Caldeira (+44 151 290 9090, caldeira.com), has three divisions: Caldeira U.K. Ltd., leading U.K. pillow company; Caldeira China Ltd., a manufacturing company known locally as Hao Sheng Textiles, and Caldeira USA Inc., that sells products from the U.K. and China arms to the North American market. Caldeira USA ( 230 Fifth Ave., suite 301) is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Tony Caldeira, managing director, shares insights into growing a global business.
How did Caldeira begin in Britain?
“In 1991, Caldeira was first established in Liverpool, U.K., in a small market stall with products originally made in my mother’s house. The company quickly grew to be the market leader, supplying decorative pillows to many retail stores in the U.K. within 10 years.”
Why did you decide to establish Caldeira USA?
“As China entered the World Trade Organization and globalization took place, it was clear that the company needed to adapt its model to survive. We set up a small factory in China, which also grew rapidly, and were encouraged by several leading U.S. retailers to set up in New York City.”
What’s the greatest advantage of doing business globally?
“We can take ideas and trends from around the world and promote them in different countries. An idea or product that has been successful in the U.K. or Europe can often, but not always, work in the U.S. and Canada, too. Customers are always looking for the next big thing.”
What’s the biggest challenge doing business globally?
“It can be exhausting! With products made and sold in Asia, Europe and the U.S., there are opportunities and challenges going on 24/7. On weekdays, Caldeira products are being made somewhere in the world at all times. As the Chinese operation closes, the U.K. factory opens. As the U.K. day is winding up, production starts in the U.S., with the baton passed back to China to start over again.”
What sets you apart from competitors?
“Having product developed around the world and often being first. We have a dedicated sourcing team that visits leading global trade fairs, which helps us stay ahead of the competition. For example, products sourced at August and September fairs are quickly turned around and will be displayed at Fall N.Y. Market a few days later!”
Any plans to celebrate your U.S. anniversary?
“We were adversely affected by the collapse last year of large U.K. retailer, British Home Stores. We had to streamline our operation, including moving to a new showroom at 230 Fifth Ave., suite 301, so we’ve not had time to party. I suspect we’ll have a little toast at the LDB Interior Textiles/295 Fifth Ave. party during N.Y. Market to celebrate. To ten more years…and thanks to all our customers and friends for their continued support.”
Shown: Caldeira USA’s new Back to Black pillow collection.