Demand for school uniforms kept Tainan-based Chung Mei Uniforms Co busy for six decades, but as a third-generation owner of the family business, Tsai Chia-lin (蔡佳霖) recognizes the need to diversify.
Changing social realities, such as fewer children and fewer schools with mandatory uniform policies, have made it difficult for uniform makers to stay in business, she said.
Her start-up, Zazazoo, which makes wearable accessories for dogs, is an attempt to adapt the local textile industry to modern times, Tsai said.
Photo: CNA, courtesy of Tsai Chia-lin
She said she launched Zazazoo with personal savings and subsidies from the Ministry of Education for business start-ups by young people.
When she was a student at National Chengchi University, she took classes to help develop her sales and marketing skills.
Forming links between Zazazoo and Chung Mei Uniforms has been an important component of her business strategy, both in terms of building a brand name on social media platforms and sharing production capabilities at the Chung Mei Uniforms plant, she said.
The name Zazazoo was inspired by the noise of sewing machines she heard as a child, Tsai said.
Weaving stories into marketing messages on social media is a crucial tactic for new businesses in the creative sector, because most businesses like hers do not have funds for advertising, she said.
Sharing photographs of dogs wearing her company’s products on Facebook has been a cost-effective way to promote the brand without paying for ads, she said.
The designs for her pet accessories incorporate classic Taiwanese school uniforms, including one made out of checkered material, and a bow that was inspired by National Taiwan Chia-chi Senior High School uniforms, which were voted the nation’s most popular school uniform by netizens.
The family business has been of great help to her start-up and the durability of the materials used in uniforms makes the accessories she produces comfortable for dogs to wear and easy for their owners to clean, she said.
Tsai said she had to learn how to sew for her business, while maintaining a skilled workforce amid a generational gap is difficult.
Having access to a stable supply of materials from Chung Mei Uniforms has been crucial, as a major stumbling block for many firms in the creative industry is finding consistent sources.
Zazazoo is developing its customer base through Internet marketing and collaborating with the Tainan City Government, which gave the firm space at its Blueprint cultural and creative park, she said.
With annual revenue of NT$1 million (US$32,626), her business has already reached one of her initial goals, giving her confidence about Zazazoo’s future, Tsai said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung