Archive for the ‘HKTDC’ Category

A Silver Buying Trip to Hong Kong’s Famous Jewelry Fair

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Not that long ago, I, Jan Brassem, escorted a bunch of American jewelers to the awsome 80,000 square ft. Hong Kong Convention and Exibition Center. (The Center, with its wing shaped roof is in the background in the picture at left.) It was March and the jewelry ‘Fair’ was in town.

The Fair, and the beautiful Centre, has grown to be the largest jewelry show in the world (so they say). This was my 15th trip and it was obvious – to me anyway — that the extravaganza gets bigger and better every year.


I had been guiding a group of American  jewelers around the Fair — and Hong Kong — on a “Sourcing Mission” — as I do from time to time. Their first impression of Hong Kong was shock enough, but nothing compared to their ‘wide-eyed’ astonishment of the Fair.

I even arranged for several jewelers to meet with manufacturers, outsidehk-street (1) the Centre, in an effort for them to develop a few long-term vendor/supplier relationships.

It was time to fly home. We picked up our custom made suits and shirts — and other oriental “souvenirs” — and headed for the airport. The Hong Kong Airport Express, by the way, is one of the best and, hold on to your hat, fastest in the world.

I was in my American Airlines seat, not particularly happy to sit — in one place — for 22+ hours during the flight home. Fortunately, I was sitting next to Bill, a second-generation jeweler from northern Michigan. We had an airline meal (tasted like a Brillo pad), saw a movie, read a magazine and had – sigh — only 19 hours to go.

Bill took out his laptop and started writing a Trip-Report to his Dad. When he finished, he let me read it. I thought you may find it interesting too.

                                                      INTEROFFICE MEMO

To: Bill, Sr.
From: Bill, Jr.
Subject: Hong Kong Sourcing Mission, March 4-7
Date: Martch 8.

Our first effort in buying direct form overseas was, I think, quite successful, (but very tiring). I will email you this Memo during my stopover in LA. I’ll go into detail when I get to the office next week.

Here are the some points.

1. The jewelry styling was wonderful. I never realized that each geographic region has a different design look. I thought Bali, Middle Eastern and Indian styling was especially noteworthy.

2. I spent a good deal of time with seventeen manufacturers. I bought 42 samples which will be FEDEX’d within 2 weeks. Of those 17, I had lunch with five, who could fit into our future.

3. The prices here are generally terrific — not surprising since these are manufactures’ prices. I saw several styles that we carry and, as far as I can tell, are about 45% below what we now pay.

“The prices ..I saw…here are generally teriffic….about 45% below what we now pay”

4. I also met with six smaller factories who were not exhibiting at the Fair. They seemed more innovative and eager.

5. I gave the fifteen drawings and ideas, that Sue developed and gave me before I left, to several factories. The designs will be a great nucleus for our new Brand. The factories will design them from scratch via their CAD system as soon as possible. They will be ours exclusively.

6. I know you expressed concern about their quality. I gave them our Quality Control Standards Manual. They also showed me their customer list and even some of the styles they were about to ship to the States. I don’t think quality will be a problem.

I’ll fill you in on their invoicing, payment and delivery schedules when I get back. Now that I know my way around here, this should be quicker and cheaper next year.