New San-X delivery arrived today

Today we got a really huge San-X delivery from Japan. It was very big, as you can see on the pictures. We had a little fun with it before unpacking. For example Lok – one of  our packing fairies – could just hide perfectly behind it. Okay, we have to admit that she is rather short anyway, but still the size of the delivery was impressive. Even for us and we get deliveries all the time. So what was in the boxes you want to know? Cute stuff of course. Especially tons of memo pads, notebooks and stationery with all our good friends from Rilakkuma to Kamonohashikamo and Kireizukin. We’ll add the new stuff to our online shop as soon as possible, but it will take a few days. Here’s already a glimpse of what you will find.

New San-X delivery arrived today

New San-X delivery arrived today

Lok hiding behind the boxes

Lok hiding behind the boxes

a first look of what was in the boxes

a first look of what was in the boxes

cute memo pads and notebooks with Rilakkuma

cute memo pads and notebooks with Rilakkuma

stationery in different sizes, formats and designs

stationery in different sizes, formats and designs

also new stuff from the 'Rilakkuma meets honey' collection

also new stuff from the'Rilakkuma meets Honey' collection

Photographer Interviews

We are looking for a photographer for our company at the moment because we have so many new products coming in almost daily and we have trouble catching up with taking photos of all of them. Therefore, we decided to hire a photographer who will be lucky to take photos of cute products all day long. Who doesn’t want such job? I would definitely do it if I wouldn’t be so busy with other things in our company. We will be busy interviewing candidates all day long. Keeping our fingers crossed that we will find someone quick.

some of the products waiting to have their photo taken

some of the products waiting to have their photo taken

Moving our office and warehouse

This weekend we were moving our office from Kwai Fong to Fo Tan. It took us 3 days to move because we had so much stuff, especially so many products to move. We also had to be very careful with packing the products to make sure nothing gets broken, bent or crushed. It was a really exhausting weekend but we finally made it. Thanks to all our friends who helped us moving, without them we couldn’t have done it. Now we have a much bigger office and warehouse with lots of space for new cute products for our shop :-) Here are some pictures I took during our move:

before the move

before the move

our office was quite cramped already

our office was quite cramped already

my office table was befind a shelf filled up with bags

my office table was befind a shelf filled up with bags

our move has officially started

our move has officially started

slowly shelves are getting empty

slowly shelves are getting empty

Lok was busy packing products into boxes

Lok was busy packing products into boxes

we packed most products in big boxes from the Hong Kong Post

we packed most products in big boxes from the Hong Kong Post

the office is almost empty

the office is almost empty

waiting for the elevator

waiting for the elevator

Alan is disassembling the furniture

Alan is disassembling the furniture

in the evening we had a nice dinner with everyone helping us together

in the evening we had a nice dinner with everyone helping us

Thanks for helping guys!!!

Thanks for helping guys!!!

Signing the new contract

Today we signed the new contract for our bigger office I was writing about a couple of days ago. We are really excited about this move because we ran out of space in our current office and we plan to stock a lot more products. Signing the contract was quite some torture for me because the landlord is an elderly Chinese man who doesn’t speak a single word English. Additional, he was super slow with reading all the docouments, signing etc. and he had lots of very strange requests. For example, he took a photo of the keys and started to explain to Alan every single key (of course he mixed them up and struggled to identify them). I was so dumbfounded, I had to take a photo. My butt was hurting because I was sitting on a cheap chair for a whole hour already. I was so glad when this whole procedure was over and we finally had the keys. Next week we will move our office. I will definitely take some photos for you guys again.

explanation of each single key

explanation of each single key

now, which one is which one??? hahaha

now, which one is which one??? hahaha

Looking for a new office

Our office lease is almost finished and we are looking for a new, bigger place to rent. We were checking out many places, most were unacceptable because too dirty/ugly/old or too overpriced. It is really hard to find a suitable, nice looking office in Hong Kong. Rent is ridiculously high in Hong Kong and the office quality often pretty poor. However, today we were lucky and found the right place. It is in Fo Tan, an industrial district of Hong Kong and conveniently located near the highway and the train station. The office is 3 times as big as our current office but we really need the bigger space. Here are some pictures we took today:

this is the new office space

this is the new office space

we have windows along 2 sides of the office which is very nice

we have windows along 2 sides of the office which is very nice

the entrance to the boss office

the entrance to the boss office

this room needs lots of work done before we can move in

this room needs lots of work done before we can move in

unfortunately it comes with this ugly cupboard

unfortunately it comes with this ugly cupboard

Decorating our office with deco tapes

Today, we had some fun decorating our office furniture with some of our cute and fun deco tapes. We used the tapes to decorate our shelves, tables and computer monitors. It was really fun! There are so many creative ways to use those deco tapes and we think our furniture looks so much better now ;-)

