Twice a year Phantom Fireworks team members travel to China in preparation of the upcoming fireworks season.
If you wonder what occurs on these trips, you can now find out all the details below!
Q: When and how did the relationship with China and Phantom Fireworks begin?
A: Phantom Fireworks relationship with China began in the late 1970’s when Sam La, owner of Hong Kong export corporation Kwongyuen Hangkee met Bruce Zoldan. Sam Was selling display fireworks to Zambelli fireworks in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania and heard of Bruce’s growing consumer fireworks business ( B.J. Alan Company) through a mutual friend and drove over to Youngstown to meet him. The first containers were imported in the late 1970’s and grew rapidly from there.
Q: Where are the factories located at in China? Have the locations changed over the years?
A: Most of the Chinese factories producing fireworks for the export market are in the Hunan, Jiangxi and Guangxi provinces. Historically, the Liuyang region of Hunan has been the center of China fireworks production but fireworks were also being produced in Guangdong province near Guangzhou for many years. The three main producing fireworks provinces have been reducing the number of licensed factories in order to get down to the factories with the best safety and quality records for the past 5-10 years.
Q: How many visits are made to China each year? When? How long do the visits last?
A: Most years we make two trips into China. One in the fall for about two weeks and another one after Chinese New Year, which changes with the lunar calendar. That trip is also about two weeks.
Q: Can you explain what goes on during the visits to China?
A: Our spring trip is to do quality control. Typically each day consists of driving to multiple factories, selecting random samples, and then firing them off there or nearby. During this day shoot our team pays attention to duration, fuse burn time, and after burn. We will also select random samples of those same items to shoot at night. During our night shoots we really look at the performance of the items. We ensure that the effects are accurate, the colors are good, and that the height of the fireworks effects are good and safe for consumers. One of the best parts of this trip is the food! Since we are traveling all over into rural parts of China to our factories, we have to stop at local restaurants when we get hungry. This is where we get to try some unique meals that are always delicious!
Q: What process takes place to create a new product?
A: During our purchasing trip in the fall we will see plenty of items from many suppliers. If we like an item, we will request pricing and videos sent to us. When we make it back home we extensively review the product that we requested videos of. We will narrow down our list to only the best of the best to create new items for the upcoming season. We will select an item name, apply for a trademark registration on the name, and our art department will start creating the artwork. Once the artwork is finalized we will place an order with the supplier and send them the artwork. From there, the item will enter into production and we will wait to test it once it arrives in the United States.
Q: After a new product is created, how long does it normally take until the product arrives in the U.S. and is available in stores for purchasing?
A: From the time an order is placed it can be anywhere from 3-6 months (typically) for an item to be shipped. A lot of variables can play into this, such as production bans in factories, how much rain is happening near the factories, Chinese holidays that may take place which shut down factories, port congestion, just to name a few!
Q: Can you tell us if any new products will be available before the 4th of July? If not before the 4th, anytime in the near future?
A: We will definitely have some new items on our shelves this year! Stay tuned to our social media sites to learn more about these specific items!
– Phantom Fireworks