Welcome to The Year of the Ox
This Chinese New Year welcomes the Year of the Ox, bearing the element metal, symbolising diligence, positivity and prosperity. To mark this important date in the Chinese calendar and showcase the hard work of our colleagues in China we’d like to share a whistle stop tour looking back at some key events, and celebrate the pivotal and historic moment that saw Focus SB become the first and only British (and European) electrical wiring accessories brand to be granted a licence to manufacture outside of mainland China in 2017, selling directly into China's multi-million dollar hospitality and high-end residential construction marketplace.
October 2017 Focus SB is cleared to export to China
Focus SB passes a stringent China Quality Certification Centre (CQC) factory audit with no reported non-conformances. This signifies the company’s official entrance into the Chinese marketplace, becoming the first and only British premium electrical wiring accessories brand licensed to manufacture and export electrical wiring accessories to China.
Focus SB’s Managing Director, Gary Stevens announces: “This is a historic moment for the company and the British electrical accessory manufacturing industry.”
Focus SB’s achievement sees the company win the Export Award at the Made in The South East Awards in 2018!
Roger Kemp commented: "We were up against some stiff competition, and this is great recognition for all the team who have worked hard to achieve it."
Visitors to Expo Build 2017 in Shanghai, the first event for Focus SB in China, were ‘wowed’ by our premium wiring accessory products, having never come across similar before. Displayed in glass cases in a roped off area of the company’s stand, it was necessary to organise visitors into an orderly queue to view the creatively presented sockets and switch-plates; such was the level of interest. Focus SB has since exhibited at Expo Build 2018, twice at China International Import Expo (CIIE) Shanghai, China International Building Decoration & Materials Expo and twice at influential international event Design Shanghai, where the company showcased a unique precious metals collection including 24K gold, rose gold and platinum.
Attracting record interest at the Design Shanghai 2019 event, Duncan Ray, Focus SB’s Head of Strategic Partnerships said of the collection: “In the electrical accessory industry we are the only brand that can customise precious metal plate. For this exhibition, we have shown three customisable precious metals including rose gold, 24K gold and platinum. Those are only a few of the base materials that we can customise for high-end projects. We can also design and manufacture plates that incorporate a variety of jewels and diamonds according to requirements.”
December 2017 Focus SB receives first order for a lavish hotel project
Specified for over a thousand rooms in the Skyloft interiors crowning the luxurious MGM Cotai hotel resort in Macau, also known as the ‘Jewellery Box’. Notably the MGM Cotai in Macau has achieved recognition as the largest property and first private sector project to achieve the China Green Building (Macau) Design Label Certification in 2016.
January 2018 High end light switches hit the headlines
Telegraph Deputy Economics Editor Tim Wallace interviews Gary Stevens about the company’s China achievement for a feature on global export, describing Focus SB as offering ‘inspiration for Brexit’.
2018 Brand launch at Grand Hyatt Shanghai
A dinner is held at the prestigious Grand Hyatt to celebrate the launch of the Focus SB brand in China.
August 2018 Five showrooms open in China and Hong Kong
Following our successful brand launch held at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai in 2018, we opened two showrooms in Beijing, one in Hangzhou and one in Hong Kong, with our flagship showroom located in the iconic Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, expertly orchestrated by the team at our main distributor Kursel Ltd. Focus SB now has seven showrooms and 10 sub distributors!
Savoir Beds selects Focus SB Prism in 2019
Focus SB is the preferred electrical accessories brand choice for Savoir Beds in Shanghai, and our Prism plate style adds discreet, attractive functionality to the renowned British bed brand's room set displays showcasing its luxurious tailor-made beds to a VIP clientele.
On 6th November, as part of the business activities for the China International Import Expo (CIIE), the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) hosted an evening reception at Shanghai’s Hotel Indigo on the Bund, belonging to CBBC’s member, IHG group. Overlooking the breathtaking Shanghai skyline and Huangpu River, over 150 guests attended the event to network with CBBC’s distinguished members and partners, as well as the British Consulate-General Shanghai and the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT). During the event, China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) member Focus SB, Savills UK, University of Central Lancashire, and Sisters Grimm announced respective partnerships with Chinese companies.
In 2019 Kelly Hoppen by Focus SB collection launches comprising products for the UK and China markets.
The exciting new collection officially launched in China at Design Shanghai 2020, Asia’s premier design event, which was themed ‘Design Completes the Circle’. Focus SB also launched its ‘Nature Inspired’ collection featuring unique liquid metal finishes by Anka Metal Coatings and Bespoke Furniture who created a custom piece of furniture for the event, along with an exclusive finish collaboration with Lutron for its Palladiom bespoke keypads and Focus SB’s elegant period collection.
Kelly Hoppen CBE says: “Interior fittings such as light switches and plug sockets are often not considered until the end of a project, but these details can add an extra touch and shouldn’t be overlooked. The world of electrical wiring accessories is generally very conservative, but I wanted to create something that would very much be part of the overall design, introducing jewellery-like details and alternative finishes. This collaboration with Focus SB introduces a new aesthetic to electrical fittings in a way we haven’t previously seen.”
June 2020 saw de Gournay Shanghai select Focus SB Prism plate style selected to adorn its luxurious hand-painted wallcoverings in its VIP Showroom in Shanghai following an exhibition stand display collaboration between the two companies for Design Shanghai in 2019. There has since been a collaboration with de Gournay for its exquisite new Beirut showroom.
Focus SB welcomed VIP visitors from the Department for International Trade (DIT) at CIIE 2020 where we’d collaborated with Mylands luxury decorative coatings manufacturer on an elegant ‘British’ themed stand.
British Design Seminars
Sunny Chen and Stella Du of Focus SB’s main distributor partner in China, Kursel, are busy organising regular video interviews with prominent designers and curating design presentations to groups of selected design professionals. They have also secured radio and TV interviews in China and the USA!
Please view designer interviews with the head designer of Arcplus Group Plc discussing Shanghai Pudong International Airport Satellite Terminal design (featuring Focus SB’s products which were specified for the VIP lounges) and the founder of YAT (Shanghai) Co Ltd discussing luxury residential design at Focus SB’s YouTube channel. It’s also possible to view our latest company videos including a virtual tour of our manufacturing facilities with Chinese subtitles.
Chinese New Year Traditions
The three key dates during Chinese New Year are:
11th of February (or Lunar December 31st). The last day of 2020 in the Chinese Lunar calendar. Christmas Eve traditionally sees families hold a big family dinner all together and stay awake for the whole night.
12th of February (or Lunar January 1st). The first day of 2021 is the first day of 2021 in the Chinese Lunar calendar. On that day, first thing in the morning, the family elder will give the kids money in a Red Packet called ‘Ya Sui Qian’, to wish good health, best wishes and protection to their kids. Because in Chinese, Ya means cover, while the pronunciation of Sui could mean "Bad Luck or the monster who bought illness". Visits to other family members take place on this day.
16th of February (or Lunar January 5th). This is the day that the Chinese believe the God of Wealth is back to work.