Intrinsic launches into Asian market at Hong Kong gift fair

Next month the 34th Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, organised by the the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

From 27 to 30 April, more than 4,360 exhibitors from some 30 countries and regions will showcase their latest products and collections. Among various product zones, Hall of Fine Designs will return for another successful fair, while the World of Gift Idea in Hall 1 will highlight a huge array of trendy, top-class gift products.

Aussie supplier, Intrinsic, will be exhibiting for the first time this year in the Hall of Fine Designs. We caught up with co-founder, Adèle Basheer.

Tell us a bit more about Intrinsic?

Intrinsic really is a love story. In late 1995, Jamie and I were like ships in the night. With two young children, busy careers and feeling disconnected, we had come to a crossroad in our relationship. After a lot of soul searching, journaling, and connecting to our deepest values, we made the decision to realign our lifestyle to what was most important to us. We had three simple criteria: find something that would enable us to work together, be there for our children during their precious growing years, and make a positive difference to the world.

And so began Intrinsic, hand-making inspirational cards at our kitchen table, with just thirty-two dollars of recycled cardboard, a handful of quotes and a big vision to really make a difference in people’s life.

At the time, there was nothing like our cards available in Australia, and according to reports, we were consistently in the top selling inspirational card ranges.

From 2000-2009 Intrinsic was sold mostly under licence which provided the opportunity to launch into other categories such as lifestyle stationery, unique cards and gifts―we even had our words translated into Spanish for mobile phone covers and into Russian for greeting cards.

In 2009 we came to another crossroad as we re-evaluated our goals, dreams and what was most important to us. By the end of 2010 we re-launched on our own. It was like starting from the beginning again, only worse, as we were in the red at that time with a team of people to feed. Finding all the belief we could muster, we began again with 48 freshly designed greeting cards and a range of photo albums we purchased from our licensee in the Netherlands. Intrinsic has since expanded into successful categories in homewares, gifts, accessories and of course beautiful stationery and cards we’ve long been recognised for.

It’s a testament to our commitment to great quality, original design, inspiring content, and continued improvement that we’ve grown to a seven figure company with 14 staff.

What do you like most about Hong Kong?

We LOVE Hong Kong! The people are warm and engaging, with a great sense of humour, the energy is bustling and there’s a beautiful fusion of culture colliding with the modern world. I love that you can be right in the hub of the 200 year old Graham Street market―alive with fresh local produce, fishmongers and butcher stalls―and then just around the corner you can find a great Italian espresso.

Did you attend the HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair previously and how come you are exhibiting this year?

Our first experience visiting the show was in the early 2000s, when our brand was showcased by our publishers at the time. It was just so exciting to be part of such a huge show and has always been on our radar as a truly international fair.

In 2011 we began visiting the fair from a sourcing and buying perspective and have made some great quality contacts.

A couple of years ago we began a discussion with HKTDC in Hong Kong with the view to exhibit. Our goal was to be in the Hall of Fine Designs alongside other great brands such as Moleskin, Swarovski and Lexon. After a number of research visits we felt this hall best reflected our brand, style and quality, and we waited for a position to become available. Last year we researched a number of alternative international fairs to exhibit at, but after mentoring from one of our suppliers, we came back to HKTDC to reapply for a position, enlisting support from the HKTDC Australian office, which has been great in assisting us to secure our booth.  

Name three reasons/benefits why Australians should visit/ exhibit at the fair

As a sourcing fair for buyers, there is a high level of quality to be found from international brands and suppliers, and the product offering is immense ranging from stationery, lifestyle and tech, to homewares, gifts and fashion accessories. It’s also the place to secure Australian rights to innovative brands or designs, as one of our customers did a few years ago. As a springboard to sourcing in China, it gives you the legs and the learning to build your confidence and get you going.

You need to allow time to do this fair properly―it’s a huge event in comparison to our gift fairs in Australia, and two days is just not enough.

As an exhibitor, the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair opens the door to both the Hong Kong and growing Chinese market where Intrinsic has already received some interest. Plus it’s a truly international fair, attracting buyers from around the world including Europe, Asia, North and South America, and the Middle East. As a gateway, Hong Kong has one of the largest shipping ports in the world and connects China with all corners of the globe.

What was your favourite section of the show and why?

From a sourcing perspective, I make the effort to visit most halls as the little gem that is the perfect fit might be where you least expect it.

From an exhibiting point of view for Intrinsic, the Hall of Fine Designs is the premium destination, which attracts quality buyers and aligns with how the Intrinsic brand is positioned in the marketplace.

What kind of products will you be showcasing in Hong Kong?

Intrinsic is renowned for its signature designs, rainbow of rich colour, soulful spirit and our uplifting quotes which inspire people with positivity and a can-do attitude.

We’ll be showcasing our most popular lifestyle products and designs including our best-selling gift-boxed mugs and ceramics, inspirational journals, quote books and stationery, as well as our on-trend vegan travel accessories and latest sell-out collection of Australian made aromatherapy hand creams.

Intrinsic is renowned for its stunning packaging and creating products that make it easy for retailers to sell, so we're super excited to engage the fair buyers with the full Intrinsic brand experience when they visit our stand.

For more information about the Gifts & Premium Fair contact crystal.hl.tsoi@hktdc.org. To register click here.

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