Hand-delivered individuality

Updated: 2013-01-01 09:48

By Li Xinzhu in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Hand-delivered individuality

Xu Hong's handmade leather handbag. Provided to China Daily

Stay different, stay cool

Hand-delivered individuality

Xu Hong sews a doctor's bag at home. Provided to China Daily

Five months later, Xu's shop started to become extremely popular among handmade bag lovers.

"To avoid using the same bag as others, the handmade product is a good option," said 30-year-old Dong Bo, a sales manager in a multinational cosmetics company who loves to buy handmade leather goods on the Internet. "After all, the big brands are too expensive to buy to be able to distinguish yourself from others."

"I used to buy stuff from Etsy.com, an overseas e-commerce website focusing on handmade products," she said. "Then I discovered the trend is happening in China as well."

Xu said: "My small business all began with a doctor's bag," a reference to bags modeled on Victorian-era doctors' bags.

Two years on, the doctor's bag is still a big seller.

The design, inspired by a Japanese handmade bag textbook, has earned Xu a good reputation in a short time.

Her newly completed bags now sell as soon as they are posted online. Due to the limited number of bags, buyers who hesitate might find themselves only looking at pictures of the bags, stamped with the words: "already sold".

The most expensive bag in her shop sold for 3,300 yuan.

While Xu turned her hobby into a profitable business, some people chose to sell their handcrafts online just for fun.

Yao Fangjie, 29, an event planner at a private company in Ningbo in Zhejiang province, started to sell handmade rubber seals on her online store on Taobao in October, and has so far earned about 1,000 yuan.

Yao started to carve rubber seals in September because she saw many of her peers posting their handmade seals on micro blogs.

"I have knowledge and skills in painting," she said. "To carve a seal is not difficult for me."

Because Yao has a full-time job, she can only carve the seals in her spare time.

Hand-delivered individuality

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"It is good for me to have this hobby, even better to earn money," she said.

The most expensive seal sold at Yao's store cost at 400 yuan. "It was a tailor-made seal for the Christmas season," she said.

"You only need to buy knives, brushes, a mat and tweezers," she said. "Very simple". And the tools cost less than 100 yuan.

To carve a seal, one must first pick a pattern online, adjust its size then print it out, preferably in black and white. Then, cover the pattern with translucent drawing paper and trace it, before putting the paper over the rubber to carve.

"The entire procedure sounds complicated but it is actually quite simple when you practice," Yao said.

"I love the feeling when I finish a seal, it is the perfect moment to put a seal into the inkpad," she said.

Yao has no plans to extend her business. "It is a sideline project only," she said.

Like Yao, many fans of comics and movies make handmade products inspired by their interests.

Hand-delivered individuality

The undying language of love 

Shen Yanni, 27, who works in a medical company in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, loves making fabric bags inspired by the characters in The Avengers, a popular Hollywood superhero movie.

The fabric bag is much cheaper than the leather goods, and has more fun and creative elements.

Shen uses designs from the movie in her bags, such as Iron Man's helmet, Superman's big S and Captain America's shield.

"I have lots of fun making these bags," she said. "It is better to share than to sell."

The average price of fabric bags in her online store is around 50 to 100 yuan, and most are made based on requirements.

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