China was amazing! It far exceeded my expectations and was defiantly a trip of a lifetime. Over the years I’ve heard so much about the Norwex factory in China and shared what I knew with my customers. Now, I am delighted now to have a first-hand experience, meeting the people who run the factory, seeing the factory with my own eyes, and touching the materials with my own hands. After this experience, I can confidently report that Norwex is making a difference globally. Our products are proudly made in China! Norwex products are the best quality, produced with the highest standards, in the most pristine condition!
My plane landed in Shanghai. My exit off the plane was a good indication for my week to come. Busy! With two rows exiting the plane, I patiently waited for my turn to deplane. But without a break in the line up the flight attendant said to me, “Sweetheart you better just push your way into the crowd or you’ll never get anywhere around Shanghai.”
Shanghai is a very beautiful city. The population of Shanghai is over 24 million as compared to 35 million people who live in all of Canada. There were people everywhere! I had always heard that the citizens were only allowed one child. This is partially true. If you are an only child and marry an only child, you may have two. This gives every other generation two children. That said, you always have the option to pay to have more children. To overcome the one-child policy they can pay $130,000 yuan per additional child.
One of the highlights of my trip was meeting Summer and Joyce, two long-term Norwex employees. They met us at the airport and stayed with us for the entire duration of our trip. Their english was very good and it was amazing to connect and learn about their lives and families. Norwex has radically impacted my family and it is amazing to hear how it impacted their families.
We stayed at the Westin Bund Center in Shanghai. This hotel is an iconic for it’s remarkable view of downtown. It is also near the famous Bund waterfront that we walked a number of times!
When we pulled up to the hotel we were greeted by David Peeters- Norwex China Factory Manger and Global Product Development, Debbie Bolton-Norwex North American CSO, Judy Letain-Norwex Canadian CEO and Eivind Schackt-Norwex Global CEO. Eivind shared that when we drove up to the hotels, he was feeling anxious and excited to see the reactions upon our arrival in China. It was amazing!! What a great company that they care so much!! This was a dream come true for our corporate staff too. They were excited to show their top leaders the Norwex factory.
On this trip, I had the privilege of traveling with a number of the top executive leaders from Norwex globally.
Our first experience was walking along The Bund admiring the view of the Huangpu River which they call the Mother River.
Across the river was the beautiful Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the sign of Shanghai as well as the tallest building in China, the Shanghai Jinmao Tower with 118 floors. The skyline on our arrival was overcast and we were unable to see the tops, but to our delight later in our visit the sky was clear and sunny!
The Bund has 52 different classical reveal buildings including: Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Chinese and Western style. This area is know as the “International Architecture Exhibition Group”.
We had the opportunity to walk The Bund numerous times. One morning we went for a walk in the rain, it was nice to see many people exercising along the river. One memory that will stick with me was watching senior citizens walking backwards while clapping their hands. This is what I learned about the purpose of this exercise: “Walking backwards, or retrowalking, is a form of light exercise that the Chinese have been doing since ancient times. Walking backwards is more tiring than walking forwards, and this will give you a better cardio workout in general. But that’s not the only effect it has: according to an article published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, retrowalking has a positive effect on patients with knee osteoarthritis. And you know who has osteoarthritis? Seniors. That isn’t where the benefits of walking backwards ends. According to a Dutch study, walking backwards may also sharpen your thinking. And as for the hand-clapping? While the methodical hand-clapping may look silly and resembles a poor man’s chest fly, it does give your arms some exercise to do.”
There were lots of signs which also made us chuckle. No honking, which they do alot. But this had to be the funniest, “Don’t believe the ‘tour guide’ on the road”. If you are visiting China, the locals will always give you directions even if they don’t always know what you are talking about.
I also enjoyed the beautiful flower wall. Shanghai was exceptional clean!!
We also walked up Nan Jing Road. It was very modern area with a couple North American stores. It used to be the only road with North American shopping. At the end of the street was the people’s square, a beautiful green space with gorgeous flowers.
We visited the Shanghai Urban Development Planning Museum. They have a model of the city that is 1/60th the actual size. It was exceptional. The intricacy of every detail in this massive city was displayed and explained. It was amazing to learn about their advancements. There are 10 bridges that cross the Huangpu River and 13 tunnels that run under it. My city doesn’t have that kind of access across the river that runs through it. The growth that Shanghai has experienced in the last 15 year is nothing short of explosive!!
In our exploring of Shanghai we saw many North American stores and products. We were all delighted to stop at Starbucks for our favourite familiar drink!
Delores VandenBoogaard is an Independent Norwex Sales Consultant from Edmonton, Alberta Canada with customers and consultants throughout Canada and the United States including; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, North West Territories and Ontario. She also has customers and team members in; Michigan, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Washington, New Hampshire, Iowa and Maine.
Delores VandenBoogaard is a Norwex Executive V.P. Sales Leader and Independent Sales Consultant. She is committed to helping others discover a fresh way to care for their homes and families using clean natural products.