one of our computer monitors decorated with Rilakkuma tape

one of our computer monitors decorated with Rilakkuma tape

fabric shelf with deco tape decoration

fabric shelf with deco tape decoration

we used a different deco tape for each shelf

we used a different deco tape for each shelf

close up of one shelf

close up of one shelf

froggy deco tape

froggy deco tape

San-X deco tape

San-X deco tape

decorating our office table

decorating our office table

cute pink deco tape along the side of our packing table

cute pink deco tape along the side of our packing table

Debika Japan visits our office

Today Sonny, who is the Sales Manager from Debika Japan, came to visit us in our office. He flew from Japan to Hong Kong just to visit us and show us their newest products. Isn’t that nice of him? Debika is making lots of clay products which we are very interested in selling. Right now, we only sell one of their clay sets. With this set you can make your own jewelry charms using clay and some cute accessories.
But Debika has a lot more to offer including making your own erasers, soap, pottery + they have all the necessary accessories like molds, whipped cream clay, rhinestones and something really awesome: fragrances! You can use those small bottles to drip some liquid on to your finished project and it smells like maple, vanilla, chocolate or any of the other fragrances they have. I tested the maple fragrance, it smelled so good! Sonny told us that they use real food ingredients, so if you are hungry, you can even eat it ;-)
He also showed us some new products which will come out next month. The items I am most excited about are some clay finishes. You can make your clay look like wood, or a stone-finish, or a rough street look, metallic look etc. It really looks awesome. We are very excited to start working with Debika together and sell their products in our shop. I will keep you informed here on our blog once the products are available in our shop. Stay tuned for more news!

Sonny and me and lots of clay products

Sonny and me and lots of clay products

Mentorship Programme

I got a letter from the Trade and Industry Department Hong Kong that they are organizing a mentorship programme for small and medium businesses. They find a suitable mentor for companies to help them and guide them through difficult decisions and future business plans. I was looking for something like that for ages! It would be so great to be able to talk to an experienced entrepreneur about our business and maybe get some tipps what we could improve or should change and how we can expand our business faster. The requirements are quite simple: you need to have a Hong Kong company, established for less than 5 years and have fewer than 20 employees. As we fulfill all requirements I immediately filled out the form and sent it out today. I do hope we will get a mentor who we can talk to about our business and trust him/her as well. I will definitely write about this mentorship programme again once I have some news.

Meeting with Kokka in Hong Kong

We work with Kokka fabrics closely together, of course it helps that they have an office in Hong Kong. ;-) Therefore, we have a very good business relationship with them and visit their office every once in a while to talk in person, discuss future plans and collaborations and give them some feedback we received from our customers regarding their fabrics. Today’s meeting was very important for us because we wanted to discuss the sales of Kokka fabrics in Germany. When we started working with them they told us that some fabrics are not allowed to Germany because another company has the exclusive import rights for those. We agreed to that and followed their rules. After 2 years we became a very good customer for them and they decided to review this arrangement. Alan and I went to their office to discuss this issue. The meeting was very successful, we are now allowed to sell almost all Kokka fabrics to Germany. We are very happy about that and our customers must be even more happy. I got countless emails before asking why we cannot sell those fabrics to Germany.

After the meeting we had a Chinese lunch together with the boss and one more staff and chatted about business, travelling to Japan and other topics. It’s nice when you know your suppliers in person and also know something private about them. It is a lot more fun doing business like that.

Visit from Push Pin Japan

We met Push Pin at the Gift Show in Tokyo this year. Their English was not so good so we agreed with them that they will contact us again with an English speaking contact person. Today Brian, who is from Hong Kong and is taking care of their production in China, visited us to talk more detailed about their products and their different collections. He also brought some really cute catalogues. We actually do sell Push Pin’s fabric made by Kokka in Japan in our shop already, but they make a lot of other cute products as well, like memo pads, sticker, keychains, wallets, bags and many many more. They have a matryoshka line, fairy tale line, kitty line and others. Their items are really adorable and we want to sell more of their products in our shop. They would fit perfectly with our other items.

The funny thing is that they have a collection  called “November Books” which is about the German fairy tales and they use some German words on their designs. Sometimes those sentences are wrong or just sound very funny. I guess its the same everywhere when people use other languages because they are “fashionable”. My English must also sound funny sometimes as my mother tongue is German, not English. ;-)

Here are a few pages of the new Push Pin catalogue 2011:

Push Pin stationery catalogue

Push Pin stationery catalogue

cute memo pads from Japan

cute memo pads from Japan

wallets and bags made with Push Pin fabric

wallets and bags made with Push Pin fabric

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