When Netherlands native Siebe Baker moved in Michigan within the late 19th century, he found there was clearly a need for his cabinetry skills. He began making doors and window blinds with a fellow Dutchman Henry Cook; the two formed Cook, Baker & Co. in 1890, the precursor to Furniture Hong Kong. Ever since then, three generations of Baker boys have managed the organization, now part of Kohler’s group of residential fixtures and furnishings, based near Hickory, N . C ..
In the last 125 years, Baker has grown to be symbolic of high quality casegoods for top end homes. It had been the choice of former NBA star Yao Ming, and can be obtained outfitting his Shanghai residence. Baker has furnished the green room in the Academy Awards along with the American Express Black Card Holder VIP room at New York City Fashion Week. American presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama have chosen Baker to adorn The White House. Its traditional, transitional and contemporary styles interest buyers who wish to put money into timeless classics that can be passed down from the generations.
Anita Lin first encountered Baker six years back. “I visited the factory and fell in love with the brand,” says the overall manager of Atelier A , Baker’s exclusive distributor in Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Hainan Island, at her Shenzhen showroom opening in September. “In 2012, I opened the Hong Kong dealership. And … we are proud to launch our two-storey flagship showroom in Shenzhen Bay. We have seen the new space as both a retail place to go for buyers and a place where designers concentrating on projects can visit for inspiration. Greater than fifty percent of our own clientele are designers, and there exists a strong community of these in table Hong Kong. We would like to have people on the ground to aid them through this showroom.”
Baker’s designer collections feature leading American and European names like Barbara Barry, Thomas Pheasant, Laura Kirar, Bill Sofield, Jacques Garcia and Michael Smith. Although their suites for living, dining, bedroom and studies primarily are wood based, many incorporate metal, glass and luxury materials to their creations. Wood, expertly turned for gently curving legs and back details, is one of the Baker staples. In addition, through its Stately Home collection, reproductions of 18th century European masterpieces are available for people who can’t get an ample amount of Chinoiserie cabinets. The 6,000-square foot Shenzhen showroom is complemented by a more modest space along the lower portion of Hong Kong’s Wyndham Street.
“Our products are continuously evolving,” says Brett Beadleson, Baker’s v . p ., dealer sales. “We introduce a brand new collection about a couple of times per year and therefore are careful when adding new designers. Our products are made to last multiple lifetimes. We don’t think that we now have any real competitors, although there are some high-end Italian brands which are in the same price point. However, their collections look radically diverse from ours. And the only trade fair we participate in is High Point Market, the annual furniture fair in North Carolina.”
Beadleson believes the southern Chinese market provides extensive room for growth, and then he is looking to Lin on her behalf expertise in the region. “Our distributors tend to be more like partners, advisors and confidants,” he says. “They give mpdics advice and are very generous when sharing information. We feel you should maintain growing, dynamic markets such as Office chairs Hong Kong. I do believe we now have more in common with our Chinese customers than differences. Chinese consumers appreciate quality and brands with quality. We interest specific consumers who want a real Rolex. Counterfeits may look like our products but we build quality and value inside each one of our pieces. In five-years, a counterfeit would look very different close to our product.”