Interview with Chocolate Rain
PMQ brings creative space to Hong Kong on a scale never previously experienced. Over 100 creative designers, businesses and entrepreneurs occupy the light and spacious Aberdeen Street location. Some of the first to experience the challenges and successes of this new, untested venue talk to us about their experiences as part of this exciting and innovative venture.
Bright, modern and creative, internationally recognized Chocolate Rain brings a touch of magic and wonder through eye catching illustrations and unique designs.
Tell us about your company!
Chocolate Rain is inspired by a childhood dream and wonderland adventure. Each piece is unique and handcrafted with mixed medium and special artistic elements. Prudence, the founder and designer, graduated with an MA Degree from Central Saint Martin. She received the 2010 Ten Outstanding Designers Award and was honored as one of Hong Kong’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 2012. Chocolate Rain designs have exhibited and distributed internationally, including the MoMA, Tate Modern and Guggenheim Museum.
Chocolate Rain design collections and illustrations were commissioned for projects by global brands such as Clinique, Luella, Stella McCartney’s Care and Swarovski. In 2008, Fatina Dreams Ltd was founded in London and ran global licensing projects. In 2010, the BRITISH MUSEUM x Chocolate Rain Collection launched in London. Now, Chocolate Rain has flagship stores in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Tell us about your experience running a shop in PMQ
With 15 years of experience running a shop in HK, PMQ wasn’t too much of a challenge. Traffic is slow on weekdays, good on weekends. Sales increase when great products and new menus are launched. We profit from workshop DIY classes, as well as restaurant, gallery show and shop sales.
Are there any challenges at PMQ?
Location, location, location. It is not central, and it is a bit away from MTR as well. Rent is high at the market price, which is a challenge.
Tell us about the application process for getting into PMQ
It took me two years for the interview, applications, clarification, licensing, food license applications, permits, and heritage issues - a big project.
What's it like setting up a shop?
We hand made everything from furniture to lamps, figures, shelves, and wall art deco. It was all made by up-cycling materials, and by heart.
Would you recommend that a company open up a shop in PMQ? Any thoughts/tips for potential shop owners that are thinking of launching in PMQ?
If your sales and design experience is strong and you are willing to work 7 days per week... work hard... think hard... you are ready to be here. I work 7 days per week here myself. It is tough running a creative space. It is not mass production or a traditional mall; it is a space that needs designers to bring it alive and make it unique. Read More interviews with Food Entrepreneurs: