While Live Music Association (LMA) and Theatre Farmers are housed in industrial buildings, design firm Macau Creations has blazed a trail in Macao and founded Cunha Bazaar on the bustling Rua do Cunha in Taipa. This shop specialised in creative products has become one of the top shops in the area.
Wilson Chi lan Lam, CEO of Macau Creations, remarked: “The vibrant atmosphere in Macao in terms of its cultural and creative arts is certainly unprecedented.”
After studying graphics design in Canada, Lam returned to Macao in 2006 to establish Macau Creations. A successful partnership was soon developed with Choi Heong Yuen Bakery, a well-known brand in Macao’s souvenirs industry, which resulted in a flagship souvenir store on Rua do Cunha. Known as Cunha Bazaar, the store has adopted a cultural and creative approach to branding and marketing its products. Macau Creations collaborates with over 30 local artists in terms of design and sales, featuring goods from Choi Heong Yuen Bakery. Thanks to Lam’s ingenuity, two seemingly unrelated industries—souvenirs and creative arts—have developed a partnership with exciting potential.
“Macao is an interesting case: despite its being a small city, it’s a mélange of old and new, the East and West. It’s certainly a good place to develop talent for the creative and cultural arts.” Lam added: “Macao has only about 500,000 residents, but because of the strong gaming industry, we attract over 30 million visitors annually. As long as our products are designed well, there’s little need to worry about a lack of demand. That’s ultimately why I chose to settle in Macao.” Lam’s belief in Macao’s booming tourism industry prompted him to partner with companies also working within the hospitality sector, making souvenirs an ideal choice of goods to focus on.
“It was not easy at the beginning. We were knocking on so many doors, but there was hardly any response. We were trying a slightly different approach to how the souvenir industry has traditionally been run [in Macao], so not many shops were willing to brave the risk.” Recounting those earlier days in setting up Cunha Bazaar, Lam admitted he was lucky to receive the much-needed support from the CEO of Choi Heong Yuen Bakery who was keen to contribute to the growth of the creative and cultural industries in Macao. As a result, Lam was able to rent two warehouses from the bakery, one of which has metamorphosed into today’s Cunha Bazaar. “In light of our recent success, we are glad not to have let Choi Heong Yuen Bakery down.”