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I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just back from China Fall 2012

This month’s blog is so far my most exciting to write.  I don’t even know where to begin.  I just returned from my fifth trip to China and it was my best trip yet.  My relationship with Joey and his dad has evolved into one of friendship and trust.  Joey’s dad moved into a new factory since I was there last and I was excited to see him again and tour his new facilities.  We also made some selections of other fabrics that we are going to be working on in the near future. 
Also, while I was visiting the factory, what did I see sitting on their shipping dock ready to be delivered?  Our next order of jeans!  The Danny, Jacob, Charlie and Michael were all boxed and ready to be shipped.  Unfortunately, China started another big holiday this week and won’t be back to work until October 8.  So these won’t get shipped out until next week.   I wanted to strap them on my back and bring them home with me.  But once they are loaded on a ship, it will take about 4 weeks until they reach our shop. Just in time for the Christmas season!
Also while I was in China, the Jonathan and Timmy jeans were delivered.  These two styles are for men with larger round tummies.  There are ten sizes in all for each style and our largest size is really LARGE!  We feel that we can now accommodate those men with Down syndrome who really struggle to find comfortable pants due to their unique body shape.  I can’t wait to get them into customer’s hands to see what people think.  That’s the true test of our pants…how the customer likes them and how well they fit. 
When I got back to work this week, I was able to get our model in for pictures in our two new style jeans.  We put him in two different colors of our men’s shirts and in the Jonathan and the Timmy jeans.  He looked amazing!  Ray Sawyer has been working with us for months and to finally see him in the finished product brought tears to my eyes.  Jillian did a fantastic job designing the jeans and the factory did a great job manufacturing them.
I also spent time with my friend Andy, who is now working with a very large factory and seems to be doing well.  He's even got his own brand and is selling it to other countries.  When he sold his factory, he was able to keep his brand name, "Jeansburg".  I was so proud to see his own label on a pair of jeans that he designed.  His first order was being shipped to South Africa while I was there.   Andy is also working on black pants for us in the Jacob and Danny style.  We're still tryting to find just the right fabric.  
Well, my Chinese lessons are finally paying off.  I was much improved in my communication skills since my last visit.  My Chinese is still very limited, but I was able to have small, simple conversations.  I was really proud of myself for how much better my Chinese was compared to my last trip.  Both Joey and Andy have been helping me as well, but my Chinese still needs lots of time to develop (maybe the rest of my lift)!
With all the positive changes happening, my excitement and enthusiasm is hard to contain most days.  Seeing the growth of our product line and the increase in sales renews my faith in what I am trying to achieve.  There have been so many disappointments along the way, but I’ve never lost faith.   I see the vision clearly in my head and I know exactly where I am going.  It seemed that for a long time I was going the long way around and forced to take detours.  But now the road is beginning to straighten and I’m overjoyed with the current path I’m on.