When Netherlands native Siebe Baker settled in Michigan in the late 19th century, he found there was a need for his cabinetry skills. He started out making doors and window blinds with a fellow Dutchman Henry Cook; the 2 formed Cook, Baker & Co. in 1890, the precursor to Furniture Hong Kong. Ever since then, three generations of Baker boys have managed the business, now part of Kohler’s group of residential fixtures and furnishings, based near Hickory, N . C ..
Over the past 125 years, Baker has become symbolic of top quality casegoods for high 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 as well as the American Express Black Card Holder VIP room at Ny Fashion Week. American presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama have selected Baker to adorn The White House. Its traditional, transitional and contemporary styles interest buyers who wish to put money into timeless classics which can be passed down from the generations.
Anita Lin first encountered Baker six years back. “I visited the factory and fell deeply in love with the manufacturer,” 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 … our company is proud to produce our two-storey flagship showroom in Shenzhen Bay. We percieve the newest space as both a retail place to go for buyers and a place where designers focusing on projects can visit for inspiration. A lot more than 50 % of our own clientele are designers, and you will find a strong community of those in Wood furniture Hong Kong. We want to have people on the ground to support them through this showroom.”
Baker’s designer collections feature leading American and European names such as 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. Solid 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 accessible for those that can’t get an ample amount of Chinoiserie cabinets. The 6,000-square foot Shenzhen showroom is complemented with a more modest space along the lower percentage 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 one or two times a year and are careful when adding new designers. Our products are made to last multiple lifetimes. We don’t feel that we have now any real competitors, although there are a few high-end Italian brands which can be at the same price point. However, their collections look radically different than ours. And the only trade fair we get involved in is High Point Market, the annual furniture fair in N . C ..”
Beadleson believes the southern Chinese market provides extensive room for growth, and he is looking to Lin for her expertise in the region. “Our distributors are definitely more like partners, advisors and confidants,” he says. “They give mpdics advice and therefore are very generous when sharing information. We feel you should maintain growing, dynamic markets like bar stool HK. I believe we have now more in common with our Chinese customers than differences. Chinese consumers appreciate quality and brands with quality. We attract specific consumers who desire an actual Rolex. Counterfeits may look like our products but we construction and value inside all of our pieces. In five years, a counterfeit would look completely different alongside our product.”