When we first met Jin Mei, she was working quietly and focused tucked away in a corner at her sewing station. She is one of the highly skilled seamstress in the factory who is able to sew an entire piece of garment by herself without much help from others. She has sewn possibly hundreds (if not thousands) of garment sample designs throughout her experience as a seamstress. We speak to her to find out more about her daily life and experience working in the factory.
Tell us more about yourself, and where are you originally from?
My name is Nong Jin Mei, originally from Nanning, Guangxi province (approximately 650km away from Dongguan City) and I work as a seamstress in the sample development department.
How long have you been working as a seamstress?
I’ve been working here for close to 5 years, but have been in the garment industry for more than 10 years starting back in my hometown, Nanning.
What was the reason that made you decide to leave your hometown and to come here to Dongguan?
I’ve always heard about Dongguan City as a much more vibrant place as compared to Nanning, hence I was curious and wanted to try moving here to see if there were better opportunities.
Tell us more about your daily routine.
My day usually starts around 7.45am, where I would wake up, prepare to go to work and take a quick bite before starting work at 8.30am.
We will then have 1.5 hours of break time for lunch, where I would normally have it at a nearby café. We will then resume work at 2pm for another 4 hours and knock off at 6pm. During peak seasons, we may be assigned to work for an additional 2 hours from 7pm to 9pm.
What would you do normally after work?
I would prefer to go home and take a rest, spending most of my time playing games on my mobile and prepare to go to bed by 11.30pm.
What do you love most about your job?
I find great satisfaction knowing that I have made so many sample designs throughout my career, especially when I get to see the final designs on billboards, advertisements and fashion magazines. Incredibly proud of myself! (laughing and blushing at the same time…)