accounts for 60% of sales.
"Our designs aren't too fancy and don't have too many pockets, but every item has some metal decoration in stainless steel or brass," Mr Ching explains, adding that minimum orders of 500 pieces per style are normally delivered 30 days after order confirmation.
Colour contrast is the cutting edge of fashion for key holders and coin purses made of calf leather from Worldwide Marketing Concepts Ltd. "We want to make our key holders and coin purses brighter and happier," says Business Manager Rico Law.
Dyed colours such as blue or yellow are combined with natural leather for an eye-catching two-tone effect by the 29-year-old firm, which still has plenty of browns and blacks for its more conservative customers.
About 70% of the 5,000 key holders and coin purses that the company produces each month at its mainland factory in Guangzhou fall into the latter category.
Each sells for HK$30-40 per piece for a minimum order of 500 pieces per item, which are delivered to Europe and the US 30-45 days after order confirmation.
Worldwide Marketing recently began experimenting with key holders and coin purses made of various fabrics such as canvas. "Leather is traditional, but fabrics offer trendier and more fashionable designs," Mr Law explains.
Whatever the need, from traditional to trendy, Hong Kong has the right styles and the right materials to create those little luxuries that meet every buyer's needs.
TEXT BY PEARL KINCAID
Beauty Art Industrial Ltd
Rm 24B, On Dak Ind Bldg
2-6 Wah Sing St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Crescent Leather Products Ltd
Rm 1108, HSH Mong Kok Plaza
794 - 802 Nathan Rd
DeYoung Leather Co
Rm 1306, International Trade Centre
11-19 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Faith & Kind Ltd
Units 8-9, 12/F
26 Hung To Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon