Macao’s unique blend of Western and Eastern cultures creates a rich environment that allows locally based enterprises to thrive alongside the international brands seeking to establish a presence here.
In this edition of Macao Image, we meet the driving forces behind the home-grown company to find out about their business, the makers behind a newly launched line of original beauty products containing ingredients found in Macao.
Formula for success
Hanmay Co. Ltd. has been selling cosmetics made in South Korea since it first set up shop in Macao. Building on its years of experience of retailing cosmetics, Hanmay decided to launch a line of its own original beauty products in 2018, called ÀO. Ms Carmen U, Director of Sales and Operations at Hanmay, told Macao Image that products bearing the ÀO brand contained ingredients found in Macao, prepared using techniques mastered by the well-established cosmetics industry in South Korea.
ÀO products are intended to preserve what Ms U calls “the root and beauty of Macao culture with authentic and original ingredients”. The brand can be seen on two main skincare products made by Hanmay: the ÀO Lotus Sleeping Mask, which the company says, whitens and soothes the skin; and the ÀO Phoenix Tea Wake-up Mask that is said to revitalise the complexion and counters allergic reactions.
“We set out to put meaningful, natural ingredients in our professionally made, high-quality beauty products. Our products are the medium for us to tell the story of our brand,” Ms U said.
Ms U said that before the advent of ÀO, Macao lacked suppliers of beauty care products that had their own, original lines. She saw an opportunity to create skincare products unique to Macao, made with ingredients found in the city.
“The skincare products of ÀO are designed and developed in Macao. With our experience and knowledge of South Korea’s beauty industry, we decided that our products should be produced in South Korea,” Ms U said. “All key ingredients, such as fine phoenix tea and lotus, are shipped to the Korean production line for manufacturing.”
Ms U said it took at least seven series of trials to perfect the ÀO Lotus Sleeping Mask, each time the combination of the ingredients and formula was adjusted. The final product is certified to meet the global standards of the beauty industry and is testament to the communication and co-ordination between Hanmay and its manufacturer.
Ms U said the next step for Hanmay was to make a wider range of products beyond facial care. The company is looking into developing a collection that includes body soap and shampoo made with ingredients associated with Macao. She said the company might look to Portugal for inspiration, a reflection of the Portuguese contribution to the city’s culture.
“Just as we wish to use fine ingredients from the East in our products, we wish to do the same with special ingredients from the West. At this stage, we would like to experiment with extracts from red wine, as red wines are already widely recognised around the globe,” she said.
ÀO products are already sold in two shops in Macao and Hanmay intends to open a third outlet on Hengqin Island, across the border in Mainland China. The Hengqin shop will offer what Ms U calls “all-in-one beauty solutions and the ultimate relaxation experience”.
“We can see a promising outlook for Hengqin. For a lot of Macao people, Hengqin will become the city’s backyard. We are planning a business complex with multiple functions,” she said. “It will be a space dedicated to beauty in all its aspects, as customers can enjoy facial treatments, hair treatments and make-up services.”
Other parts of the complex, she said, would function as a café, a classroom and a shop. Ms U said the Hengqin shop would serve as showcase for the ÀO brand and as a stepping-off point into the wider Mainland Chinese market.
If you are interested in meeting with the enterprise mentioned above, please contact "Macao Ideas" 's staff during office hours.
Ms. Cheang +853 8798 9707
Ms. Chong +853 8798 9739