I’ve finally found the time to update the blog following the renovation of our site. I was fortunate enough to visit our manufacturer in China recently and work through the garments we plan to release over the remainder of this year and early 2016.
Since I haven’t been to the Middle Kingdom before, I thought it a good idea to at least learn some of the lingo before I went. So after 8 weeks of tutoring and several hundred dollars lighter in the back pocket, I was able to fluently say thanks, thank you, hello, where is the bathroom, I am Australian and a phrase that loosely translated into ‘I am just a poor wage earner’.
Since I have a detail oriented personality bordering on anal retentive, I also arranged to have an interpreter (Jenny) on standby as well. The good news is, Jenny was sensational in terms of translation, the bad news is she confirmed my Mandarin was pretty close to useless. Oh well, we live and learn.
China is an incredible place to visit and I was surprised just how western it appeared within areas we stayed. Plenty of luxury cars on the road with Porsche Cayenne being one of the most popular! Cabs were another matter and they seem to be the same around the world. A trip through peak hour traffic was a heart stopping sphincter workout from start to finish, with other road users passing within inches of our Hyundai!
I also had the opportunity to learn about the various shopping districts within the city. Each district is made up of stores that pretty much just sell the same type of product. So the watch district sells every kind of watch, the picture framing district is a line of stores selling different frames and parts. While I managed to see the Jade, shoe, pet, musical instrument and technology markets, I was of course, most interested in the underwear market.
And it is incredible! A lane way of bras, undies, things and stockings and very little else. Unfortunately everything is made for Chinese sizing so pretty much useless for the average Australian or American sized woman. This is replicated for all the clothes markets that I found. I had hoped to pick up a few business shirts while in China since that’s where most are made. Unfortunately I’m a Medium in Australia and not even an XXXL shirt could come close to fitting me in any of the stores!
The time spent with our manufacturer was priceless however, and despite the language barrier, we spent a full day together planning styles and fabrics based on our earlier drawings. The great thing about being in the factory was having samples completed within minutes of completing each pattern. It was nice to meet with the staff and get to know the business which is still quite small but growing rapidly.
In total we have seven new styles to come with up to four new garments per style. This year will see bra and brief sets with the addition of either a cami, teddy and even a skirt!
Rachel will be our first release and she is due towards the end of June.