Handmade and homemade for success

By Zhao Yimeng | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-22 10:27
Pan Ruibin works at a workshop of Panwallzer Handmade Sweaters in Fuyang, Guangdong province. [Photo/China Daily]

Willing to pay

A comment during one of Pan's livestreams on Douyin read: "It's so expensive and I can't afford a sweater like this." Several similar comments followed, complaining about the high price of a single woolen sweater.

However, Pan won't compromise on price to earn more sales.

"People value personalized products. They don't like their outfit clashing with others on the street, and handmade sweaters help them stand out from mass-production items," he said.

Another regular Panwallzer customer said people often asked her where they could buy a similar sweater. "I feel proud when friends and even strangers notice my handmade sweaters and ask me how I got it," said Tong Jing, a 36-year-old nurse from Shangqiu, Henan province.

"At first I also considered the price too high for ordinary buyers like me, so I tried knitting it myself. But it's too hard to finish a scarf, let alone a sweater. Then I realized the great effort in every customized work. It is really worth the price," Tong said.

In June, Pan Ruibin and his team traveled to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the country's northwest to shoot publicity photos for his Taobao shop. The trip, costing 200,000 yuan in total, resulted in beautiful photos and videos presenting his handmade sweaters in a bucolic setting.

In one of the photos, Pan models a sweater while cows graze in a pasture in the background. A short video of him sitting and knitting in the tranquil meadow earned 26,000 likes on Douyin.

"I hope users unpick the stereotype of knitting with needles by watching my videos. They don't have to buy one, but at least they can know Panwallzer is making exquisite handmade sweaters," Pan said.

Customer Yu Han said: "It's rare to see a man devote himself to traditional handwork today like knitting, and that's why I never hesitate to support him."

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