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Hong Kong - Trade-shows and Product Development

Posted by Chris Thomas on April 12, 2016. 0 Comments

I'm back in Hong King this week.


I'm catching up with some friends, visiting some trade shows and doing some banking (boring!).

But the the main reason I'm here is to catch up with Linda (one of my suppliers) to hopefully finalize the prototypes of the Generation 4, 2016 Hibermate.

It's been a little frustrating getting the prototypes of the ear cups to work as I want them too - changing from Silicone to a soft foam has caused some issues which need to be resolved before I can press the "Big Red Button" and commence production in earnest.

While I'm here I try and shoot some footage of the prototypes to show you where we're up to. Its frustrating to have reached out to my customers last year for feedback on what improvements could be made to the Generation 3, 2015 model and then take so long to...

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Sneak Peak - 2 new products coming soon...!

Posted by Chris Thomas on March 02, 2016. 0 Comments

Really proud and happy to share a couple of brand new products I've been secretly working on for the last 8 months...

They should be released around Mid-year - coinciding with the relaunch of the new 2016 Hibermate...!

Can't wait!

Anyway, enough waffle. Let's get on with it.

Here's product number 1.

1. The all New Hibermate Sleeping Mask with Headphones:



This has been a labour of love!

  1. It features a contoured single band eye mask with super adjustability. The contouring helps takes pressure from your eyes for REM and also helps to recess the speakers inside the band for side sleeping comfort.
  2. The speakers are removable for washing (please, please, please don't wash the speakers) and there's a half inch of super-soft memory foam to provide additional padding and cushioning for your ears.   
  3. The...
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New Single Band Ear Muff Prototypes Have Arrived...

Posted by Chris Thomas on February 11, 2016. 1 Comment

Hey guys

Super excited to share some images and information about our first round of single band ear muffs for the next generation Hibermate.


Above: New Prototypes for the Ear Muffs

They're based on the same design as the current dual band silicone cups, but we're looking to change material from Silicone (heavy) to soft Poly Urethane (much lighter).

The great feature of this approach is that you'll be able to purchase a pair of the new cups so you can add them to your favorite headband (if your headband is a strap-type) or sleep mask.

Of course, I'll be offering them as an integrated part of the new 2016 Hibermate sleep mask, and I'll be adding in a free headband in the box so if you don't want the use the sleep mask with the cups, you can...

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September through December 2015 Income Reports!

Posted by Chris Thomas on January 07, 2016. 4 Comments

Well, after almost 2 exciting years in Hong Kong, we're safely back in sleepy, old Melbourne, Australia!

Extracting ourselves from Hong Kong was like trying to get chewing gum out of hair.

We also brought back 2 cats we'd adopted in Hong Kong - it was very expensive and not recommended!

Tip. Do not let your kids convince you that adopting cats is a good idea if there's any chance you might have to move them to Australia some day.

With all that going on, I've fallen behind on the income reports so I thought I'd just do one catch-up post and consolidate them all in one go.

Overall things remained pretty flat sales-wise, until we hit November and then of course, the big grand daddy month: December, where between the website sales (AUD $19,614.04) and Amazon sales (USD $24,657.10), we hit an all-time monthly record of $44,271.14 (combined currencies -...

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Global From Asia Office Launch Party in Tsim Sha Tsui - Hong Kong

Posted by Chris Thomas on November 27, 2015. 2 Comments

A few weeks ago I stumbled across quite possibly the most useful Podcast (for me right now), like, ever.

It's all about setting up a company in Hong Kong, Banking, Fulfillment, eCommerce, you name it.

It's simply called Global From Asia, by Michael Michelini.

The benefits of opening a company and creating a company bank account here in Hong Kong are almost too numerous to list.

The most attractive thing is that Hong Kong is a very "business friendly" place to set up.

  1. Hong Kong has an extremely stable political system (except when Beijing annoys them!)
  2. It has a strong Rule of Law legal system based on the British legal system.
  3. It has, near as dammit, parity with the USD ($1.00 USD = $7.75 HKD) . The reason is a bank can issue a Hong Kong dollar only if it has the equivalent exchange...
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Back to Guangzhou!

Posted by Chris Thomas on November 15, 2015. 3 Comments

A month or so ago I sent an email survey out to my previous customers asking them for feedback on what could (or should) be improved with the new 2016 model I'm working on at the moment.

The response was phenomenal!

It was clear that improved sound reduction and better side sleeping comfort were number 1 priorities for the new model.

People were also keen for a single band mask to be created but also with a headband that would enable people to wear the cups without the mask.

Last time I met with Linda at www.claveproducts.com, we worked out how much customer feedback we could introduce into the new model without risking too much in development costs (the budget is tight and basically designing everything from scratch isn't cheap).

We decided the first step would be to focus on the cups and make a simple change to start...

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August 2015 Income Report

Posted by Chris Thomas on October 07, 2015. 1 Comment

August 2015 was a better month again than July. It looks as though June might have been the "bottom" of the seasonal trough and, all going well, we'll continue to see an uplift month by month as head towards December 2015. 

We also launched a new product on Amazon which is a compact travel neck pillow and we gave away a few of those to generate some reviews. It hasn't really added much to the bottom line though - we're selling maybe 3 or 4 a week which is adding about $400 a month in additional revenue. So it's not moving the needle much at all!

Mind you, it's a quite a saturated market.

My attention now is working on the new 2016 model Hibermate so I want to keep my focus on that project and not get too distracted promoting the neck pillow. 

I am also innovating again and...

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July 2015 Income Report

Posted by Chris Thomas on October 07, 2015. 0 Comments

So sales are still a little flat in July, but slightly up from June's numbers of $22,041. I'm hoping that as the year rolls through Q3 and later moves towards Q4, we'll start to see a bit of an uplift! 

Costs are quite low at the moment, so profit is reasonable and it'll mean that I can start investing into some new products in the next few months as well as work on the new 2016 model prototypes.

July 2015. 

July Amazon Sales: $8,752.00 (US Dollars)

July Website Sales: $14,932.50 (Australian Dollars)

July Total:                 $23,144.50 (up $1,103.5 compared to June 2015)




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Salesbacker interview.

Posted by Chris Thomas on October 01, 2015. 0 Comments

Chris Guthrie interviewed me a couple of months ago while I was on vacation in Australia!

I was recovering from a dose of the flu and it was freezing cold when I did the interview (shivering!) so wasn't at my super-energetic best, but if you're interested to hear about the journey and the future of the Hibermate, feel free to listen.

A big thanks to Chris at www.Salesbacker.com - a brilliant tool I use to help automate my Amazon customer follow-up and review process.


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New 2016 model update - trip to Guangzhou next week!

Posted by Chris Thomas on September 10, 2015. 2 Comments

After a very long summer school holiday break here in Hong Kong it's time to get back to work in earnest. In late June, we travelled as a family to (a chilly and cold) Australia for 3 weeks (friends and family trip), then came back to Hong Kong for a week before having a 'proper' holiday in Thailand.

Photo: Libby and the kids, Koh Mak, Thailand.

The kids are back at school now at last which frees me up again to re-focus on the new model Hibermate.

This year, there has been lots of feedback about the 2015 model from customers and all criticisms and suggestions for improvement have been recorded. I've prioritized my efforts and improvements based on the feedback. I'm seriously grateful to my customers for their input.

I mentioned in a previous post that some big...

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