Miracle called me about 6:00 AM (MST) knowing that out of everyone she knew, I’d be already be in the office. It was 8:00 PM there and she was ready to unload. She regrets she can’t find the cord to her camera because she says you won’t believe all she’s found otherwise, describing a whole suitcase filled with headers. She says the fabric shows we have stateside aren’t even fabric shows by comparison. She says it’s not even low costs that are the drivers but the range of selection. She says if she were a designer-designer, she’d spend two weeks here just to put a collection together; it’s worth it. She’s says most vendors will do sample cuts for a minimal fee (less than a dollar in addition to per meter cost of goods) cash and carry. She also described the quality of workmanship as exemplary citing examples such as piping the zipper edge of an inside pocket in a hand bag. We must be getting the bad stuff. If we’re hoping to compete on quality, we’d better step up to the plate rather than just talking about it. The good stuff will get here, sooner or later.
She loves the easy navigation of public transit; maps are well designed. Nearly all signage is in English and Cantonese so she’s not having difficulty transacting. While foot traffic is heavy on city streets (she says the people are really small, just imagine how crowded it’d be if they were our sized), you cross them underground.
A geek after my own heart, she’s in love with the phone book (I told her to take it with). She says there’s huge full color glossy ads for fabric suppliers and machinery. She says the luggage carts at the airport are sponsored by YKK. She loves the smart cards used to pay for everything (trains, food, you name it). You don’t have to swipe these (no magnetic strip); a chip is embedded so you don’t even have to take it out of your wallet; just lay the wallet on the device. Summary: these people take trade seriously.
I’m just glad she has children. Otherwise, from the sound of it, she’d never come back.
We’re all living vicariously through Miracle today . . .
I’ve already started looking at the cost of a visit. I have such a hard time finding the fabrics I really want to use for my collections, that it may be time to take the leap to Asia.
I have a Japanese friend who grew up in Tokyo and said she’d take me around there. Maybe we can go to HK together, too. It sounds so awesome!!!!! In so many ways!!!! I’m always trying to do my stuff with high quality and I like the idea of the purse pocket being piped. :-)
Sounds great! I can’t wait to learn enough Chinese to be able to go on holiday over there and not feel terrified.
Many people use Hong Kong as a starting point to the “mother of all trade shows” , the Canton Fair, held in Ghuangzhou province, October 15 th thru Oct 30 th. Once you obtain a Chinese visitor’s visa, you can drive or take the train(2.5 hrs). This is one serious show, covering many industries, including textiles and garments. It kind of boggles your mind.
If you find yourself running around Hong Kong and need a quick pick me up, I recommend high tea at the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon. I think it starts at 2.00 pm, ends at 5.00 pm, and be prepared to wait 5-10 minutes for a table. Another very civilized aspect of Hong Kong.
I’ll write about my adventures once I get some time to settle down. Irv, I was hoping you’d post. The Canton fair would probably blow me way. One year, if I could get time, I’d love to go to that and the satellite show in Hong Kong.
Thanks for the tip on tea at the Peninsula, I’ll try to get by.
Maybe we should organize a trip together? I am intrigued and would love to go with a group. We could be called the Fash-incs.
What sort of quantity do you have to buy to buy directly from china? I’d be very interested because I use only organic or hemp fabrics and I KNOW there are more interesting ones out there than Pickering and Enviro.
I have been dealing a lot with HK now. There communication has been excellent, a lot better than ALL of the USA based companies I have tried to deal with. HK has there huge trade fair in which they were offering up all kinds of incentives to go to. Hotel, airfare and passes to the show all for around $1100. Not to bad. When I went to MAGIC last year I signed up for the HKTDC and now they e-mail me way more then I really want them to. They have really stepped it up in my book. I have yet to see finished product from them, but I am keeping my fingers crossed, since so far up to this day communication has been there strongest feature. It’s always been about keeping business in the US, but when no one takes you seriously and you have places like China and HK that want to become a global super power and are doing anything they can to become it, then it’s hard not to do business with them.
My 2 cents.