Wearable nail industry drives development in Donghai, E China's Jiangsu

(People's Daily Online) 10:51, April 03, 2024

Donghai county in east China's Jiangsu Province, famed worldwide for its crystal industry, is now also earning acclaim for its handmade wearable nail products.

Despite the lack of widespread attention, the county has achieved impressive industrial success, producing 400,000 pairs of handmade wearable nails daily. Last year, the total output of handmade wearable nails from the county exceeded 100 million pairs.

Donghai now stands as one of the country's largest producers of handmade wearable nails, accounting for over 70 percent of national production.

Over 1 million pairs of handmade wearable nails are neatly displayed at a shop in Donghai county, east China's Jiangsu Province. (People's Daily Online/Zhang Hantian)

Statistics reveal that Donghai is home to over 100 companies engaged in the production of wearable nails. The county boasts a workforce of 50,000 skilled nail technicians proficient in nail design, supported by over 200 teams dedicated to nail design and production.

Donghai has established a complete industrial chain for the wearable nail industry, covering everything from raw material production to product design, mass production, and wholesale and retail.

The production of wearable nails by a local brand is in full swing in Donghai county, east China's Jiangsu Province. (People's Daily Online/Zhang Hantian)

With precision and skill, Feng Tingting can complete a pair of wearable nails in just over 20 minutes.

Even beginners can become proficient workers after just a few months of training, opening up new job prospects for numerous stay-at-home moms like Feng.

Feng and her husband, Chen Jian, from Baitabu township, are pioneers in the wearable nail industry in Donghai. Despite being a stay-at-home mom, Feng mastered the skills from scratch while caring for their two children.

The surge in popularity of a particular nail style featured in a popular TV series two years ago led to an increased demand for similar designs. Feng created a pair of wearable nails inspired by the show, which significantly boosted sales. This success inspired them to innovate new designs, drawing inspiration from social media platforms such as Xiaohongshu and Douyin.

Feng's nail studio boasts a team of over 30 female nail technicians, each highly skilled in their craft. On average, a technician can produce nearly 40 pairs of wearable nails per day.

Chen explained that they pay their technicians for each piece they complete, with most making between 6,000 to 7,000 yuan ($829 to $968) per month. Some employees, however, earn over 10,000 yuan a month.

Baitabu township is celebrated as the birthplace of wearable nail craftsmanship. With many men from the township working elsewhere, numerous women have opted to stay and seize opportunities in the nail industry.

According to statistics, the number of wearable nail shops in Baitabu soared to over 4,000 around 2020.

A woman inspects the packaging of nail products at a workshop in Donghai county, east China's Jiangsu Province. (People's Daily Online/Zhang Hantian)

To tackle the challenge of fragmentation, Donghai nail businesses decided to band together for mutual support. In December 2023, the Wearable Nail Industry Association in Donghai county was established.

According to the association's three-year plan, Donghai's wearable nail industry aims to surpass an annual production capacity of 300 million pairs and achieve sales of over 80 billion yuan by the end of 2026.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)