May all of you in the States be having a happy Thanksgiving, and may the rest of you be having times you can be thankful for.
November has been good to Myung and me. The Giants won the World Series. After waiting since the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, I am happy, let me tell you. I was able to watch the whole postseason on the internet. The other good thing is that Myung has opened her cosmetics shop. I have a new appreciation for anybody who has done something like that. It was especially arduous for Myung, of course. She worked every day for at least two months and much of the time since we got to Chongqing.
It took the longest time just to find a good location. You can see the walking street the shop is on in my last blog. Here are pictures of the place before and pictures of it now.
She decided to be a franchisee for Kalakala, which is a Korean owned cosmetics company with 160 stores in China selling “Korean” cosmetics manufactured in China. Chinese people love just about anything Korean, and Myung is told that almost all of the other stores are quite profitable. Hers is the only one in Chingqing. Her hope is that there will be more Kalakala stores in Chingqing, all hers. For now, she would like this one to be profitable. It’s been open a week and the signs are promising. She’s already paying the rent, the utilities and the help, plus a little profit. With luck, it will grow from here. She already hopes to make enough to live on as well and start taking bites out of her capital expenses, then open another. Yes, yes. first things first. Right now she’s working out the kinks. Some things are easy in China. The bureaucracy for opening a business is easy, even for foreigners. Getting things done right isn’t. In general, workmanship here is shoddy. In general, “good enough” is all Chinese expect. A lot of things aren’t built to last. That doesn’t work for Westernized people. She’s had to compromise on some things but, all in all, things are adequate now.
This adventure hasn’t been a drag. It was fun in many ways. I’ve had a good time doing it with Myung. Looking for a location was interesting, up to a point, as going around town considering locations not in the area we live showed me much of everyday Chongqing. And it was a learning experience, learning about property values, rents, consumer traffic, etc.. She finally, and I think wisely, settled on this place walking distance from our apartment. Figuring out what was to be the interior and how to get it done was another learning experience. Working out the kinks is another ongoing concern.
Here are some more pictures. First is Myung and the company rep from Beijing who came down for a week or so to get this off the ground.
Here are more.
That make up corner has proven very popular. customers can come in and get their faces done for free. Myung has a laser/ultrasound/massage machine they really like. Sometimes they want to buy that, but it isn’t made in China and is expensive even in Korea. Importing it would be prohibitively expensive for all but the upper crust Chinese. Myung is looking into trying to figure out how to bring them into the country somehow. Often they like the products, so after trying the stuff, they buy something.
At first, Myung hired two young women to work there. The first one didn’t work out. The second, Jhang, is working out very well so far. She gets to use all the products she wants and comes in early to get dolled up. She likes that. Besides, she is a good worker. Myung is thinking about giving her a raise already.
Enough of that. You’ll be hearing more. It’s what we do now. Myung is there or doing something related 11-12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I go there and back, bringing her food, a running errands or hauling something. I do what I can whatever suits my talents.
The pictures of the front with the mops and brooms, was before we put up the grand opening gala balloons.
When I’m not doing something in connection with the shop, my main endeavor is learning Mandarin. Oh, it ain’t easy getting old. I used to have an aptitude for languages. That went wherever my memory went. But, if I stay here long enough, it’ll come along. I hope. I’m also kind of a house husband. I shop, cook and clean. It’s alright. I get time to myself and it’s got to be done.
So, that’s about it for now. Maybe not so much time will pass before I blog again. Maybe I’ll actually ramble about something else. Until then, be well, all of you