Apr 18 2017 0 Comments
After a day of shopping, craft brew (yes in China, and yes it was good), pizza and family, I was excited for a day of factory visits. Theo stayed with my mom for the day, and a family friend accompanied me to help with any language barriers. We took a train an hour to a city called Dongguang, which felt like a ghost town after leaving the hustle and bustle of Shenzhen. This is primarily a factory town and I was told that as it was Monday, everyone was working, which is why the streets were so quiet, and were they ever, it was kind of eerie.
The first factory we visited was the packaging factory. I have been doing business with the same person for over three years and it was good to finally meet him! It was also good to have an interpreter, as his English was quite weak. Nevertheless, this man is very good at what he does and has always been great to work with. His factory was quite large and the machines very new looking and kept in excellent condition. Machines do most of the work here with the men operating them, and the women completing tasks such as gluing packages together, and preparing orders to be shipped.The smells and sounds brought back images of being a little girl and visiting my mother at the printing company she used to work at, except this was on a much larger scale. I loved seeing all the different types of packaging being printed, some very cool stuff. We enjoyed a quick and simple lunch with Tony and were off to the factory where my products are being made.
I was nervous visiting this factory because I haven't been working with them for very long. I have been buying teethers from them for over a year, but it was only around Christmas that I also began buying my beads. First off, their name is deceiving because you think they are in the business of one thing, but they are actually only in the silicone bead business. Secondly, at every step of putting in such a large order I kept expecting them to ask me for more money as another company did in the past, but they have been so professional. This is by far the largest order they have made and there are some very strict guidelines they must adhere to, but all long they have said yes, no problem, we can do it. I was also hoping that working conditions in the factory were good and I could not have been more impressed.
This factory is small, but they are growing rapidly. Many local Canadian companies use them as I saw one company's custom teether hanging from the rearview mirror of the manager's BMW! They currently have maybe 8-10 women working on quality control, making products and weighing beads for loose bead orders. They have approximately 3-4 machines making all their products, yet they are so efficient. They have always shipped orders within 4 days and everything is made on site. The sales women I have been working with is absolutely amazing. She is so professional and it also helps that her English is fabulous. On my visit I was able to go over all the pieces of the puzzle that make this order and to ensure that we are all on the same page with the quality of the order. I have been especially nervous over the construction of my pacifier clip and was encouraged to see that it's better than when I make it! They are so focused on safety and understand how important it is that every single piece be perfect.
I arrived back to my parent's that evening after a long, but very satisfying day. To finish it off, we went for an amazing Chinese dinner (I can't get enough of real Chinese food) and an early bed for me!