Silk Road Desire’s Steve Dullard is both charismatic and obsessive. His face is creased by constant smiling and he is good at matey chatter.
Steve’s obsessive side shows when he tells you about monitoring every step in the production of Silk Road Desire’s duvets. He started Silk Road Desire with wife Sue three years ago and has sold countless numbers of their premium duvets. “We have not had one returned.”
Steve is from Bendigo in Australia and Sue from Newcastle, UK. They met in Hong Kong and married 17 years ago. Now they live at Nam Shan with two Nepalese helpers, Tanka and Karuna, and seven dogs. They support Catherine’s Puppies where they sponsor five dogs and Animals Asia with their bear “Bill” at the Chengdu Sanctuary. Steve also run a sourcing consultancy called Straight to Source Ltd, which sources products and matches suppliers for international firms and brands, while Sue is a partner in a taxation and auditing consulting firm, JFU Consultants Ltd.
The inspiration for Silk Road Desire and its duvets came in Shanghai four years ago when Steve and Sue visited the city with a niece who wanted a duvet. Steve, who speaks Mandarin, tried to help her find one. “There are a lot of fakes out there, so we saw the gap for genuine products, that are sized and weighted correctly,” Steve said. “I spent four months touring 28 factories in four provinces before narrowing it down to one factory.” This produces Silk Road Desire’s duvets filled with 100% AAA Grade Mulberry Silk and sheathed in a true 400-Thread Count, 80s Yarn Stitch 100% cotton.
Steve’s unrelenting focus on quality comes through. “I go to China and spend four days in the trashiest hotel, watching every step of my own production run until it’s done to specification and absolutely right. I need to protect the luxury brand identity with brilliant product, quality by maintaining our OEKO Class 100 Certification, and of course ensuring the product is genuine and what people want.”
Steve’s duvets can be viewed on-line www.silkroaddesire.com and in person by appointment, at Sai Kung Sunday Market, Discovery Bay Market and the Conrad Hotel’s Christmas Fair. “Sales this year have been terrific,” he said. “They are up 2 1/2 times over last year.”
How did they come up with such a good brand name? “Brain storming over a few beers,” he said. The blue and silver design of Silk Road Desire is modelled on high-end brands and that of the Carlton Football Club in Melbourne.
Steve said silk has properties that make it ideal for bedding. Natural, 100% hyper-allergenic fibre made by silk worms that feed on Mulberry trees fills the duvets. Multiple layers with air between release moisture from excessive heat. “They are luxurious, healthy, safe and regulate temperature and light. They will give you a rejuvenating peaceful night’s sleep every time and last for a decade or more.” Prices range from $4399 for the King Winter Duvet and $3899 for the King Summer Duvet, which is 60% lighter, to $3999 for the Queen Winter Weight; $3499 for the Queen Summer weight; $2499 for the Single Winter Duvet and $1999 for the Single Summer Duvet. Silk Road Desire
also produces unique sized and weighted Infant duvets for children and of course the Ultimate Pet Duvet. “Dogs love them.” said Steve.