Mr. and Mrs. Zheng were ordinary workers in a velvet hanger factory until, in 2006, chance changed their lives completely. After a major customer returned a batch of hangers due to poor quality and cancelled all future orders, the factory owner decided to sell up. Mr. and Mrs. Zheng seized this opportunity, and in August that same year the couple officially took over. They called their new business Anqi, a name inspired by the first factory they had ever worked at. They remembered being happy as part of that business, which had unfortunately not lasted long.
At first it was really tough. The Zhengs had no experience of running a business. Money was extremely tight and they could only afford to rent a shabby work space of a few hundred square-metres. It was right at the top of a tin house, and when it rained, the roof leaked in several places. Although they hired dozens of workers, as the owners, the couple worked harder than anyone else. Even the day before their first son was born, Mrs. Zheng was working on the production line until midnight.
After three years of contract manufacturing, Anqi was ready to start
dealing direct with customers. The business passed factory audits
for Wal-Mart, COSTCO, QVC and several other large foreign
companies, and in 2009 officially began to supply them with products.
With the business growing fast, in 2010 it relocated to a 10,000 square-
meterwork space in the Lianxing Industrial Park in Dongguan, which is
where it is still based today.
In 2011, Anqi set up a new series of household storage product lines
and established a storage bag department. By this time, Anqi had
80 workers. In the same year, to increase its plastic hanger selection,
the company spent USD$1M on two colour injection-moulding machines and set up a new injection-moulding department. The investment paid off, and Anqi became a supplier of TV shopping platform HSN in 2012. In 2014, Anqi passed Amazon’s audit and officially become an OEM supplier for Amazon’s private brands.
Today, Anqi occupies more than 20,000 square-metres of work space (including office buildings, factory buildings, warehouses and staff dormitories) and employs about 500 people. It now supplies flocked and plastic hangers and other storage products to around 50 e-commerce and supermarket clients worldwide.
What makes Anqi so successful? It took Mr. and Mrs. Zheng’s hard work to get the company off the ground, but to thrive to this degree also requires a stable workforce and internal cohesion. Anqi workers are treated like family members. Whenever one of them is in need, the couple is eager to help. When a worker fell ill in the middle of the night, for example, they personally took him to hospital and stayed with him all night. They often lend money to their workers without interest and have helped many of them to buy homes or cars. They're also supportive of their workers' professional development – for example, by paying English tuition fees for their sales force. Workers like the couple very much, and they are the main reason workers stay at Anqi.