BOBSA

During the 10-day stay, we got to visit Beijing, Taihe(the hair factory hub), and shanghai.  We experienced the greatest welcome and hospitality on behalf of B.O.B.S.A., however, it is not the nice hotels and fancy meal everyday that impressed me.  It was their determination that really moved me. the Beijing and Shanghai part of the trip was mostly the factory wanted us to see that China is not all like the small town where the factories are, but my main focus today is about our stay in Taihe where the hair factories are located.  On Oct 25th, after 3 days’ stay in Beijing, I was really excited to finally go to the factories and see how everything is done.  We left at 7:30 in the morning to catch a bullet train, which runs at the speed between 180 – 200 m/h, I had known that ride would be more than 3 hours.  But when we get to the train station, my interpreter told me that there will be another 2 hours’ drive, here is what I have learnt in China, the distance might have only been 60 miles, but the crazy traffic and the speed limit itself made the ride take so much longer.  By the time we got to the town, it was already 3:30 p.m.   Now imagine someone who doesn’t speak any Chinese, who has to ride on public transportation to get to wherever the factories are to convince a major factory in English to take his/her order, I have been told many times by African American store owners that they buy directly from the factories, after being there myself, I realize the logistics are not possible, which is also why we black beauty supply stores are not competitive in this market.

 

Upon our arrival, the government officials and the hair industry alliance chairman treated us with a big Chinese dinner to welcome us, where I learnt that the factories have their struggles as well, the wholesalers don’t pay them on time, their workers work so many hours but the profits are so low, etc…

 

The second day, I was invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new factory— Anhui Union Hair Arts and Culture Co., Ltd, it has just been built and was invested by a few other hair factories, their goal is to use this new company to sell directly to the customers, by collaborating with B.O.B.S.A., it was a very exciting moment when I finally saw the 2,000-acre lot and 250,000 square feet building, I realized what a great opportunity this is to finally make black owned beauty supply stores able to compete with others.