The story behind ChiaoGoo needles
Westing Bridge LLC is a family-owned business that was started by four brothers. Its ChiaoGoo brand knitting and crochet tools are designed and distributed in Troy, Michigan. Its manufacturing facility is based in Hangzhou, China.
The brothers were born and grew up in Linan, China, “The Bamboo Capital of China”. The grandfather was a bamboo craftsman who spent the majority of his life traveling from town to town with his bamboo tool kit, making household goods such as chairs, tables, mattress sheets, rice barrels, baskets and steamers. The father followed in grandfather’s footsteps and was able to build a workshop in the early 1980’s at the birth of the primitive free market in China. The workshop produced similar household goods, but the primary product was bamboo knitting needles.
Demand for the knitting needles originated with the mother. She is an excellent knitter and knit in order to keep her family warm during the long, cold winters. She would often knit extra items and sell them to neighbors and friends to make some extra money for her family of seven. She was the needle “tester” and frequently asked for special needles to meet her needs. She is the inspiration for the ChiaoGoo brand name, which means “highly skillful and crafty lady”.
In the 1990’s, the family decided to expand the product line and its production capacity in order to prepare for overseas distribution. In 2005, the four brothers made a milestone decision to incorporate the manufacturing part of the business, Hangzhou Westing Bridge LLC. At the same time, the youngest son established Westing Bridge LLC in Troy, MI for the marketing and distribution of the knitting and crochet tools outside of China.
Today, the business has expanded to become one of the most respected producers of knitting and crochet tools. ChiaoGoo products are now adored and enjoyed by worldwide customers, with retailers and distributors across the globe.
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