1 Sept 2006
Ever Inventive(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2006)
Chung Fat Jewellery Ltd
|Chung Fat Jewellery Ltd specialises in 9K and 18K gold and 925 sterling silver diamond jewellery and premium gift items|
Almost 30 years' experience in the jewellery manufacturing industry is obviously helping Chung Fat Jewellery Ltd when it comes to introducing new ideas.
Recently, for example, the company added premium gift items to its repertoire of 9K and 18K gold and 925 sterling silver diamond jewellery. "From our research we noticed that very few jewellery manufacturing companies were producing premium items and thought it could be a profitable area in which to expand," explains founder and director Nico Lee.
"Items such as the silver bookmark with a cubic zirconia pendant and sterling silver mobile phone chain have been well- received by our premium gift clients."
Established in 1978, the company has carved out a successful track record as a mainly OEM manufacturer with a penchant for adding new dimensions to its processes.
"In the early days we made jewellery incorporating freshwater pearls," Lee explains, noting that the company focused on producing silver items as stiff competition from Chinese mainland companies began to squeeze profit margins.
"In addition to rings, pendants, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, we also moved into manufacturing body jewellery when the body-decorating trend became popular a few years ago," says Lee, adding that the body jewellery market had now reached a peak.
Ten years ago Chung Fat expanded its production line to include cubic zirconia jewellery that met demand from the low-end of the market, and two years later began to produce and sell loose machine- and hand-cut cubic zirconia and synthetic coloured stones.
The company currently sources silver, gold and raw cubic zirconia from the Chinese mainland and diamonds from India to service its ever-evolving product range.
"Each time we see a chance of expanding our product line or service we seize the opportunity," proclaims Lee. "We have been meeting the needs of the same clients for decades."
His daughter Karman now looks after customer service activities while he concentrates on designing and expanding the premium-gift segment of the business.
Lee claims Chung Fat's extensive experience also ensures that the firm meets the diverse demands of consumers in different markets who appreciate different features. "As fashions change ever more frequently, there is an increasing demand for affordable fashion jewellery to enhance the latest styles and colours," he notes.
"We are always prepared to listen to customers' requests and work with them to develop items that meet their price-point specifications," Lee claims, pointing out that key aims include the provision of good quality products that meet client expectations and excellent service from order placement to delivery.
According to Lee, each market has different needs that must be reflected in the design and finish. "For example," he explains, "Europe requires simple, elegant designs while the US demands larger, chunky items."
The company's customers include wholesalers, importers, department and chain stores, with 50% of sales to volume buyers in Europe and the US and the remainder shared between Australia, Japan and Spain.
He explains that FOB Hong Kong prices vary according to the cost of the material and the level of workmanship required. "We mainly manufacture low-end to mid-priced goods, and very little for the top-end of the market," Lee says. "For example, silver-plated brass is relatively inexpensive while 925 sterling silver and 18K gold with diamonds obviously cost more."
From a fledgling company that began with five staff members, Chung Fat Jewellery has grown to the point where it now employs more than 250 workers.
Production takes place at the company-owned factory in eastern Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland. "Our clients appreciate the fact that we are not located in a cluster of jewellery-producing factories," says Lee, adding that the location of the factory means there is less chance of clients' products being copied.
"Minimum orders depend on the materials used and the amount of workmanship involved, but delivery is usually 4-6 weeks after order confirmation."
In a fast-changing industry, Chung Fat Jewellery Ltd appears to have all the options covered and is clearly committed to giving its clients exactly what they want.
WRITTEN BY CHRIS DAVIS