For those in the market for agarwood, natural incense products, crystals or fine display pieces, Chio Hei Tat Trading is just the place. Located in the neighbourhood of Rua Nova a Guia, the local shop offers one-of-a-kind natural products.
Upon entering the shop, guests will discover the distinctive, elegant scent of agarwood. The pleasing aroma, together with stacks of natural treasures in every corner, form a mysterious, yet interesting vibe to the shop.
“I try to create a sense of ‘balance’ with natural materials. Take my shop as an example – the layout is not a perfect square, and everything appears to be a little random, but there is actually some order amid what seems to be a mess,” says Harry Chan, owner of Chio Hei Tat Trading. “Together with the light agarwood scent, my customers can still feel calm and cosy – a sense of balance – even though the overall appearance in my shop is not ordinary.”
“Natural” and “mineral” are the best words to describe every item at Chio Hei Tat Trading. Mr Chan has spent years studying agarwood and crystal. He has also established good relationships with local and overseas customers.
“I started my business because of my interest in natural mineral stones, jewellery and raw materials. Over the past decade or so, I broadened my scope of expertise to studying, collecting and trading agarwood. Agarwood has become a main pillar of my business,” he tells Macao Image.
Agarwood is a fragrant dark resinous wood commonly used in incense, perfume and small carvings
Promoting the culture of agarwood
For thousands of years agarwood has been highly revered. It was used exclusively by emperors, nobles and temples. Agarwood takes a long time to form and the formation can vary due to geographical, climatic and environmental factors. The sheer oil on the surface of the wood can be extracted to create essence oil that offers a calming effect.
“Fine agarwood is rare, and it often comes with a heavy price tag,” Mr Chan explains. “When I first started out in this business, it took me years to collect a decent amount of agarwood from various places. I spent a lot of time learning on my own and connecting with like-minded people and experts to broaden my knowledge and build networks.”
Armed with more knowledge, Mr Chan now produces different types of agarwood incense that are suitable for people who worship Buddhist gods or ancestors, or just using it as a soothing home fragrance.
“Joss stick factories were one of the three major industries of Macao’s economy in the past. Given Macao’s historical background and the cultural significance of incense products to Chinese people, I believe natural agarwood incense can be a healthier alternative in the household and temples compared to mass-produced chemical incense that is very popular among the general public.”
Apart from developing agarwood incense, Mr Chan is pairing agarwood with classic Pu’er tea to form tea leaf balls for tea lovers, blending agarwood into traditional Chinese tea.
Chio Hei Tat Trading produces different types of agarwood incense
“I believe natural agarwood incense can be a healthier alternative in the household and temples compared to mass-produced chemical incense which is very popular among the general public.” Harry Chan, owner of Chio Hei Tat Trading
Building business upon trust
As a trusted local business, Chio Hei Tat Trading is ready to welcome other business opportunities from outside Macao. One way to do so is to actively participate in trade fairs and exhibitions.
“The agarwood business market in Mainland China is more mature than in Macao,” he says. “We look forward to setting up connections with more potential clients though business pairing sessions at trade shows.”
However, what really inspires Mr Chan is the trust that he builds with his customers.
“My shop is more of a ‘gathering point’ for customers and friends,” Mr Chan notes. “People can just come in and chat with me. It does not have to be about business. I truly value the bonds and connections I have with my customers, and that is what drives my business forward.”
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