The Story of “Two Yuan”
Currently in Shuanghekou Factory of Wanzhou District there is a picture frame that holds the 3 “Two Yuans” that represents the history of Tan Mujiang. This frame is much more than simple business transactions, it is what paved the way for Tan Mujiangs empire.
The First “Two Yuan”
Tan Chuanhua, the founder and visionary for Tan Mujiang lost his right arm in a fishing accident early on in life. He was ridiculed and looked down upon. Tan Chuanhua felt helpless and was treated poorly by his peers for being disabled. Once he reached his breaking point, he decided to take 50 yuan from his father and leave home to go on a journey that he believed would lead him to greatness.
He traveled by train to Kunming which had put a lot of strain, physically, on his body. Throughout his trip he sold any and all valuables that he had on him in order to buy food and accommodations. But now all of those things had run out. Now, he had nothing left, Tan Chuanhua was exhausted, drained of money and his stomach was empty.
With no money left, no clothes and no place to stay Tan Chuanhua found comfort in the little things he slept under the roof of others, sleeping on straw for days. Day after day he would beg for food and money, but was never given any mercy. With his stomach growling he decided to start drawing people in hopes of money in return, but had no luck.
Just when he was on the verge of giving up a young man came up to him and requested to hear his life story. After Tan Chuanhua told the man his story, the young man made him a deal. He said that if Tan were to draw him as he saw his “true self” to be and if the young man liked it, he would pay for the drawing.
Tan Chuanhua nodded with hope in his eyes. After his had completed the drawing the young man gave him 2 yuan for it. With this two yuan Tan Chuanhua replenished his body. He purchased food from a nearby market and scarfed it down. After he ate he was inspired to go back home. He felt his days of wandering were fulfilled and was ready to face the reality that he had left behind. Back in his hometown he started to build what is now Tan Mujiang.
The Second Yuan
At first his production consisted of pen holders and canes. However since every piece was hand carved and crafted the cost of production was high and the sales were slow. The production became too much for Tan Chuanhua and he let the production go and searched for a solution.
Inspiration struck when he ventured into the showcase of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. Here, he noticed a large crowd of people, it was so full he was not able to see what the commotion was about. So he asked the waiter what they were selling, and the waiter proclaimed that their best sellers are wooden combs. Tan then purchased a wooden comb for two yuan and brought it back to his production team.
He asked them their opinion on the comb. After a positive response he asked if they would be able to produce such an elegant piece. They said they would be able too. So after a lot of research they started to invest in the wooden comb industry.
The Third Yuan
Due to the limited investment funds, Tan Chuanhua leased land from an abandoned pig farm to start his dream. Even after a deep cleaning the working conditions were not ideal, but that would not stop the dream that he had for Tan Mujiang.
Once the first batch of production was completed it was time to sell to the streets. The sales staff carried a large basket full of these beautiful combs. They went to the largest market in Wanxian (now known as the Wanzhou District). Tan Chaunhua walked around for a whole day and didn’t sell a single comb, then evening came and an old man found Tan’s perseverance to be inspiring and gave him two yuan for a wooden comb. While it was less than the combs value, the transaction was incredibly meaningful. It was the start of a dream for Tan Chuanhua.
These 3 “two yuans” demonstrate the entrepreneurial history of Tan Mujiang as well as the turning points in Tan Chuanhua’s life. Now, Tan Mujiang has national patents, has opened franchise stores, introduced CIS and obtained product quality perfection. Tan Mujiang also has placed more than 360 disabled people in the company, giving them the same hope and determination that Tan Chuanhua had all those years ago. Currently, Tan Mujiang is expanding markets across the world. What was once a far off dream, has now become Tan Chuanhua’s new reality.