Another trade fair visit

These weeks many trade fairs are held in Hong Kong. They are just in time for companies ordering for their Christmas business. Alan and I went to a Houseware Fair and we could see lots of Christmas decoration. I must say I LOVE Christmas and seeing all these decorations, Christmas trees, Christmas candles etc. made me really looking forward to this year’s Christmas. Like every year, we will fly to Austria and celebrate Christmas with my family. Can’t wait to see them again and lots of snow and Christmas decoration.

Now, back to what I wanted to write about: We checked out that trade fair because we wanted to see if we can find anything interesting and maybe get a 2nd product range for our business. It is always wise to not just stick to one product range but to extend it and maybe even find a totally different product range for your business. I have a colleague from Germany who is exactly doing this. He is selling ducks (the ones for the bathtub) and he has another online shop selling cherrystones and other natural products.

We found 2 interesting products: One is a factory producing stickers. Stickers aren’t anything special, but they have wall stickers which can be stuck on a wall or any other big surface. It is great to decorate your room. They have designs for children rooms, adult bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen and so on. Some examples of designs: gorgeous flowers, Buddhas, Asian inspired themes and many more.

Wallsticker

I also found a factory who makes 3D stickers for decorating bathroom & kitchen tiles, cups, glasses, fridge, MP3 player, PSP, iPhone, iPod, mobile phone and many more. They are really cool because the quality is amazing and after sticking it for example on a tile it looks like it was printed on it, not just a sticker. And the 3D effect is really amazing too. We were totally surprised that a sticker can look like a print. With these stickers it will be easy to change your bathroom, kitchen or any of your decoration within seconds. You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on new tiles, glasses or whatever anymore. The stickers are even removable, so you can change the design as often as you want. Here is a photo of some examples, unfortunately you can’t see the quality:

3D Sticker

I hope we can find a way to produce and sell these products very soon. We can even make custom made designs. So anyone interested, please contact me by e-mail.

I have to admit I couldn’t resist when I saw all these gorgeous candles and ordered some samples for myself. That’s one of the advantages when you have a company, you can order free samples for yourself, but don’t tell anyone. ;-)

New delivery from Thailand arrived

Today we got a delivery from our factory in Thailand with lots of new Tenshi Neko bags. This time we also ordered some new items from Akuma Neko and Mimori. Both are new brands and were just released in Asia. Akuma Neko is the naughty boyfriend of Tenshi Neko, but really cute too. Mimori is a japanese girl who is always smiling and having fun. When my supplier sent me the newest catalog and I saw these bags, I just had to order them. Have a look at some of the bags here:

Akuma Neko bag
This is Akuma Neko, Tenshi Neko’s boyfriend.

Mimori bag
Mimori, the japanese cute girl.

Tenshi Neko bag
And one of the newest bags of Tenshi Neko.
Isn’t she cute as a little queen?

Voodoo Dolls Samples

A few days ago I found a factory for some cool voodoo dolls. I think they will fit perfectly into our collection and I am sure our customers will like them. The factory has hundreds of designs available but i think around 20-30 designs fit to our items. There are characters like Ninja, Devil, Angel, Dracula, Batman, Mummy, Killer, Wizard, Witch, Samurai, Pirate, Sagai, Demon and many more. Today I got some samples and here is a picture of them. Anyone interested in them, please contact me by e-mail. I will write an update here in my blog when we have them in our online shop for retail orders. They are available for wholesale orders from now on.

Voodoo Dolls

Stars Scarves samples arrived

Finally, I got the gorgeous stars scarves I was waiting for. There is a sample in black, white, pink and yellow. The colours are following the current trendy colours: black and white and the neon colours pink and yellow. The thin material is silky with some shiny silver threads. Looks great around the neck, on your bag or as a belt. Here is a picture of the 4 scarves:

Stars Scarves

Trade Fair visits

We are constantly on the lookout for new products. This year I decided to go to all trade fairs in Hong Kong that sound interesting. You never know what you will find. As I live in Hong Kong and there are so many international trade fairs here, I should take this chance and check them out.

Today, Alan and I went to the Gifts & Houseware Fair to look for some new ideas. And we really found some interesting things. Alan is really into ceramic knives and we found 2 factories who could manufacture them for us. I also found some factories for badges, cute fans, plastic accessories (mobile phone straps, bracelets etc.) and factories who produce blankets and doormats for one of my customers. Alan also found a company who makes iPhone skinz but unfortunately, their quality isn’t good enough for his expectations. He is doing a local chinese blog related to iPhone news, software etc. and always looking for new products that could be interesting to blog about.

