Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 1488 - China Day Six

The Canton Fair and a "foot massage".

Entering the Canton Fair
Day Six was "make or break day" for me.  I have left my family, spent thousands of dollars and compromised my health to be here and I've had very few results so far.  I have to get results.  I can't go home without them.  So it was with nerves, anxiety and determination that I set foot at the Canton Fair during Phase Three to get myself a list of manufacturers for t-shirts, shorts, pyjamas and stationery who were willing to do low MOQ (minimum order quantities) while branding their products with my Cheer Chick Charlie artwork and label.

I started off by going to the children's clothes section which completely threw me. I walked up and down the aisles and there was nothing for me.  Then I had a brain wave. I shouldn't be looking at kid's clothes, I should be going to the sportswear section for the t-shirts.  Or I should be looking for screen printers rather than clothing manufacturers.  It wasn't fashion I was after but basic everyday fitness gear with our logo. So with that decision made I hightailed it to the active wear area and BINGO I found a handful of t-shirt suppliers willing to create a new range of Cheer Chick gear with relatively low MOQ.  Thank you Lord! You have no idea the relief I felt.  I had a result.  The underwear area provided me with a pyjama supplier who could screenprint as well. A week's worth of built up anxiety escaped in a huge sigh of relief.

All in all I walked non-stop for six hours. I wish I was wearing a pedometer to truly know the mileage but I'd imagine I would have walked close to 20kms or more. Something that completely amazes me is the amount of people at the fair from every corner of the globe (I can safely say that I've now seen almost every nationality represented) who are buying HUGE amounts of stock.  While I was on the hunt for stationery there were people who are happy to purchase at ridiculous MOQs of 5000 pieces per item.  That's 5000 blue pencil cases, and 5000 pink pencil cases.  5000 purple notebooks and 5000 pots of red glitter. 5000 flower shaped erasers and 5000 star shaped erasers. Who are these people and who are they buying for?  Here am I walking in hoping to buy 500.  As you can imagine they look at me in confusion.  It makes me ponder on how people get started in business without losing the house.  I really like our house and would like to keep it.

By the end of it all my feet were throbbing and I was exhausted.  I was completely drained and close to tears. I couldn't wait to go back to my room and Skype the family to say "it's been worth it ... I have a result".

On the way through the lobby I booked myself a foot massage before I ran up to share my news. As it turns out my news wasn't news to Derek and the kids.  It was as they knew it would be. I went to China to find a result and I got it.  My news which was full of emotion and complete relief and celebration to me was but a sentence to them.  I guess I can understand that.  My "news" was expected.  It's only me that truly knows how hard my results have been to achieve.

After hearing all about their amazing Halloween trick or treating experience (they were dressed as zombies and looked fantastic) I headed downstairs for my foot massage.  Since when does a foot massage include a back massage?  Shit.  In true Chinese massage style I was pummeled and pulled and poked and prodded and that rib of mine that had finally started to heal was now back in the spotlight.  Ouch! I tried to communicate to them that I had a cracked rib but they just smiled and kept on thumping me.  It was with a great amount of relief when they finally got to my feet and the stress of the day was soothed and released through the soles of my feet. As for the rib, I'm back on painkillers, but that's ok.

A few from above in one small section of the Canton Fair

Another area of the fair

A walk outside to get some "fresh air" only to discover there is no such thing.
Welcome to the smoking area

Some of the many guards that are marching around the complex.

Finally! I show you the squat toilet.
Those ridged bits are for your feet to grip as you squat/hover over the hole.

Some of the trolley drivers having naps in their vehicles in between shifts

The end of the day provides relief.



  1. Oh my goodness! My head would have been in a spin at this fair Leanne. I have a clothing line idea also and had no idea that these places even existed. Lets plan a trip together next time. We can keep each other company :)

  2. Glad it is all working out! Well done!
    When I was in Shanghai, I had a massage at a massage business where all the masseurs were blind. It was one of the best massages I have ever had as they were so much more perceptive!
    They even fixed a back injury I'd had for around 13 years at the time!
    Ask around for a centre where you are - there would have to be more of them!


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