Blog #248 I talked about the Shanghai Factories with Rob and Michael. In this blog I want to talk about when we meet up with Bing before we take some R&R.
We stayed at an incredible resort in Shanghai. By American standards it would be 5 stars but only costs us about 60 dollars a night. Like most quality hotels in China, they had upscale rooms and fabulous restaurants to choose from. We would dine at one of them before we would all go for a nice foot massage to end the day. The next morning, we would meet Bing who was going to show us their capabilities for our wide calf boot program.
The idea came to me to expand our wide calf boot collection during my “Holiday Help” time. This is when everyone in the company will spend 10 hours during the holiday time to answer phones for our customers. The CLT team always had enough people around to help us navigate the phone system or difficult questions the customers may have. The past year I fielded several calls for wide calf boots. We only had 2 styles on the site, so I looked at this as an opportunity. The best thing about a private label business is to fill in the voids that the brands couldn’t fill, so this was perfect.
First stop was to check out a style we had made here in Shanghai. It was always cool to see your brand coming down the line in a factory. Linda thought it was neat too. She saw all the different steps it took to make one shoe. Most people do not realize this until they see the process first hand.
After this tour we were to meet up with Bing. We weren’t expecting a lot since most people weren’t high on this category. Bing was a friendly guy and super smart. I liked him right off the bat. He presented us with 25 different styles. Wow! We were going from 2 styles on the sight with branded to 25 more private label. We took them all. The quality was right in line with our branded styles, so it was going to be great. Regular calf boots usually have a circumference of 15” as a regular women’s calf is 14”. Wide calf boots usually start at a 16” circumference depending on the size of the boot.
We looked at the boots at the factory and Charles and I wrote the PO’s to get them in time for fall. We were there all day long. We figured out the colors and fabrications first then the size runs. It was going to be a big committment but we were sure this was going to be a homerun and when they hit several months later we were right. Ther sales were amazing. We had a delicious dinner to celebrate and some great foot massages afterwards.
Of course, Linda made friends with her massage gal. They were having a great time together laughing and taking pictures of each other. It was fun to watch. We said goodbye to Rob & Michael as we were heading out to Beijing for some time off. We planned to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden city.
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…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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