When Netherlands native Siebe Baker settled in Michigan within the late 1800s, he found there was clearly a requirement 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. Ever since then, 3 generations of Baker boys have managed the company, now part of Kohler’s group of residential fixtures and furnishings, based near Hickory, N . C ..
In the last 125 years, Baker is becoming synonymous with good 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 on the Academy Awards and also 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 interest buyers who wish to spend money on timeless classics that may be passed down from the generations.
Anita Lin first encountered Baker six years back. “I visited the factory and fell crazy about 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 produce our two-storey flagship showroom in Shenzhen Bay. We percieve the brand new space as both a retail destination for buyers and a place where designers working on projects can visit for inspiration. Greater than 50 % in our clientele are designers, and there exists a strong community of them in Dining table 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 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 to their creations. Wood, expertly turned for gently curving legs and back details, is one of the Baker staples. Furthermore, through its Stately Home collection, reproductions of 18th century European masterpieces are accessible for people who can’t get an ample amount of Chinoiserie cabinets. The 6,000-square foot Shenzhen showroom is complemented by a more modest space across the lower percentage of Hong Kong’s Wyndham Street.
“Our products are continuously evolving,” says Brett Beadleson, Baker’s vice president, dealer sales. “We introduce a whole 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 think that we have now any real competitors, although there are some high-end Italian brands that are on the same price point. However, their collections look radically diverse from ours. And also the only trade fair we take part in is High Point Market, the annual furniture fair in N . C ..”
Beadleson believes that the southern Chinese market provides extensive room for growth, and he is looking to Lin on her expertise in the region. “Our distributors are more like partners, advisors and confidants,” he says. “They give mpdics advice and are very generous when sharing information. We feel it is important to remain in growing, dynamic markets such as bar stool HK. I think we now have more in common with our Chinese customers than differences. Chinese consumers appreciate quality and brands with quality. We appeal to specific consumers who desire a real 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 totally different next to our product.”