In the era of globalization and knowledge-based economy, Taiwan’s cultural and creative industry has come into exploring ideas from its culture, creating products for everyday use and developing its own brand. For those who make either traditional or modern crafts, the key is to find their own values and what makes them different, so that it is possible to plan future directions, introduce a special style true to Taiwan’s living environment and culture, develop the brand and expand the market. For the upgrade of Taiwan’s crafts, we see government agencies launch policies and provide assistance, while the industry continues to push the envelope, finding the best strategies for both the manufacturing side and the marketing side and bringing top-notch craftsmanship from Taiwan to every corner of the world.
From 2004 to 2012, 144 craft artists from different parts of Taiwan have joined the Taiwan Crafts Workshop launched by the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute. Combining local cultural and tourism resources, each one of them is an ambassador to promote Taiwan’s crafts. It is also a journey for them to find their own identity and build their brands. We talk to Lin Kuo-long, Chen Chi-tsunand Tsai Ron-yo and get to know how they translate the help from the workshop into operation, R&D and marketing. The making process of a craft brand can be seen here.
In 2003, National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute launched the Taiwan Good Craft Judgment project, evaluating and certificating excellent craft products made in Taiwan in the hope to encourage the craft industry to stay in Taiwan and continue to innovate. This article features company stories, operation strategies, original design and marketing experiences of Taiwan Union Technology Corporation, Kenstar and Mygifts, showcasing the potentials and brand stories of Taiwan’s craft products.
Starting from 2013, the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute has been showing Top Crafts in Taiwan from a dozen of local brands in a large scale in different exhibition centers in China. Gong Yu Studio, Woody Chic, Big Lin & the Small Factory, Lin’s Ceramics Studio, Tsai Ching Ceramics and Tian Guan Silver Headgear Studio share their stories in this article. Facing a mega market like China, joining trade shows is a good way to understand market preferences and trends. Ratherthan just selling the products, it is more about finding the distribution channels and agents that suit their needs to build a more sustainable business model.