Read how a costly experience with a Chinese factory led Paul Holmes to manufacture his Hype Luggage range in the UK
I get a great deal of new brands contacting me to let me know about their British-made products, and providing their (very worthwhile) reasons for manufacturing in the UK, but none has struck a chord more than the email from Paul Holmes of Hype Luggage. Here is Paul’s story of why he chose to bring his manufacturing back home:
“I lived in South East Asia for around 10 years, where we were manufacturing shooting and hunting accessories. We supplied to firearm manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers in the USA, Australia, Canada, Europe and the UK, at one point we were supplying in excess of 16,000 gun cases a year. A few years ago, we were ‘ripped off’ by a Chinese factory. We had dealt with them for 6-7 years, and I guess I got complacent, paid a huge deposit and after numerous delays and excuses, no product materialised, the end result was that we were almost broke. We pursued the case through the Hong Kong Police, they arrested the factory owner entering Hong Kong from China, I did the ID parade with the double sided glass and the numbers on the floor in front of the suspects (just like in the movies), we identified him but all to no avail. The saga is still continuing with the Police Complaints Commission in Hong Kong, but we will never see any of the money again.”
Now, I‘m not relaying this story because I want everyone to think that the Chinese are evil and every single one of them is going to rip you off. In fact, over the years I have worked with some amazing people in China. However, I think that the moral of the story here is that if you are using a manufacturer who is a long distance away, and who you cannot pop in and discuss issues with fluently face-to-face, then eventually there will be problems – which in Paul’s case were very costly ones.
Paul’s story does have a happy ending. He spotted a gap in the market for high quality, beautifully designed shooting products that would not only perfectly compliment the personalised guns that his customers were buying, but were also less likely to be copied by the mass-manufacturers. He found some English craftsmen who were making beautiful quality, traditional products and worked with them to make a new shooting range of cartridge bags and shotgun cases. When presenting the products to potential clients one of them spotted the leather holdall that Paul himself was using and asked for one the same – and from there the Hype Luggage range was born.
Each piece from Hype is made with great attention to detail, in beautiful quality leathers, and with much of the work carried out by hand. So sure are Paul and his team of the quality of their products that each bag is guaranteed against material and workmanship defects for the life of the registered user, and should an unfortunate accident happen to your luggage then you can also return it to them for repair. Now you wouldn’t be able to do that with a bag made in China!