One-Stop Service Gives Wings to Design Start-up (Loving Macau)
Loving Macau Ltd. sells products that embody its pride in the city. The company is known for using certain motifs in its signature products: the lotus symbol of Macao; the Portuguese expression of gratitude, obrigado; and the international telephone code for Macao, 853. The “One-Stop Service” provided by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) for facilitating investment was pivotal to the establishment of cultural and creative brand Loving Macau.
Loving Macau uses certain Macao motifs in its signature products
Loving Macau was founded by Josephine Lam and Miguel Miranda in 2015. The company has adopted street culture and Macao’s cultural icons and uses them to create T-shirts, accessories and souvenirs bearing its brand. Guidance on issues related to trademark protection and intellectual property rights was much needed when the brand started, Ms Lam says.
“I went online and I checked out the IPIM website for companies. We met the staff in charge of the ‘One-Stop Service’, which guided us through all the legal matters,” says Ms Lam.
IPIM staff did more than just answer questions about trademark registration and protection of intellectual property for Loving Macau’s design products. Ms Lam says the staff also helped provide swift notarial services to register the company.
She says the IPIM “One-Stop Service” promptly addressed all the doubts the founders had about starting the company.
Since establishing its brand, Loving Macau has been reliant on online sales. The business model for the company takes into consideration the high cost of renting a bricks-and-mortar shop in Macao and the online shopping behaviour of consumers. Apart from retailing products bearing its own brand, Loving Macau makes products to order for other manufacturers.
Loving Macau says most of the buyers of its souvenirs and clothes are Macao consumers. The popularity of the brand lies in the fact that consumers love to share the products’ Macao elements with their friends.
Josephine Lam co-founded Loving Macau in 2015
“The most challenging is the beginning,” Ms Lam says. “We didn’t yet know what people liked. But after one to two months, we knew which items would sell.”
Ms Lam says Loving Macau is now gradually expanding its retail network as the brand has begun this year to see its products being sold in shops selling cultural and creative products. Since last year, Loving Macau’s products have also been on display in Macao Ideas, a product display centre run by IPIM.
“We were invited by the ‘One-Stop Service’ staff in 2016 to take part in the Macao International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF), which was our first time,” Ms Lam says. “It was very good for us to showcase our products there.”