Zawood is a boutique in a little-known alley off Avenida do Coronel Mesquita in Macao which sells made to order solid wood furniture. The shop opened four years ago, but has remained low-key. Instead, the reputation of this purveyor of products “Made in Macao” spread through social media and by word of mouth.
The Zawood shop is full of chairs of various designs and other wooden furniture. Along one wall are displayed tiny, delicate wooden ornaments. One of the owners of Zawood, Nicky Ho, says the idea of the business is to design, make and sell solid wood furniture that is durable and friendly to the environment.
The business model had to be adapted in the early stages. Another of the owners, Dave Wan, says that in the beginning most of the products Zawood sold were imported, and that making small pieces of furniture to order was a sideline. But once the business settled down, the partners decided to import less furniture and make more of their own. Now Zawood sells only custom-made furniture and its own designs of unique furniture.
Mr Wan says Zawood is in part a new enterprise with partner Mr Ho and in part the continuation of a family tradition. Since his grandfather’s generation, his family have been carpenters. Mr Wan broke with tradition by becoming a website designer, but knew enough of carpentry to return to the craft.
“This shop is interesting because it is also my father’s workshop,” Mr Wan says. “Now my father is working as a consultant to the business, taking care of customer questions about our products.”
Mr Wan contends that, oddly, the business benefits from being hidden away up an obscure alley. Money that Zawood would otherwise spend on renting space in premises in more high profile areas can instead be invested in product development. Mr Ho is sceptical about this argument.
“There are not many people walking by. That is our greatest challenge,” he says.
Zawood has a limited budget for advertising, so the owners use their personal contacts and social media, including Facebook and Instagram, to promote sales. “When we first started our business, most of our customers were our friends,” Mr Ho says. “However, nowadays 90 percent of the customers come in via social media. They have their own needs regarding furniture, most owing to the limited area of their homes. It is difficult to find suitable sized furniture in other shops.”
As the popularity of the Zawood brand grew, the enterprise struck up partnerships with other shops in Macao, which became outlets for Zawood products. Mr Ho says Zawood’s priority now is to work out which sorts of furniture it makes are most in demand and to mount appropriately focused marketing campaigns, with a view to attracting more customers and thus increasing sales.
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