Nicely Made in China

China news on quality products, lifestyle, design and services.

PAPERTIGER / WRAPPING PAPER & CARDS

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With Christmas fast approaching, Nicely Made in China (NMiC) wondered how to wrap the gifts which will go under the tree. The choice on offer in shops was disappointing – until we stumbled upon Papertiger wrapping paper and cards. This brand has not been around for very long but is already making its mark on the wrapping paper market in China. NMiC sat with the owner-designer, New-York born Lucy Young –daughter of mainland Chinese- discussing the link between card and paper design and Shanghai architecture! Read the rest of this entry »

RECHENBERG COUTURE

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This week Nicely Made in China stays in Beijing to introduce Kathrin von Rechenberg, owner and designer of “rechenberg” the fashion house. The 40 year-old Bavarian and mother of three has taken a winding path from her “début” at the Paris fashion house Jacques Fath in the 90’s to her arrival in Beijing, via Taiwan, in 2000. We sat in her Beijing studio to discuss Paris fashion houses, material and lost traditions. Read the rest of this entry »

THE OPPOSITE HOUSE

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One of the sectors changing fast in China is the hospitality sector. Among the most talked about boutique hotels in China is The Opposite House (TOH),  located in the heart of Beijing – in trendy Sanlitun. In order to learn why TOH is so highly regarded, Nicely Made in China (NMiC) paid a visit to Anthony Ross, TOH General Manager, who told us about role play, attention to detail and having a laugh while working. Read the rest of this entry »

SUREN HANDMADE / HANDBAGS

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This week’s story is about a company barely known outside China even though it has been making high quality leather products for many years. NMiC would like to introduce the company “Suren” (pronounced “sue jhen”), together  with Mao Shu Hong, general manager and her husband Yang Bao Guang, the head designer. In order to meet them NMiC took an hour’s drive north of Beijing on a gorgeous blue sky day (Beijingers will appreciate that detail). Ben O’Hara, Canadian TV’s Beijing correspondent came with us, to visit the couple’s design studio and small factory. Read the rest of this entry »

LONGMA EQUESTRIAN PRODUCTS

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In its never ending search for quality products made in China, Nicely Made in China met Nicole Bernard, the owner of Longma, an Australia-based equestrian equipment company that makes all its products in China. From Tennessee where she was born, to Alvie (pop.60) near Melbourne, via Beijing where she spends half of her time, Nicole has traveled a long way. She stopped by at the Bookworm in Beijing to talk about her passions for China and horses, and how these two passions recently became intertwined.

Nicole, can you tell us how you started Longma?

A year or so ago my riding coach -Chris Smith 1980 Australian Olympic show jumping rider- came to visit me in Beijing- , and while discussing the equestrian market in Australia we realized it is bipolar: you either find very high end and very expensive gear or cheap junk. Horse riding is called the sport of kings and it is an expensive hobby. People who spend a lot of money on a horse care about what they put on their horses’ backs. I thought that hard-working people who love riding deserved high quality equipment at decent prices and that’s what Longma has been trying to provide for a year now. While I will not compare Longma with Australian master saddle makers, I can say that we’re trying to achieve a level of quality that these people respect.

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NORLHA SHAWLS

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At an altitude of 3200m in Gansu province, the company Norlha produces the most exquisite shawls. These shawls, made mainly of yak wool (khullu), have become much sought after in shops from Paris to Shanghai. Nicely Made in China spoke to the owner, Kim Sciaky-Yeshi, to find out what makes them so special and successful.

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DOCTORS BECK & STONE / VETERINARY SERVICES

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This week Nicely Made in China takes a look at one particular sector of the service industry. With roughly 150 million dogs in China and at least as many cats the need for veterinary services has never been so great. “Doctors Beck & Stone” started by an Anglo-Chinese team has opened a couple of clinics in Beijing, including a brand new one in Shunyi. NMiC talked to Dr Stone and Dr Anthony Beck about pets and pet lovers in China.

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ARK SURFBOARDS

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After the coast of Fujian, Nicely Made in China takes you to the South China Sea to meet Adam Healy one of the two owners of Benpat International. Based in Shek-O on the South-East coast of Hong Kong Island, Benpat makes quality surfboards -as well as kiteboards, skateboards, nipper boards and stand-up paddle boards- all made in China and sells them all over the world. Adam, 26, is Australian and was raised in Hong Kong. He sat with NMiC and explained how surfboards are made.

Adam, can you give us some information about your company?

Benpat International was created in 1990 by John Patkin and I came onboard in 2008. Most of our production is for exports, mainly to Australia, the UK and the US.

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XIAMEN RED DRAGON YACHT BUILDING

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It’s summer, and to get away from the heat in Beijing, Nicely Made in China felt like dipping a toe in the sea. That’s how NMiC landed in Xiamen, Fujian province, to interview Ms Liu Hongyan, Red Dragon Yacht Building general manager, to discuss sails, carbon fiber rudders and the new Chinese consumers who are boosting the recreational marine economy.

Ms Liu, when was the company created?

The company was created in 2003 by Mr David Winter who had long experience in the marine industry working for Taiwanese shipyards. When he arrived in Xiamen in 2001 he was surprised to see no recreational boats at all.  That’s why he decided to build a small sailing boat for the Chinese market. A few months later the D5.8 – a reference to the boat’s length – was born.  He found a shipyard to build it and when that shipyard did not want to build it anymore, David decided to make it himself, creating Red Dragon Yacht Building.  We are today what is called a contract builder or an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Clients from all over the world, like Scandinavian Cruisers, come to us with their design and we build the boats.

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SHANGRILA FARMS

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This week, Nicely Made in China goes green and meets with Alia Malik, Shangrila Farms managing director in her Beijing office. Alia, a half-American, half-Pakistani New-Yorker is a development economist. She talks about fair-trade and helping Yunnan farmers grow coffee and raise bees.

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