It’s incredibly difficult to find decent shoes in China. There’s a very criteria that needs to be satisfied.
1. Will my high arches collapse if I excessively use them?
2. Can I sprint in them if I’m trying to out-run a predator?
3. Do these shoes make my size 7 feet look more proportional to my 5’8” frame?
And most importantly: 4. Do these shoes cost 1/10 of my monthly salary?
Often times, the answer to the following questions are “yes, no, no, YES” which leaves me to just chicken out of the whole idea and I just continue to wear my old, beat-up hippy sandals everywhere.
My boss says I’m no longer allowed to wear them to work. Shocking considering I work in luxury. (No it’s not)
So The Collection in Shanghai was kind enough to ship me a pair of sandals to test run around the streets of Beijing. While there’s no website, I was able to keep an eye on their products via WeChat (@tcsh126) and Instagram (@thecollectionshanghai). When I found something I liked, I contacted WeChat Frank (the owner) and he handled ALL of the shipping and handling details and the package came three days later straight to my door without an issue. That’s not like China at all.
Obviously Frank has some major connections OR magic powers. Or both.
Often times, my friends and I buy shoes and clothing at the local Chinese markets for dirt cheap, but the quality is obviously compromised and each item falls apart quickly. This is obviously a huge issue when it comes to shoes. You just never know when something will fall apart on the go and you can’t be sure of the impact that long-lasting use will have. I have extremely high arches, so prolong standing, walking, or hiking will make my feet cramp or ache; because I’m a delicate flower. Right.
The Collection sells quality shoes you can count on, at a price that won’t make you question your priorities. They are fashionable, yet, you can still navigate over the potholes, in-between the cyclists, and through the uneven pavement that’s been under construction for the last year for some unknown reason.
But who’s the man behind the stiletto?
FRANK: “I come from a small village in the east of Hubei province where nobody speaks English and my parents are farmers, but they used all their savings to get me educated until college. My first job was an assistant of a Taiwanese guy in a handbag factory in Guangdong where I spent a lot of time in production line to see how leather goods are manufactured from raw material to finished product.”
Shocker alert: Frank has had only basic English lessons until college. He just kinda… picked it up?
I’ve only had basic lessons until college (which I never used). When I moved to Shanghai, I just picked up phrases and ways of speaking, and now often Chinese people tell me how good my English is – they think I am ABC or Hong Kongnease or something!
I wish I could say the same about my Chinese… I am wildly jealous of your language abilities and salute you Frank. It’s an honor to have your business, product, and story on Wander Onwards.
I’ll be frank, you should probably swing by The Collection.
Need more info? Contact Frank @ firstname.lastname@example.org!
Checkout THE COLLECTION in Shanghai:
No 126 South Wulumuqi Road
(Near Yongjia Road)
Suhui District, Shanghai
Already have a product from The Collection? Support awesome entrepreneurs by tagging me on Instagram @wanderonwards and I’ll give you a shout out! Like my Facebook page @wanderonwards to stay on top of what’s going on in China and what resources you have available. Follow my smart-ass comments on Twitter @wanderonwards and stay tuned for more articles!
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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