It has never been easier to launch a brand.
A class of manufacturers around the world service small companies and entrepreneurs, ready to work with them remotely to translate concepts into product lines, even in modest volumes of just a few pieces. But the micro-manufacturing infrastructure poses challenges when used by the luxury sector, which places a greater value on quality control.
For Ona Chan, an artist and businesswoman originally from Toronto now living in Hong Kong, close proximity to the factories that produce her flourishing jewellery line has been a key advantage. She uses two workshops in Thailand and one in China, centres of micro-manufacturing, which is why her current base has allowed her to expand more quickly.
“I felt: ‘I can do this now.’”
Every piece of product requires a lot of attention to detail, even after delivery from the workshops. The Thai factories handle stones because they are closer to the necessary suppliers and they have a lot of expertise, the silver is mostly done in China, and Ms. Chan plans to use a Hong Kong workshop in the near future for gold products.
“I look at everything myself,” Ms. Chan says. “As an artist, I like things to be perfect.”
For her jewellery, it is important that the rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and hair accessories look exactly as she envisions. “I would be embarrassed if people bought my things and were unhappy with them.”