Since my last writing explaining the need to find a new jeans factory, good luck has finally come my way. April ended on a very good note!
The first factory wanted $120.00 to make a sample. He wanted the money sent by Western Union which cost $14.00. I had never heard of paying so much for a sample but I assumed he was including the cost to ship it back to me so it seemed reasonable knowing how expensive shipping costs were. After sending the money, he agreed to begin the sample. He finished very quickly and sent pictures right away.
The photos looked great and I was amazed! Then I asked him how he would mail the sample back to me and he said he would need another $55.00 for shipping. What!!!! I couldn’t believe my ears. There was no way I was paying another $55.00. I told him that his charges were unreasonable and I refused to pay his shipping cost. I told him that if he wanted to do business with me, he would have to pay those charges himself. He refused to mail them to me. So I told him I would be in China soon and he could deliver the sample to my hotel when I got there.
I discussed what his minimum order was going to be and he told me that it would be 500 per style. This was also too high, I couldn’t afford this large of quantity per style but he refused to work with me on this matter either. I didn’t like this guy at all and I knew I would never want to do business with him.
The second company had a young girl as their representative. She told me her speaking English was not too good but her written English was good enough that we could communicate through the instant message system. Skyping with her was not possible she said because of her spoken English. Her charge for making a sample was only $23.00 and I was able to pay through PayPal. The sample was finished in good time and she sent pictures which looked very nice as well. But she said the measurements were incorrect and did not match our specs. She said they would make another sample right away. Her minimum order was 300 per style.
Now for the status of the children’s jeans: Andy told me they would be shipping today, May 1. Because I’ve waited so long for these jeans to be completed, I’m not putting any money on it. I’ll wait until my next entry to let you know about the results of the children’s jeans.
We’ve finsihed preparing the website for the sale of the children’s jeans. I’ve also added the ability to use all credit cards on the website as well. Up until now, the only way someone could order would be by using their PayPal account. The cost to include all the credit cards is expensive so I’ve held off doing this until now. Hopefully, it will make ordering from our site more convenient.
My Chinese lessons are going very well. The course I’m taking has 90 lessons and as of today, I’ve completed 46. I’m excited to actually try out what I’ve learned. Andy will be picking me up from the train station on Sunday and he promises that we will speak lots of Chinese together. He’s been a good friend and a great teacher. I look forward to seeing him again.
If you ask me if I will continue to work with Andy, the answer will be yes; even after all our problems. After opening his own factory last year, I can see that this was the source of his dismay. Apparently, his partner was supposed to be in charge of production but failed in leading their workers. They were out of control and Andy was trying to manage production as well as everything else. It was too much for one person to handle so his business was suffering and we ultimately got lost in the shuffle. He’s now taken his factory’s name and split from his partner. He’s paired up with a large factory now who will handle the production and he will manage the sales for his business. This is what he does best and I think he will do a better job for us in the future. We’ll see how it goes from here.
Without his help and support, I would not have been able to negotiate and deal with these other manufacturers. He’s been my teacher of this industry for over two years and I'm not afraid to work with other factories now. I understand about the clothing industry so much more, especially jeans. I am confident now that I can deal with foreign manufacturers in China. Jeans are so unique and difficult to make, most would not realize their challenges and Andy has helped me every step of the way; I’m grateful for how much he has taught me. So I’m chalking up these last few years as if I had gone to school…now I’m ready to graduate.