/ Po Wah Paper Craft
Timeline: Since 1963
Business Type: offering products
Products: incenses, candles and offering paper objects
Address: G/F, 2D Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po
Mr. Au Yeung established Po Wah Paper Craft in 1963. ‘Po’ refers to the previous shop he opened at Bulkeley street in Hung Hom, and ‘Wah’ is the name of Mr. Au Yeung’s father.
Mr. Au Yeung was 20 years old when the communist took over China in 1949. His friend introduced him to work at “Kam Yu Lau” in Hong kong. He initially thought it was a restaurant but realized later that it was actually an paper crafts shop for making offering products. To earn a living, Mr. Au Yeung decided to become an apprentice in the offering paper crafts industry. He recalled how he learned his skills through observing. The masters at that time didn’t really teach anything, all the new apprentices needed to learn alongside work. After a few years, Mr. Au Yeung mastered the skills and set up his own business since 1963. Now, he is an expert with 50 years of experience in paper craft.
According to Mr. Yeung, the paper craft industry was most prosperous in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, all paper offering objects or ritual products were hand-crafted in Hong Kong. Now, most of the paper craft products are made in China. Business now is not as flouring as in the past but can still get very busy during annual festivals such as Chung Yeung Festival, Ching Ming Festival and the Lunar New Year. Mr. Au Yeung has to hire several workers to help out at the shop during festive periods. Paper offering objects today are in wide variety, many are even tailored made to meet market demand. For instance, paper high heel shoes, trendy food, or even pets. Once, a customer wanted to order a pair of custom-made brand name sports shoes for his ancestor! Paper offering objects with special requests are 10 times more expensive than the ordinary ones. Though, they are very popular among customers.
The shop is still using the old-fashioned hook for displaying the products.