Meritee, a seven-year resident of Taiwan who met his wife at National Taiwan Normal University’s Mandarin Training Center, tells the Taipei Times that the time when Taiwan-produced and branded products were seen as inexpensive and shoddily made has long passed.
“That’s why I don’t like ‘Made in China’ because it’s [associated with] bad quality,” says Meritee, as customers came up to admire E&A’s cutesy designs and run their hands through the downy-soft fabric that their products are made from. “Better quality, though, also means a higher price,” he says.
Ian Chang, for his part, already has a shop in Yongkang Street (永康街) but enjoys the interaction and business of the market.
“It’s really good for promotion,” he says. He adds that the combined success of his shop and booth means that he is on the lookout for an apprentice to help him keep up with orders.
Over at IDCY, McDonald says he is content to grow his business slowly and has no plans to open his own store yet, though he hopes to expand his business in the future.
“Why would I bother with the overhead [right now],” says McDonald, “ when everything I need is right here.”