For my my company modeS4u, the cute, kawaii-style fans and the badges could be interesting to add to our current collection. Here are some pictures of the fans, aren’t they cute?

cute fans
cute fans
cute fans

Olympic Games getting on my nerves

This year’s Olympic Games are really starting to annoy me. First the stupid changes of the visas, then there is every few minutes a TV spot about the Olympics on TV, doesn’t matter if the ad is about food, credit cards, banks or any other industry. When you walk around Hong Kong you can see every few meters some advertisement on the walls. This was still bearable but today’s events changed my mind:

As usual, I planned to go to work in the morning. My husband just left half an hour ago and now it was my turn to get on the bus and drive to the office. In the elevator I recognized a letter mentioning something about “Olympig Games”, “torch relay“, “rehearsal” and “bus service cancelled”. As our elevator is quite quick, although I live on the 30th floor, I couldn’t really get the whole meaning and left the lobby. At the bus stop people were waiting for the buses as usual so I thought, nothing is wrong. But then the bus arrived and the bus driver said something in chinese. I could see that the people were confused and got on the bus. Then it was my turn and I asked, what’s going on? As usual, he couldn’t speak English and just said something like “no bus” and “ferry”. So I went on the bus and we drove back to the ferry pier on the island. There I had to wait around 15mins and I used the time to talk to a guy there to ask if there is any extra bus service from the ferry pier to the MTR (subway) station. He said “No”.

Now I was angry. First of all, they weren’t able to hang up this letter a few days in advance so that everyone could prepare for it, second they didnn’t prepare any extra busses. I decided to call the management office of our estate (Park Island) and ask what’s going on. I talked to 3 ladies, each claiming that they speak English (well the first one didn’t and gave up quickly, the other 2 were just below ok). I found out that there is a rehearsal of the torch relay for next week and they closed down the Tsing Ma bridge. I can’t believe it. People from the airport and anyone else wouldn’t be able to get to Hong Kong Island or Kowloon for hours. I tried to ask why the hell they didn’t hang up this stupid information in advance. I came home the day before at night and there was definitely no paper there. They claimed they hang it up. Yeah sure…..

Finally, I got on the ferry and there was a bus service from the ferry pier to Tsuen Wan MTR station. I still had to take the MTR back to Kwai Fong and I lost around 1.5 hours just because of that stupid torch relay. :-(

I can’t wait till the Olympic Games are over…

2nd order

Wow, today we received already our 2nd order from our new online shop. Another lady from Germany bought our Tenshi Neko bags. They are our top sellers on eBay as well. Keep ordering people and you will make me happy ;-)

Tenshi Neko bag

Visa problems

I planned to go to the Canton Fair in Guangzhou / China this coming weekend to look for new suppliers. Now, the Chinese government just changed the rules for foreigners visiting China.

The usual procedure is: you go to the border, fill out an application form at the visa office, wait around 10min and you have your visa (single entry). Even better, you can go to a special travel agent in Hong Kong and apply for a multiple-entry 1-year visa. I got that one before, just took 2-3 days and you can go to China as often as you wish.

As the Olympic games are approaching, the Chinese government gets more and more worried about bad publicity (for example the disaster in Tibet) and therefore secretly changed the rules. Even worse, they didn’t announce this news to the public. Hong Kong reporters called to the Beijing goverment department and asked what happened. They denied that anything changed. But the point is, you can’t get any multiple entry visas anymore. Only single and double entry and only in a very complicated way (embassy, etc.). Furthermore, many people confirmed, that they even couldn’t get a single-entry visa at the border or at the travel agent anymore! It was said, that the rules will change back after the Olympic Games are over.

Ok, if the Chinese goverment is doing such stupid ridiculous games with us foreigners, I won’t be going to the trade fair. I don’t want to risk to get stranded at the border and have to return without going to the trade fair. Luckily, for me it’s not such a big deal as I seldom go to China anyway, but I know of many people who do business by going to China a few times per week. Their financial income is on a great risk now and I have heard of some husbands who have to stay longterm in China now and can only come back once in a while to see their families. What a mess! These Olympic games are really starting to annoy me :-(

Business Opportunities with GMtee?

Today, Don from GMtee came by at my office to say hi. I found his blog on the internet and contacted him as he is doing something similar like me here in Hong Kong. He is the owner of the brand “GMtee” and also has his own online shop and eBay shop. They are selling Asian inspired clothes with prints like dragons, Buddhas, Ninjas, famous chinese warriors etc. Don is an expat like me living in Hong Kong, but he came to Hong Kong much earlier than me (ok, he is older too). We met to discuss a possible business collaboration and to get to know each other better.

We came up with some interesting ideas how we can support each other’s business, for example

  • promote each other’s online shop in our newsletters to our customers (wholesale/retail)
  • exchange banner/link in our online shops
  • exchange flyers which we will pack into the parcels for our customers

Furthermore, we could also collaborate manufacturing our own designs at factories in China. He has a very good relationship with a factory who produces high quality t-shirts, sweaters and long sleeve shirts for him. He brought 2 shirts for me to check out the quality. I have to say, the quality is really incredible good (very soft, heavy cotton) and the print is a high quality print as well (thick, soft print). So we could share the MOQ (minimum order quantity) for the t-shirt material.

I think we small business owners should support each other and help where we can. Anyone else interested in a business collaboration with my company? If yes, email me.

GMtee T-Shirt
I got this cute t-shirt from GMtee

Business Card Lost

A few days ago, I wrote that I found a new factory which can make some really nice scarves with stars on them. Well, after we left the trade fair we found out that the business card from that company was not here anymore. I can’t explain how could that have happened as we tacked it to a catalog as a precaution. Anyway, as I was so excited about these scarves I went to the trade fair once more today and got another business card from them. Let’s hope it was worth the extra trip and we can sell lots of them. ;-)

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