1 March 2002
Creations For All Seasons(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2002)
Creations For All Seasons
Trade Development Council
Champagne Jewelry Mfr Ltd
|Each month Champagne Jewelry Mfr Ltd produces thousands of fine platinum and 9-14K gold items featuring diamonds and coloured stones.|
To the contrary, each month Champagne produces up to 20,000 pieces of fine platinum and 9-14K gold items featuring diamonds and coloured stones.
Fashion describes the designs.
"In my world, fashion jewellery means items that are fashionable. We like to follow fashion, and we make jewellery that corresponds to what people wear and the different seasons," says Chan.
For Spring 2002, Champagne has created a line of colourful, busy and attractive pieces reflecting the seasonal change from winter to summer.
"We used more brown, orange and yellow natural fancy-coloured diamonds, blue and fancy-coloured sapphires, and designs with brightly coloured man-made crystals. We believe our customers will appreciate more colour. Our pieces provide a breath of fresh air after the long hard winter," Chan says.
Carved flowers in strong-coloured materials like lapis lazuli also contribute to the theme of spring and nature.
Chan and his brother Dick established Champagne Jewelry two years ago to make fine jewellery for global export. They previously operated a jadeite trading business and a company exporting jadeite jewellery to Taiwan.
The Chan brothers chose the debut of a new millennium to develop their business internationally. Using their experience and knowledge of jewellery manufacturing, they set out to serve a wider clientele.
Champagne sends 60% of its exports to the US, 30% to Europe and the remainder to the Middle East. The brothers travel widely to exhibit at major trade shows, meeting customers and learning more about demand. Such information is invaluable when designing new lines.
The company scans markets for any signs of rebounding demand for yellow gold. White gold has dominated the market recently. Despite some companies predicting change, Peter Chan believes white will continue to shine in the short term.
"We do note some switch back to yellow gold. For some new styles this year, we will make one sample in yellow and one in white gold," he says.
Champagne's main selling points are design and workmanship. The company makes jewellery priced at US$20-20,000 FOB Hong Kong, but specializes in items at US$1,000-5,000. Most are 18K white gold earrings, rings and pendants with diamonds of VVS to SI clarity.
"We concentrate on good design and on workmanship using quality materials. Our products are unique. Customers often say the quality compares to jewellery made in Europe, especially Italy. In fact, we try to surpass Italian goods at much better prices," says Peter Chan.
WRITTEN BY JOHNNY EDISON
Champagne Jewelry Mfr Ltd
Among the recent winners of 2001 Hong Kong Trade Development Council Certificates of Merit in Export Marketing was Legend Jewelry Co Ltd. We present a profile of this outstanding company here.
Legend Jewelry Co Ltd
|A strong in-house product development team ensures that Legend Jewelry Co Ltd can offer innovative items.|
LEGEND Jewelry Co Ltd's step-by-step growth from small beginnings in 1992 into an exporter of innovative jewellery products is a testament to the business acumen of its founder, Patrick Luk.
Luk began Legend at age 32 after working in the jewellery industry for 15 years, first as a craftsman and then in marketing. "It was a progressive step to start my own business. I worked for other people, accumulated experience and then decided to give it a try," he recalls.
Now Luk's three brothers help him to manage a company employing 1,000 workers in Kunming on the Chinese mainland. Each month the company produces about 30,000 pieces of medium-range to medium-high-end jewellery for export.
"We focus on a price range of US$150-500 FOB per piece. Most sales involve diamond jewellery designed in-house and cater to mass-market American tastes. Although the designs are traditional, we try to add a little something new - like a touch of millgraining on the metal surface," says Luk.
The US, Canada and the Caribbean Islands account for 96% of total sales. Legend sells directly to retailers and has strong relations with 70% of North America's jewellery retail chain stores.
"We started with small orders and built up trust," Luk says, explaining that selling to retail chains is demanding because they expect a high degree of quality and service consistency.
Legend operates a marketing arm in New York (Legend Jewelry USA) and has a marketing agent (Int'l Jewelry Connection) in Seattle.
"Some companies prefer to order from us in Hong Kong. Others want us to service them in the US like a domestic company, in which case we ship our merchandise to New York," says Luk.
Legend aims to create innovative products and recently launched a popular tanzanite series of coloured gemstones, a collection with invisible settings and a pastel coloured line.
Research and development also plays an important role. Legend has invested heavily in equipment to enhance quality and efficiency. The company has eight stone-grooving machines, a 3D computerized wax spray model-maker and a Streamliner, which is used for post-casting polishing.
Plans call for a larger factory and moving Chinese mainland production closer to Hong Kong to better integrate the company.
For Luk, mainland accession to the World Trade Organization promises a vast new market. "I am confident our jewellery will win over Asians, just as it has North Americans," he says.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Legend Jewelry Co Ltd
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