PaperQueen in Shanghai - Blog #5 - March 7 - 13, 2016
Posted on March 15 2016
The Shanghai weeks are whizzing by too quickly...
Wholesale Market - Found some beautiful pearl necklaces, silk scarves, hair scrunchies (the kind that don't kink your hair), dangly bracelets and earrings, all in time for Mothers' Day shopping when I return. After a full day of treasure hunting, we had a light dinner at the Boxing Cat Brewery and were able to get a table right outside on the boulevard which had a complete Parisian feel to it. We then happened upon a VERY darling watering hole completely by accident. It was called Speak Low in the French Concession. We thought we had gone into a music store (my husband loves music) which we soon found out was actually a "front" and a secret access to two secret bars. The woman at the front counter asked us if we had come to her shop for a cocktail We found this question a little odd as we thought we were in a music store. A lesson I learnt very early on in life was that.... whenever anyone offers you a cocktail, say yes. So we said "yes" (with curious conviction). She then pressed a button and the entire bookshelf behind her slowly slid to the left which opened up to a secret passageway. How exciting! We went through the dimly lit archway, up the very narrow staircase (it was an old converted house) and found the first of two very groovy bars (one on the 2nd and one on the 3rd floor - completely different themes, music and atmosphere). They both had great music, interesting people and fancy cocktails flowing.. We imbibed and had a wonderful evening. You must go if you get the chance.
Fiona, Kat and Jen - These three lovely ladies have unequivocaly enhanced my entire Shanghai experience. I can't begin to describe how generous they have been with their time, their hearts and their social lives. I hope I can be more giving like them when I return home. I hear Vancouver is a hard city to crack if you're new to it. These ladies shattered the ice and let me in the very first day I met them.
Cashmere Market - Mental note - never EVER go to the Cashmere Market on a Sunday. SO BUSY!! Went to pick up my cashmere order of blankets and shawls (to die for) that I had ordered for Mothers Day. The market was I-N-S-A-N-E (understatement). Video clip below to give you just a smidgen of an idea of what lengths I go through to get the best quality at the best prices for my clients.
Packaging Company - I met with a packaging company to see if it was more economical to have my PaperQueen branded paper shopping bags printed here. I brought them a sample of a bag I liked that I had gotten from another packaging company. He took one look at it and said "this is a fake bag". Huh? How can a paper shopping bag be fake? So I guess it's true, they know how to copy everything here. There are even entire fake Apple and Ikea stores in cities outside of Shanghai. Hard to believe but it's true.
PQ cards in Shanghai - I landed my first PaperQueen retail account in Shanghai! this week. They have ordered greeting cards for all the expat ladies to mail all over the world. Halleluia!
Hong Kong - We had a wonderful weekend. Stayed at Hotel LKF in Central (thanks for the recommendation Rochelle). Great hotel and location right in the heart of everything. Had a super dinner right across the street at Wagyu. So much great energy from the patrons (so many Aussie's). Haven't felt that in a while. Had a wonderful brunch at Butcher and Baker in Kennedy Town with dear old friends. Took the brand new subway there, almost right to the front door. Subway is so easy to get around in HK. Great city. Great to be back.
Went to the Bird, Flower and Fish Market in Mongkok. They love their birds. The sound was amazing. Birds hanging in dozens of trees for sale, with men negotiating bird sales throughout.
My biggest fear happened. My phone died. My entire Chinese life is in that phone - no address to my house, no nothing without it - how fast can you visualize me RUNNING to buy a portable charger - which will never leave my handbag again until I am on Canadian soil.
I have conquered 435 skips in a row without stopping.
Next week - Designing clothes
Beijing for five days
Until then - x