Long time no see, Heimtextil!


 

On January 10th, Heimtextil, the international trade fair for home and contract textiles, opened in Frankfurt, Germany. After a hiatus of three years, PHF, a well-known Chinese home textile enterprise, once again made its way to Europe. Chairman Chen Yizhong and his old European friends reunited with excited handshakes. "We're here, long time no see!"

As the saying goes, ducks are the first to know when the spring river warms up. Starting from the fourth quarter of 2022, Chinese enterprises have been actively participating in overseas exhibitions to secure orders, with remarkable results. PHF is one of them.

At the Asian pavilion of Heimtextil, PHF's approximately 200-square-meter exhibition space drew attention, with a steady stream of visitors from around the world. Design Director Wang Lei couldn't help but remark, "Before coming here, I was apprehensive about the exhibition's effectiveness. But after arriving, I found that the results were even better than before the pandemic!"

"There were so many people, especially at our exhibition space. We had a lot of both old and new customers," Wang Lei smiled. "Even our competitors came to take a look." In the European home textile market, the main competitors of Chinese enterprises are Indian enterprises. India has advantages in labor costs and English proficiency, and forms differentiated competition with China's industrial products through handicrafts. Moreover, their color sense often aligns more with European aesthetics. Nevertheless, "even the Indians gave us a thumbs-up."

Fifteen years ago, it was at Heimtextil that Chairman Chen Yizhong saw European designers' drawings selling for 400 euros each, which firmly determined his resolve to build a home textile design team belonging to the Chinese people. Today, the Mingyuan R&D and Design Center founded by Chen Yizhong has more than 120 R&D and design personnel and is recognized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as a creative design platform for textile and apparel. It produces over 3,000 design drawings annually. With its international-level R&D and design capabilities, PHF has successfully transformed from a traditional order-based foreign trade enterprise into a modern advanced textile enterprise with independent R&D and design capabilities.

Upon learning that Chairman Chen Yizhong personally led the team to participate in Heimtextil, international visitors flocked to visit him every day. Thanks to their thorough preparation before the exhibition, the Mingyuan team presented their unexpected latest products to guests from various regions.

Image: Environmentally friendly and sustainable home textiles are widely popular.

On the first day of the exhibition, Design Director Wang Lei posted the following message in the team's WeChat group: "Just now, a Chinese customer from Spain visited our exhibition space. He asked me if Mingyuan's design team was made up of European designers. I proudly told him that everything was designed by Chinese people. The Chinese man was very excited and said, 'I grew up in Spain, and seeing these makes me feel very proud.'"

In fact, the exhibits that PHF brought to Frankfurt this time not only came from Chinese designers but also included design works from Chinese college students. Wang Lei introduced that the Mingyuan R&D and Design Center has successfully held four consecutive sessions of the Mingyuan Cup International Home Textile Creative Design Competition. Through a close cooperation model of industry, education, and research, the company has transformed the competition into a platform to attract and cultivate talents. At this exhibition, the award-winning works of the Mingyuan Cup Competition received recognition from customers in multiple countries, including Canada and Poland. Wang Lei said, "The Mingyuan Cup Competition provides participating college students with real market feedback, helping them broaden their horizons and apply what they have learned in practice."

As Heimtextil came to a close, PHF reaped a full harvest of orders. Next, they will travel around Europe to visit and thank every customer. This is the Chinese way of treating guests.