90s Kids: The Silver Brothers
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2016-06-12 04:17:08

There are more and more people coming and going at Hangzhou’s Wuling Night Market these days. Zhang Zhihao and Wang Fei have a small table set up among the eclectic clutter of stalls. During the day the young men make jewelry out of silver at their rented apartment, and in the evenings they sell their designs at the night market. Sometimes they stay open until the last potential customers wander off around midnight.

Their lives are busy but fulfilling. To some people, running a stand at a night market is their entire livelihood, but to Zhang and Wang, it is just the beginning of their jewelry empire. But it’s hard to make a living selling jewelry laid out on a table, and it’s even harder in bad weather, like when a typhoon blew over the whole stall, scattering its contents on the ground.

“As young entrepreneurs, we’ve had to overcome many difficulties,” Zhang said. “As designers, we have to design every piece of jewelry from our hearts and create the pieces we want to create. We never thought that graduating from the Chinese Academy of Arts was such a big deal, nor do we feel ashamed to be running a stall at a night market. It doesn’t matter where we start, but it means a lot to have our own space — a place where we can design exactly the way we want to.”

The Silver Brothers hope that one day their jewelry business will make it to the big stage, even becoming a Chinese version of Tiffany and Co.

The Silver Brothers: ‘Money, you can make it whenever you want to. The key point is to follow your heart.’