Bedclothes Shop

協義興繡莊 Hip Yee Hing Embroidery (Bed Products)

Background

Hip Yee Hing Embroidery which is a specialized traditional bed products shop in Shek Kip Mei. It established in 1972 and has operated almost five decades. In the beginning, Hip Yee Hing Embroidery mainly sold Chinese traditional wedding dresses and canvas cots, then the business gradually transformed to bed products. It already changed two shopkeepers who respectively were her father and Mother. Her sister assisted her mother’s business when her mother was the second successor. After her mother passed away and sister got married, Miss. Lam became the third successor and she has operated the business until now. Ms. Lam is 58 years old and becomes successor nearly 14 years. She always lives in Shek Kip Mei with her families so she already helped the family business when she was child. Therefore, she never applies other jobs or wants to change her job.

背景資料

協義興繡莊,一間專門售賣床上用品的傳統老店,於1972年成立,經營差不多接近五個十年。四十幾年來,一直矗立在石峽尾區,由林老板的父親創立後傅承給姊姊和媽媽,後再由林老闆接手。起初是售賣結婚裙褂及帆布床,後漸漸轉型成售賣手製棉被等床上用品店,貨品特色為自製床套、被袋及打絲棉被。林老闆現年58歲,接管繡莊14年,因全家一直居住於石峽尾,故她自小便幫助家中打理生意,多年從未轉工或尋找其他工作。

Views of her work

Miss Lam views her work quite kinky. She loves her job because the business helps her to establish deep friendships to local residents. The customers always become her friends. However, it is still a hard job to her, she need to get up around 7 a.m. and operate the business from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day. All the business works that she need to do by own. Although it is a hard job, she still not wants to cease place of business. She does not want to lose the shop and the friendships. Also, she wants to bear the responsibility of family business.

對自己工作的看法

林老闆喜愛這份工作,因為與當地居民有深厚的感情,還有一班忠實顧客與朋友。然而,仍有辛苦之處,她每天早上7點多起床, 8點開店營業到晚上8點半,故工作辛苦卻又不想結業。因結業便會失去一班街坊情及一個回憶的地方,而且背負家族生意的責任,卻又希望可以放下重擔,形成一種矛盾糾結的心情。

Business Development

Lam said the most frequented customers of the embroidery mainly come from elderly or neighborhood. The most brilliant time of business is around 70s. Hong Kong did not produce cotton quilts and Mainland manufacturers usually less supplied, it caused less cotton quilts supply to Hong Kong so there were a lot of people purchased quilts and cotton quilts were worth at that time.

The most difficult time is present. First, bed products are less to replace. Second, there is a lot of individual production to produce bed products in their home. It leads to uneven quality of products and the universal bed products companies mostly buy Mainland bed products because of the lower price. At the same time, there is lot of shop which also sells bed products. It increases the competitive environment. Therefore, Lam create the natural handmade cotton quits to retain own characteristics to aim to attract a group of customers. Also, some bed products sewn by herself to save costs. It not only prevents the quality of products, and maintains the reputation of her shop.

She thinks the needed skill of the business is rich knowledge of bed products. For example it needs to know materials of every products or it need to clarify whether materials is good or not. However, there is a lot of people who cannot clarify it and it lead customers and shopkeepers to be deceived.

生意發展

繡莊最常光顧的通常是老一輩和附近街坊生意。林老闆表示最輝煌的時候是70年代左右,當時物資供應較少,香港本土不生產被棉被,內地的廠商通常是一批一批的供應,銷售一批後再購入新的,故很多人購買,而且當時棉胎十分値錢,可以作為當閘之品,但隨時代改變,此現象也消失了。

img_0266
林老闆認為最艱難的時候是二千年至今。首先,床上用品十分耐用,更換機會十分少。再者,內地過多個體生產床上用品商,很多人只要家中有衣車便開始自己製作棉被,由此品質參差,卻價錢便宜,導致市面上普遍平價床上用品店都向內地取貨,也提高了消費者的選擇。同時,香港愈來愈多地方售賣床上用品,例如日本城、百貨公司。導致形成現今床上用品生意激烈競爭的環境。而林老闆的應對方法是手製棉被,她留意到手製棉被式微,但手製棉被質量較好,因此個人兼顧手打絲棉被,以保有自己特色,吸引到一批愛手打棉被的顧客,而且手打絲棉被源自植物木棉花,屬於天然物料,既保最又舒適。再者,不再僱用工人縫製床上用品,由自己縫製,節省成本,如此一來,可防止內地造功與品質好壞參差的問題,用此以保持良好品質聲譽。

她認為床上用品生意最需要的技巧是須具有豐富床上用品的知識,例如用品當中包含有甚麼質料、該物料有何好壞處,由於從少經營,故清楚棉被的保暖度,來自哪種物料。懂得分辨棉的優劣,天然化學與否十分重要,然而普通日用品店的採購者通常沒能分辨出黑心棉、化學棉和植物棉的分別,例如木棉枕頭,市面上存在一批廠家自稱木棉枕頭而非木棉花製作原料蒙混一班顧客和採購者。

The most difficult way of bed products industry

She believes the most difficult is transition. Bed products industry is a seasonal, golden time of selling only have a half year so the selling would decrease in summer. Hong Kong weather is rarely cold now. She attempts to sale bamboo ridge but it is not success. Each family own air conditionings, it reduced demand. So she attempts to sale slight cotton quilts to maintain the business. Also, there is high rents in Hong Kong and it cause a major challenge to the industry.

此行業最困難地方

她認為最困難是轉型,此行業屬於季節性,黃金銷售期只有半年,夏天沒有生意,只好盼望冬天,然而現今香港天氣甚少寒冷。她個人故嘗試於夏天售賣竹脊,卻遇上家家戶戶都有空調,需求減少,便萌生轉賣冷氣被的念頭,以維持生計。另外,租金昂貴及成本開支大,對此行業是一大挑戰。

img_0273

Future of the industry

The model of business already changed in present. The craft failed to make a living and the working income is low, so it is less attractive to the young generation. And the small and traditional business would disappear instead of the large chain bed products operations.

前景及發展

現今生意模式多為炒賣轉手方以賺取金錢。因此此門手藝未能維生計糊口,工作量大收入少,吸引力低,故不希望年輕一輩繼承,而且須大型連銷式經營才能生存。   (Writen by Feby)

 

img_0263 img_0269

Video Archive

Read more

1.(History Reading/English version) Hip Yee Hing Embroidery ~Cosy Cover with Cotton

http://www.huluhk.org/SSP/heritage.php?lang=en&id=dress

2.(Chinese version) The Encyclopedia of Bed Products

http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E5%BA%8A%E4%B8%8A%E7%94%A8%E5%93%8

3.(Video Archive/Chinese version) The story of Hip Yee Hing Embroidery

https://www.facebook.com/876517299107969/videos/885096901583342/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *