The students running stalls at the annual Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park have fully capitalised on this year’s zodiac animal. We were amazed to find pigs on everything from keychains to laptop cases to tote bags when we visited the fair yesterday. We also got to speak to six stalls to learn about their designs and marketing strategy.
The Chill Pig stall is run by 24 secondary school and university students, most of whom are veterans with two years of fair experience. “In 2017, we named our first stall ChillChick, and we have kept the word “Chill” since then,” says Wah Yan College (Kowloon) student Clayton Chan Kwan-to, 17. “That’s because we think Lunar New Year should be a time for celebration and relaxation, and we want HongKongers to let go of any stress and have fun at the Fair.”
This year, the team decorated their products – such as stickers, weekly planners, and laptop cases – with illustrations of pigs and mean-but-funny motivational quotes. “We want to encourage people, especially students, to stay positive and strong even when they feel tired or frustrated about work or studies,” says Clayton.
This is the fourth time Hong Kong University Graduate Association College students have participated in the Fair. This year, 14 students teamed up to set up the stall, Piggy Sugar .
The Form Five students are primarily selling key chains, tote bags, and school supplies.
“For our key chain designs, we looked up some popular pig-related phrases on the internet and worked them into the key chain’s design,” says team member Yoyo Fung Pak-ying, 16.
“Then we created some original cartoons to go with the phrases”
Its name was inspired by a famous bubble tea shop called Tiger Sugar, says Stephanie Chan Wing-huen, 16.
“Brown sugar bubble tea has been very popular recently, so we thought using a similar name, and making it more relevant to the Year of the Pig, would attract customers’ attention,” she explains.
Pig Friends Dog
The name of stall 110, Pig Friends Dog, is a literal translation of a famous Chineses idiom. It is a metaphor for how some friends can be just like filthy barn animals – “undesirable and pathetically comical”.
There are 17 students on the team. Most of them are current St Paul’s Co-educational College students, while some are from Hong Kong International School and Harrow International School.
Their products not only celebrates the Year of the Pig, but also poke fun at toxic friendships. They are selling originally designed merchandise for everyday use such as bags, folders, T-shirts, and laptop stickers.
Sell What Pig
A group of 12 students from Wesley College are running a stall for the second time.
The stall’s leader, Anson Choy Fu-ki, 18, says “Many students nowadays believe someone can help them organise everything and all they have to do is to just follow the plan and execute it.” However, the team behind Sell What Pig didn’t go to anyone for help. It was student-led through and through.
This time around, they are selling pillows that come in the shape of bubble tea. They thought this was fitting because it will be the Year of the Pig, and the word for pig in Cantonese sounds like the Cantonese word for the pearls in milk tea.
They are also offering five different designs of files, bearing Chinese song lyrics on backgrounds they designed. Also available are tote bags with their logo.
The name of one stall belonging to a group of students from St Paul’s Co-educational College was inspired by Mentos sweets.
“Mentos explode and fizz up when dropped in Coca Cola. We thought this name could totally represent our energy,” says Callie Lau Man-ying, 16, who is responsible for the stall’s publicity.
“Also, the literal translation of our brand from Cantonese to English is “Infinite Happiness”. That’s the feeling we want to convey to people.”
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The group of 28 are selling bags and stationery at the fair, including stickers and files that they designed themselves.
They’ve also incorporated a lot of trendy slangs and popular song lyrics into their stickers. They’ve created handy bubble tea holders to make people’s lives (and drinking) easier as well.
Twenty Form Four students, from St. Paul’s Co-educational College, are selling their products at Victoria Park, including a selection of files, memo pads, folders, toys, tote bags, temporary tattoos, and stickers. A lot of them are inspired by popular memes.
“We strongly believe that everyone, regardless of their age or background, enjoy and laugh at memes on the internet, that’s why we settled on this theme,” says Christine Chui, a 16-year-old student.
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All products are designed by the team, and are aesthetically pleasing as they are practical.
“Most importantly, we hope our products can spread the interests and culture of teenagers around our society,” says Christine.