Hi ,

Greetings from Yiwu, China.

Last week I was in Ancient wisdom HQ and telling you about my hot desking habit - you can read about it here.
Since then I flew China Southern via Amsterdam and Guangzhou to a snow bound Yiwu.

This is a bit of a flying visit, as it's almost Chinese New Year and the factories are beginning to wind down, so not the best time to find and develop new products.
Regular readers will know we have an office and warehouse here, it's absolutely filled to capacity as we try to shift stock ahead of the close down, at least one 40ft container will be loaded this coming week.
Also you may not know but a few years back we invested locally in a candle factory, using just soy wax and importing fragrances from the UK we have built a busy little factory - I went along to visit. It was all go as the team are rushing to complete orders ahead of the CNY close down. (Side note.. we started the factory about four years ago because no-one here was interested in making high quality soy wax candles - they said we was mad - now lots of companies are making soy wax). Anyway there was just time to work on an idea we had for a Gin & Tonic candle made with clear gel wax.

Four charming guys turned up from the wax wholesale company we use, to help us make some development samples, after lots of shaking hands Asian bowing and practising random English words, we set to work learning the particular tricks of the trade for gel candles. Actually although they can look spectacular, I'm a bit sceptical about them.. health and safety wise, but you have to try. I seem to remember about ten years ago when they was last in vogue some issues. Playing with the product, we also had an idea that gemstone chips might look good - suspended in the wax, so we tried - and yes.. beautiful. Or as the four gentlemen kept saying Piàoliang! Piàoliang! (sounds like.. pea oh! lee anne) which means something like beautiful, delightful, enchanting.

So we took the dev samples back to the apartment to try. Set them burning all night, they look pretty piàoliang for sure, burn time impressive.. after a few hours the wax level has not discernibly moved at all, and the old issue of hot liquid gel pooling and flaring seems to be solved. Left four candles burning all night in the bedroom. Woke up in the morning with a slight headache, and was horrified to find we was spiting black soot.
Back to the drawing-board as they say.. maybe (if we can't fix this) otherwise we will stick with the nice healthy soy wax :)

Mrs May is in China.. I was interested to learn that on social media they are calling her Auntie May, she was apparently, according to the BBC very flattered to know this. Pleased that at least Chinese folk love her.
My wife (who is Chinese) fell about laughing, the term they are using is Āyí May..(pronounced Eye Eee) which for sure can be translated as Auntie, but more normally is a name young children call their (usually elderly and uneducated) hired nanny. You read the truth here first!

Very soon the dynamic city of Yiwu, will become a ghost town, streets will empty, shops will close, factories shuttered. Yiwu is 90% incomers, and they will be all heading to their respective home towns across China. CNY see's the biggest movement of people on earth, trains roads and airports are already getting busy as the Year of the Dog approaches. In the past we have joined the throng, driving on the G60 (China's route 66) in a mad crash prone crush of cars. This time we are escaping to the heavenly calm of Bali, Indonesia and the mystic town of Ubud where.. we also have a warehouse :) Ubud is giftware central for handcrafted items in Indonesia, and in my humble opinion the most artistic and creative place on earth.

I'll take you there :) .. at least in spirit if you join me for next weeks update.

Meanwhile.. there is a veritable whirlwind of activity in AW UK.. because it's less than two weeks to "V" Day (as they call it in India). Valentines weekend - the prime time for gift shops is basically next weekend... with the big romantic love-fest day in mid week following.
Of course one shouldn't blow ones own trumpet, as I'm sure Auntie May would say.. but it has to be said.. (please forgive me) there is no better wholesaler than AW for the season of love gifts, check out the deals below. We are still running behind, but all the stops are being frantically pulled to ship your orders. I don't want to panic you, but NOW is the last chance to stock up.. and don't forget this is just the beginning of the season of love... mother's Day, Easter, wedding season.. all upon us.

Deep breaths.. calm down, light the incense, take it easy, drop some chill pills in the bath.. all will be well.

No doubt many of you will be visiting the trade show in Birmingham - just to let you know... We won't be there, never needed to do trade shows and anyway we just don't have time. A couple of weeks ago I sent an email entitles: 5 Things you should know about Ancient Wisdom. one of which is we don't have salespeople, we aim to have products that sell themselves. Well to be honest we do a fair bit of marketing, but no pushy sales so no trade show. Anyway I'm sure you'll love the show, lots of brilliant ideas. Everyone and their Auntie will be there, but we are working this weekend extra shifts to get your orders out.

Hope you have lovely weekend.
News from heavenly Ubud next week.

Take care.



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