|Ma Yuxia [Xinhua/Liu Ying]|
The experience of Ma Yuxia, founder of Shanghai Tuoweng Trading Co., Ltd., is quite a story. In 2009, a short time after she graduated from Sichuan International Studies University, Ma was employed by the South America branch of China Railway Engineering Group Co., Ltd., as a translator. She made a name for herself by selling alpaca dolls, produced by Peruvians, during the China International Import Expo, held in Shanghai in 2018.
From the time she was a young girl, Ma has had a keen interest in trade. During a business trip to Peru (in 2016), she bought several alpaca dolls. When Ma presented the items as gifts to a client, the woman "fell in love" with the adorable fuzzy dolls at first sight. Within a short time, the woman ordered 1,000 alpaca dolls from Ma. Recognizing the potential business opportunity, Ma decided to cooperate with her Peruvian friends, to introduce alpaca dolls and alpaca-wool products to the Chinese market.
In 2018, Ma established Shanghai Tuoweng Trading Co., Ltd. She also registered a brand name — Warmpaca — for the alpaca dolls produced by the Peruvians, so it would be easier to expand her business. The dolls have become a hit with Chinese since the items debuted at the 2018 China International Import Expo.
Ma exhibited the dolls at the expo each year. Given the efforts of Ma and her employees to promote the items, both online and offline, the dolls have sold well in many regions of the country, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
During the past several years, Ma has led her employees in developing more than 200 varieties of products (made from alpaca wool), including mufflers, slippers, ornaments and various stuffed animals. The products have sold well across the country.
Ma and her employees' efforts have paid off, as Ma's company has boomed during the past few years. Revenues this year from sales of Warmpaca dolls increased 20 times over that of 2018. In 2018, Ma employed one Peruvian family to create the dolls. Now, more than 100 Peruvian families are producing dolls for the company. The Peruvians have earned a considerable profit from the products.
"We should not only ensure the product quality and stable production in Peru, but also help Chinese better understand the advantages of our alpaca-wool products, while we make constant efforts to upgrade our products. So, we have a long way to go," says Ma. She is confident about her enterprise's future.
(Source: Xinhua/Women of China English Monthly January 2023 issue)
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