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Lisa in Asia: Day 1

March 3, 2010

Quality control checks every diamond, even the tiniest melee

I just finished my first day in China.  We spent the day visiting one of our vendors at their factory.  The buyers have a goal of visiting at least one factory each trip.  They want to know each vendor and company better, as well as to see that the companies are adhering to all standards that we expect them to be.

The factory is in mainland China (so I got lots of new stamps in my passport).  We took a boat (that reminded me of the Victoria Clipper in Seattle) and then a mini-bus to get out to the factory.  It was fascinating driving through the city.  People were selling sugar cane and bananas on the side of the road.  There were more bikes and mopeds then there were cars driving down the street.  They carry unbelievable amounts on these motor scooters, there was one moped that had 8 industrial sized jugs of water strapped to the back.  I don’t know how he balanced!  Both Laurie and Laura pointed out the scaffolding surrounding the construction sights we passed, instead of being made of metal, they were made of bamboo!  Only in China!

The factory itself occupied one floor of a large building.  There are other jewelry manufacturers on other floors.  We sat with the owner and his daughter looking at their new designs.  Then we took a tour of the jewelry manufacturing.  When we started our tour it was lunch time and most of the workers had finished eating and were napping at their stations!  I had never seen so many people napping in unison!  Nap-time seems like a good policy, maybe it should be implemented in the US too…

Seeing the detail work in every step of the process is always interesting.  We saw a group of women checking the quality of diamonds coming in to the company.  They were looking at diamonds that were teeny tiny, they were only .003ct each!  I can’t imagine looking at such small diamonds with a loupe all day!

Tomorrow we are going to the offices of a couple of other vendors.  Looking forward to it!  Good night!

~Lisa

The factory arranged for See's Chocolates for Laurie and Lisa!

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