When Netherlands native Siebe Baker settled in Michigan in the late 19th century, he found there was clearly 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 shop in Hong Kong. Since that time, three generations of Baker boys have managed the company, now part of Kohler’s group of residential fixtures and furnishings, based near Hickory, North Carolina.
In the last 125 years, Baker is becoming synonymous with high quality casegoods for high end homes. It absolutely was the option 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 New York City Fashion Week. American presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama have selected Baker to adorn The White House. Its traditional, transitional and contemporary styles attract buyers who wish to invest in timeless classics which can be passed down from the generations.
Anita Lin first encountered Baker six years ago. “I visited the factory and fell crazy about the company,” 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 produce our two-storey flagship showroom in Shenzhen Bay. We see the brand new space as both a retail place to go for buyers as well as a place where designers working on projects can visit for inspiration. Greater than fifty percent of our clientele are designers, and there exists a strong community of them in table Hong Kong. We want to have people on the ground to aid them through this showroom.”
Baker’s designer collections feature leading American and European names including 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 among the Baker staples. Furthermore, through its Stately Home collection, reproductions of 18th century European masterpieces are available for those who can’t get an adequate amount of Chinoiserie cabinets. The 6,000-sq . ft . Shenzhen showroom is complemented by way of a more modest space over the lower portion of Hong Kong’s Wyndham Street.
“Our items are continuously evolving,” says Brett Beadleson, Baker’s vice president, dealer sales. “We introduce a new collection about once or twice annually and therefore are careful when adding new designers. Our products are made to last multiple lifetimes. We don’t feel that we now have any real competitors, although there are several high-end Italian brands that are in the same price point. However, their collections look radically different than ours. As well as the only trade fair we get involved in is High Point Market, the annual furniture fair in North Carolina.”
Beadleson believes that this southern Chinese market has many room for growth, and he looks to Lin on her behalf expertise in the area. “Our distributors tend to be more like partners, advisors and confidants,” he says. “They give mpdics advice and they are very generous when sharing information. We feel it is important to be in growing, dynamic markets like Office chairs Hong Kong. I do believe we have more in normal with our Chinese customers than differences. Chinese consumers appreciate quality and brands with quality. We appeal to specific consumers who want an actual Rolex. Counterfeits may look like our products but we construction and value inside every one of our pieces. In five years, a counterfeit would look completely different close to our product.”