How our partnership began
What the rice harvest has to do with the production of harem pants
Our longest business partner is Phi Mam. With her we have produced our first own harem pants and Aladdin pants. We met her at a market in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand and were impressed from the beginning by the accuracy and quality of her clothes.
Phi Mam has a small shop in Chiang Mai. However, there is more behind it than a small shop for tourists: all their products are manufactured in a small sewing facility just outside the city. We visited this workshop to get to know the tailors and seamstresses. The small family-run factory is an extension to the tailor’s house. Where others park their cars, our pants are made. During our visit we decided to have a part of our products manufactured there.
Our first own product ideas were realized
Together with the tailor, we have refined our product ideas and incorporated the first details. At first our harem pants men and harem pants women were decorated at the waistband and on the pockets. It consists of woven or embroidered cloths of Asian hill tribes. As a further highlight each pocket was equipped with a zipper. In cooperation with Phi Mam and her tailor, our alternative clothing products became more individual piece by piece we started improving every detail.
And then came the rice harvest…
Our first production started, and we could hardly wait for the completion. When we wanted to know the date of completion, Phi Mam started to ponder, because the seamstresses were with their families to help them with the rice harvest. The rice harvest is important for many Thai people, because rice is the basis of life and they use the supplies for a whole year. For Phi Mam it is particularly important that the employees can use this time. The goal is not to hire more seamstresses to make more products. They are satisfied with what they have, growth is not the goal; satisfaction is the most important.
We had this experience not only at the time of the rice harvest, but also at important Thai festivities such as the Thai New Year.
Admittedly, we were a little surprised at first. It seemed as if this was a work ethic that went against all the business management lessons we were taught. But we realized that a long-standing partnership and satisfied seamstresses is something we can build on.
We do not plan any growth with Phi Mam, but we can rely on a constant and high-quality production of our products.
What we learned from Phi Mam: Quality takes time! And employee satisfaction is an important cornerstone of this.