A Chat with Emily

Today we sat down with our Merchandiser Emily Lee to learn more about her.

 What do you do as a Merchandiser? What are your main tasks?

 As a Merchandiser my main task is to make sure that every production runs smoothly. From the beginning, when we quote the price, till the end, when we ship out the goods. There are many things I have to take care of. The relationship with our suppliers is one of the most important aspects of this job. We need to make sure that we have the most competitive suppliers and that the products our clients ask for are the best ones both quality and price wise.

Currently I am mainly focusing on Hand Made Paper Bags. I like the idea of focusing on one specific product, it allows me to be more professional and gain more experience in that field. Before joining Swedbrand I didn’t know anything about packaging, so I had to learn everything from scratch, but now you can ask me anything about it and I will be more than happy to share my knowledge in this area!

How and why did you choose to work at Swedbrand?

Actually, when I first got here for the interview, I had a type of culture shock. My first thought was: “Wow, so many foreigners!” It felt so international! I’m a local Chinese, and that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to work in an international environment where I could feel stimulated by different people, with different backgrounds, who speak different languages.

So this is definitely the main reason why I chose Swedbrand right away. It’s like when you fall in love with someone for the first time! It was love at first sight! (she laughs)

Can you describe Swedbrand using three adjectives?

  • International
  • Young
  • Energetic

Where in China are you from? Tell us something about it.

I´m from a small city called Chenzhou, in the south of Hunan Province (south-east China). It’s a beautiful town surrounded by mountains, very relaxing and easy to live in since everything is very calm and slow-paced. Most people there like to gather in public places to play cards and mahjong. It’s perfect for retired and old people who don’t want a frenetic life.

That’s why I chose to move to Shanghai, I think young people belong to Shanghai. It’s such a fast-paced and stimulating city! However, when I get old and I’m ready to retire I might move back to my hometown.

Is there anything in particular you miss about your hometown?

There are a lot of things I’m missing. Firstly, my family and friends. I can only go back home once a year so I miss them a lot. But thanks to the Internet and the Social Media we can talk every day now, so I feel less the distance. Secondly, I miss my mountains. I really like hiking and climbing, and in my hometown there are many beautiful mountains perfect for that. Last but not least, I miss the food from my hometown. It’s very spicy and so delicious! Many restaurants here in Shanghai have the traditional Hunan dishes though, so when I feel homesick I can just go to one of them and it immediately feels like home!

Funny story: When I was a student, my university was 3 hours away from my hometown and sometimes I was taking the train back home just to be able to eat the traditional Hunan food (especially seafood noodles). That’s how much I like it!

What do you do in your free time?

I do many things in my free time. But what I enjoy doing the most when I’m not working is relaxing. I believe that taking some time off is good for your brain, it helps you disconnect from the world and be more productive.

Recently, I started taking tennis lessons, I really enjoy it! Except for this, I love travelling and visiting new places. Since I’m not Shanghainese, there are many places I haven’t been yet around Shanghai, so whenever I get the opportunity I try to visit one.

Those who know me well know that taking photos is my biggest hobby. The first thing I look for in a phone is a good camera, I always make sure that I get the best one on the market. I really enjoy taking pictures, and one of the main reasons is because they are the best way to remind you of your past. When I’m old and retired, I’ll have enough pictures to accompany me and help me look back, so that I won’t forget anything!

We also heard that you are married?! Tell us more!

Yes! I got married last year, but I have been living with my boyfriend for a very long time. We have known each other since 2006 and started dating in 2007, so now it has been more than 10 years. We are like an old couple! (she laughs)

We haven’t had the traditional wedding ceremony, I’m not that conservative. I prefer a nice honeymoon, just the two of us. Marriage is just about the couple. Having a big wedding doesn’t mean you will have a happy marriage.

If you were going on holiday just the two of you, where would you go?

Somewhere by the sea. A beautiful beach, delicious food and a nice hotel. A romantic place where we can spend time together and relax. We actually had a vacation like that when we went to Phuket, Thailand, for two weeks. It was amazing!

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