A few weeks ago we finally received the call we had been expecting for some time.
The last of our suppliers in China rang to say our stock for the coming season was all ready to be shipped and wanted approval to start loading the many containers and set them on their way to the UK.
Hold on there Mr Lee, they need to be tested first. “I will see you in a few days”.
Hours later with ticket to Hong Kong booked for the first leg of Jimmy’s Epic Journey a mere eleven hours flight time, agent/translator in China put on standby, hotels booked in the many places Jimmy has to visit, specialist dietary requirements explained to the various hotel chefs – trust me not easy as our Chinese is not what you could call good, but we get by.
His 1st stop off was in Liuyang a short hop of two hours fifteen minutes by plane from Hong Kong for a flying visit to our rocket factory.
Some of the factories Jimmy will visit are as much as a thousand miles apart, as we only deal with the very best producers each one a specialist in their own field.
Over the years, Jimmy has built up a really good relationship with our suppliers and is known by all from the shop floor workers to the chairman as “Uncle Jimmy”.
When we first started in this game the Chinese used to decide which products we would test, a small tidy stack of our products all ready to be fired off awaiting the visitor whether that be Jimmy himself or our head tester Wyn, or so they thought.
It didn’t take them long to realise Uncle Jimmy would pick them at random and not just one or two, it has been known to fire off a dozen or so just to make sure we keep our promise of delivering the best quality fireworks at the best possible price, bulk buying paying dividends for all concerned.
Every single product is tested to very exacting specifications, each complying with BS7144 and in most cases the new C.E marking requirements required in 2017, but more importantly, Jimmy’s very high standards have to be also met.
Take all this travelling into consideration and you quickly have a bill approaching a couple of thousand pounds, money well spent?, of course it is, and a small price to pay for the peace of mind a physical check in China brings us, knowing production of the next instalment of our Epic brochure can go ahead without any product facing any issues, or having to be recalled.
I am very proud to say that in the twenty-odd years we have been in this business, we have never had any major issues with any of our products and will do our very best whatever the cost to ensure we never have, allowing all our thousands of customers to buy not just Epic, but our other brands, Majestic, Marvel and Paramount with the same peace of mind we have selling them.