Working in China in the interior design business seems like it would be fantastic, as the wealthy Chinese are so desirous of American taste and products.  However,

as we learned on the last post from DAVID BASSETT-PARKINS (see: THE BUSINESS OF INTERIOR DESIGN IN CHINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID BASSETT-PARKINS FROM AVA LIVING CHINA -Part 1), one has to learn the ins and outs of doing business with the Chinese.  You can forget about any binding signed contracts.  You can also not expect to have success there without paying your dues, and spending time making personal contacts with people you need to influence in order to garner tons and tons of Guanxi. It just won’t happen!

I googled the word Guanxi just so I could get a real understanding of the concept. Basically, it literally means “relationships”,  or something like “one hand washes the other”/ ” scratch my back I’ll scratch yours”….got it? . Doing business with your friends first is  basically an obligation. AND it is totally legal in China.

You also need to have patience as the process doesn’t happen overnight.  By this I mean years of  seed planting, and negotiating, and, as DAVID will tell you, you might even have to eat a few eyeballs in order to show your respect for your Chinese dinner hosts!  Or perhaps share a few camel steaks at the hot restaurant in Inner Mongolia!!

China is growing by unimaginable leaps and bounds,  There are 800 million people living there, and with industrialization, everyone is moving from the countryside to the cities at a rapid pace. The prediction is that there will be ten cities the size of New York City within the next 25 years!

AND the best part about this story is that the wealthy Chinese want American design in these fabulous mansions they are moving into.  American design signifies comfort, style and that you have really made it to everyone over there.

AVA LIVING CHINA is on the forefront of developing Guanxi in the residential design market for talented American designers associated with them.  Being that the majority of rich Chinese do not speak English, the pros at AVA LIVING CHINA form the connecting link to great American interior design and the Chinese market. They are also developing a design reality show…another new frontier in China, which maybe if I play my cards right DAVID will throw me a bone and make me a star! How do you say ” TV STAR” in Chinese???

OKAY, time to listen to DAVID again…I know you’ll find this just as fascinating as the first part of my interview:



Isn’t it fascinating to listen to DAVID?  I have listened to that interview several times over and always find what he has to say super interesting.