Zeng Jingwei, postgraduate student at the College of Software, Nankai University, was still awake even though it was late. Just returning to his dormitory from Beijing, he had to check and pack the seals immediately.
Zeng Jingwei opened a seal-cutting studio with his roommates in the summer holiday in 2013. With an 8-people marketing team and dozens of creators, they have expanded their seal business overseas.
Students from the College of Software are often nicknamed as “program apes”, but Zeng Jingwei grew more of a connection with seal cutting. His seal-cutting fanatic uncle gave him a set of cutting tools as toys, and Zeng Jingwei himself learned calligraphy and cutting patterns, which inspired him to explore more of seal cutting.
After entering college, however busy he was, Zeng Jingwei would always spare one day a week to concentrate on seal cutting. He facsimiled over 100 Han seals in more than one year and improved his skills and fame. With the increasing number of admirers, he decided to start him own business.
He organized a startup team and opened an online shop on Taobao. Apart from processing the seals by himself, he recruited seal lovers of different cutting styles through the Internet to form a creation team.
Zeng Jingwei encountered loads of challenges at first: no stationary suppliers meant few stone materials could be used. He even set up street stalls beside the campus for three days to promote his products, on which he concentrated to make them perfect.
The orders grew with the reputation of his workshop, and the time consuming management, high cost and long processing cycles compelled him to transfer seal cutting from hobby to entrepreneurship, namely, craftsman to entrepreneur.
“Mr. Chuang gave me a hand at the toughest time.” The Mr. Chuang, mentioned by Zeng Jingwei, is one of the student’s innovation and pioneering teams in Nankai University, and their new incubator model can help entrepreneurs to solve problems such as submitting accounts, paying taxes and opening up markets. He said they “can pull you out of the dark abyss.”
Zeng Jingwei has agreed with his team to build a brand new “Internet+” platform to track potential customers’ needs on social media and push to offline carvers. The creators can interact with customers and provide personal services, which can promote customer loyalty and attract more purchasers.
By dawn, Zeng Jingwei has packed all 55 seals. When reading the books put beside his pillow, he said the entrepreneurs in the book would always give him strength when feeling alone: “Entrepreneurship is lonely, but entrepreneurs are strong. The lonelier you are, the stronger you are.”