20 March 2006
Shining Star(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2007)
Diamond Ray Jewellery Ltd
|Diamond Ray Jewellery Ltd's original designs and intricate workmanship are popular worldwide|
Success clearly breeds success when it comes to Diamond Ray Jewellery Ltd, which was founded in 1996 to diversify the business of mother company Hong Kong Universal Jewellery Ltd.
Hong Kong Universal has more than five decades of expertise in the business explains the director of both companies, K.B. Leung, who started as an apprentice with Hong Kong Universal some 40 years ago.
He clearly recalls the day when Hong Kong Universal debuted as a small workshop engaging in simple processing jobs for the local retail market.
"We gradually built our export business and our Hong Kong factory grew until the 1980s, when we were among the many local manufacturers that moved their production facilities to the Chinese mainland," he recollects.
Hong Kong Universal mostly served the high-end market, crafting rings priced from US$500 to more than US$50,000 per piece and brooches and necklaces that cost anywhere from US$30,000-200,000 per item.
However, with enquiries and orders for lower-price items pouring in, the Hong Kong Universal management team began to consider exploring another market segment.
"Eventually we decided to start Diamond Ray in order to broaden our business," Leung explains. "This was also essential to offer a clear-cut direction and image for both companies in style, taste and pricing."
So Diamond Ray began offering jewellery pieces, encompassing rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings with price tags that ranged from US$100-10,000 per item.
"But it has not been as easy as anticipated," admits Leung, "especially with traditional customers who often got confused at the beginning."
Diamond Ray therefore beefed up its promotional and marketing efforts by placing advertisements in trade magazines, participating in local and international trade fairs and proactively visiting buyers overseas.
As a result, Diamond Ray is now a well-established worldwide presence with its major market in the US, thanks, Leung believes, to its original designs.
"Diamond Ray offers beautiful jewellery with intricate workmanship, using S.I.-grade diamonds and other gems like sapphires and rubies, which are all imported from India," he notes.
These are crafted at a 500-worker, 12,000-square-foot factory in Panyu in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland that handles the production for both Hong Kong Universal and Diamond Ray.
An experienced creative team creates a wide array of glittering collections to meet the tastes of the various different markets Diamond Ray serves.
"Americans prefer designs with bolder lines and jewellery is worn as a daily accessory, so our designs for them are easy-to-wear and durable," Leung notes.
Middle East customers, meanwhile, relish necklace, bracelet, ring and earring sets that marry Middle East flavour with Continental flair.
"European versions are stylishly contemporary, while for Asian customers we create refined and sophisticated selections that are good value for money," Leung claims.
Diamond Ray's designers ensure they keep abreast of global market and product trends by travelling with the company's marketing team to overseas trade fairs.
"Even though there are many magazines and other sources of information, it is very different to be on site to hear from buyers' mouths and gain a first-hand understanding of exactly what they need," stresses Leung.
According to Leung, coming trends will focus on the play of colour. "Gemstones in different colours like pink, yellow, orange and brown will be combined with black gold, red gold or yellow gold to create really vibrant colourful designs," he predicts.
Reflecting his assessment, the latest designs from Diamond Ray include elegant white and yellow gold jewellery sets with yellow and white diamonds, featuring sparkling necklaces with dangling strands as well as stylish brooches in maple leaf and floral motifs.
Leung also predicts the return of yellow-gold jewellery. "White-gold jewellery has been in vogue for nearly 20 years and I believe yellow gold will come back gradually, playing a bigger role each year."
Whatever happens in days to come, Diamond Ray clearly has a bright future as it plans to launch its own brand and thus repeat the success of its mother company by establishing its own highly successful presence in the world market.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Diamond Ray Jewellery Ltd