Unboxed - Behind The Scenes of our Chinese Shipment

I’m so excited to announce that our latest shipment from China has finally arrived!!! It’s been a long time coming, so you can only imagine how pleased I was to see it unpacked and all of those beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces unwrapped. It’s almost like Christmas has come early!

 

I love the Chinese furniture shipments. There is something special about these pieces that really resonates with me and I fall in love over and over again. I don’t know how many pieces I have kept aside to use as a bathroom vanity… not to mention I’ve already got my eye on one from this shipment (and I only have room for 1 vanity by the way!). I’m always in a constant battle with myself (and Danny!) because I just want to keep everything, even though I don’t have a place for it ‘right now’ (who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a huge house with lots of walls to fill!). We are, after all, in the business of retail - which means we probably should 'sell things’ but perhaps there’s a reason why my inner voice keeps telling me to hold onto these unique pieces…

The search for antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces is getting harder and harder... these ‘treasured’ pieces are getting a lot more expensive due to the amount of time and effort it takes to restore them as well as the fact that there aren’t many left!

After walking through the many warehouses of furniture at our suppliers, I asked “Do you have anymore old pieces?”… “Yes of course!” They said... and I was then led out to an open patch of dirt where a pile of dusty old cabinets stood. Not restored in any way, and in desperate need of some love - a lot of love!). “You can choose any of these and we will fix for you!” is what I was told... So you’ve probably figured out how that turned out… Let’s just say you’d have to have a pretty good imagination to make them work.

The exact same situation occurred when I asked if they had managed to source anymore Xinjiang Bed cabinets (those amazingly beautiful carved cabinets we magically sourced on our last 2 trips!). I was then presented with a pile of ‘wood’ (which was a collection of all of the cabinets completely dismantled) and told to pick out a few pieces and they could put them together for me... so yes... it’s getting quite hard to find those special pieces.

The solution? In this shipment, we have a beautiful selection of one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and decorative items as well as a curated collection of custom made pieces, traditional in style and finish complete with unique imperfections, but can be reproduced.

Our job will always be to ‘go that extra mile’ to ensure we’ve scoured every paddock and every patch of dirt for that ‘special’ one-of-a-kind piece’, so that we can continue to provide you with unique pieces that bring stories into your home. It’s all about the treasure hunting - that’s what really excites us and is a passion we will never let go.

But as for their arrival, this is a WHOLE OTHER process… There’s a LOT that goes on behind the scenes that you may not know about, so we’ve detailed the process below so you can feel a little more informed about the work involved in bringing you these unique pieces.

After it’s scheduled arrival into Sydney, our container needs to make it’s way through customs before arriving into our warehouse. We never really know when it will arrive into the warehouse until a few days prior, so it’s always a bit of a juggle to ensure we have the right number of staff ready for the unpack, as well as continuing on with the day-to-day tasks.

It’s hard to explain, but although we  really look forward to seeing the amazing pieces we have sourced finally arrive, it’s also such a long, hard and very tiring day! It’s quite a process. First there’s the unpack, which involves lifting and unstacking sometimes over 100 pieces of furniture, then there’s the sorting, photographing, labelling, measuring, stacking and the final pack up consisting of runs to the tip and sweeping out the container.

Danny photographs all of the pieces individually (including close ups and different angles) in order to showcase the entire piece and to make viewing and buying online a little easier. At the end of ‘unpack day’, after all of the photos have been taken, he then comes home and edits over 250 images in Lightroom so that we can have them all uploaded into Dropbox for the girls in the office to work on getting online first thing in the morning... 

Before receiving these images, they have already pre-prepared all of the product details have them uploaded online (although hidden at this stage!). Each image needs to be re-named with it’s unique product code and then uploaded onto our site, which then goes live once the shipment is complete.

Then a product sells and we do it all over again!

We do this for EVERY shipment. It’s a crazy amount of work! But our passion and love for these pieces is what really excites us. So we will continue to bring the world home! We will always be as excited to unwrap a piece as the day we saw it sitting under a pile of dust on a Chinese warehouse floor.

So if you haven’t already, check the NEW ARRIVALS link for a full overview of what has just been ‘unboxed’.

Tara x