The business that JIM now runs in Shanghai was originally established by his father in Hong Kong. The legacy of this workmanship lies with JIM's father. At age 20, he was apprenticed to a traditional Chinese carpenter in Shanghai and learnt the long-established customs of furniture manufacture and furniture upholstery.
After moving to Hong Kong, he was fortunate to study and work with a master craftsman from France, who specialized in furnitures. This experience allowed him to integrate his knowledge of both Eastern and Western practices, catering to both local and international clients.
When JIM and his family moved to Shanghai seven years ago, the family business came full circle, opening Little Dragon in the city where JIM's father had first learnt the craft of furniture making. JIM has a special affinity for furniture making, having studied classic and modern techniques under father's direction from the age of 16 years. He is genuinely passionate about furniture making (especially furnitures).
Over the last 8 years, our business has grown significantly, due mainly to the glowing referrals we receive from our loyal customers, who enjoy our personalized service and attention to detail. "You can't get a better marketing strategy than word-of-mouth," says owner JIM Wong, who believes the success of our family business is based on the quality of the craftsmanship and service our staff provide. We also believe that detailed hand-finished work provides its own quality assurance and our confidence in this craftsmanship is reflected in our lifetime service guarantee.
All tastes and styles are catered to, as the store offers more than 5,000 quality samples and fabric swatches. An enormous array of options await - smooth leather, luxurious velvet, magnificent satin tapestry designs and comfortable modern fabrics such as cotton-linen blends and ultra-suede.
As upholstery support and padding is dictated by individual taste, customers can choose from a diverse range of filling materials, which are assembled by hand. Specialized workshop processes ensure the quality and quantity of these materials, as they are individually weighed then encased in a special lining fabric.
Customers that choose a made-to-order furniture know just what they want, and that's usually a furniture that will retain its original size, shape and support over the years. Changes in style and taste are easily accommodated with interchangeable and replaceable furniture covers.
Our custom-made furnitures and chairs, of unique design and style, are vivid reflections of the personality and taste of their owners. Like tailor-made clothing, the quality of the design and materials are specifically suited to the end user. Over the last seven years, we've collected an interesting range of anecdotes from our customers, some of whom will go to great lengths to get a Little Dragon furniture into their home.
One client, whose custom-made furniture was too large to fit through his front door, hoisted it through a third floor window via a pulley. Another, having relocated his Little Dragon furniture from Shanghai, to the United States, to Singapore, visited China especially to pick up some soft furnishings from our store. Amongst our high profile customers over the years are some of Hong Kong's premier five-star hotel presidents, business titans, film stars and Shanghai's consul-generals. Perhaps one of our most faithful customers is the legendary Hong Kong actor, Andy Lau, who asked his interior decorator to work directly with us to complete the design of his entire mansion in Hong Kong.
The repair and restoration of antique furniture is a unique skill that we offer our customers. Our European clients, in particular, have strong recollections of furniture handed down through the ages and appreciate the opportunity to put some life back into family heirlooms which hold such fond memories of those now departed. One French customer, referred by a friend, entrusted us with a armoire that had been in the family for three generations.
Our company's objective is the same as its clients - to retain the integrity of the original craftsmanship and refresh the unique traits of an individual furniture piece. For this reason, JIM's customers can be considered a rather special community as they are willing to come from far and wide to benefit from his unique skill set. The company's integrity and heritage are much like that of the pieces they work on – handed down from father to son and continued throughout the generations. It is no wonder that the business has an international reputation which draws clients from all corners of the globe to Shanghai.