When Netherlands native Siebe Baker moved in Michigan in the late nineteenth century, he found there was a necessity for his cabinetry skills. He started off making doors and window blinds with a fellow Dutchman Henry Cook; the 2 formed Cook, Baker & Co. in 1890, the precursor to Furniture shop in Hong Kong. Since that time, three generations of Baker boys have managed the business, now part of Kohler’s group of residential fixtures and furnishings, based near Hickory, North Carolina.
Within the last 125 years, Baker is becoming symbolic of high quality casegoods for top end homes. It was the choice of former NBA star Yao Ming, and are available outfitting his Shanghai residence. Baker has furnished the green room in the Academy Awards and also 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 want to invest in timeless classics that can be passed down with the generations.
Anita Lin first encountered Baker six years ago. “I visited the factory and fell deeply in love with the manufacturer,” says the general 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 have been proud to launch our two-storey flagship showroom in Shenzhen Bay. We percieve the new space as both a retail destination for buyers and a place where designers concentrating on projects can visit for inspiration. More than 50 % of our clientele are designers, and there is a strong community of those in Dining table Hong Kong. We wish to have people on the ground to back up 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 into their creations. Solid wood, expertly turned for gently curving legs and back details, is probably the Baker staples. Furthermore, through its Stately Home collection, reproductions of 18th century European masterpieces are accessible for those that can’t get an adequate amount of Chinoiserie cabinets. The 6,000-square foot Shenzhen showroom is complemented by way of a more modest space over the lower part of Hong Kong’s Wyndham Street.
“Our products are continuously evolving,” says Brett Beadleson, Baker’s v . p ., dealer sales. “We introduce a whole new collection about once or twice per year and are cautious when adding new designers. Our products are meant to last multiple lifetimes. We don’t believe that we have now any real competitors, although there are several high-end Italian brands which are at the same price point. However, their collections look radically diverse from ours. As well as the only trade fair we participate in is High Point Market, the annual furniture fair in N . C ..”
Beadleson believes the southern Chinese market has many room for growth, and he looks to Lin for her expertise in the region. “Our distributors tend to be more like partners, advisors and confidants,” he says. “They give mpdics advice and therefore are very generous when sharing information. We feel you should be in growing, dynamic markets including Dining Chairs Hong Kong. I do believe we have now more in common with our Chinese customers than differences. Chinese consumers appreciate quality and brands with quality. We appeal to specific consumers who desire an actual Rolex. Counterfeits may look like our products but we build quality and value inside every one of our pieces. In five-years, a counterfeit would look completely different alongside our product.”