By Sui Yunyan and Zheng Zhuo
On the afternoon of August 26, the reporter came to a home appliance and furniture store in Yutian County. The store has two floors. Customers came to select goods from time to time. After a warm welcome, the shopping guide began to give them explicit introduction to the products. Reylamhan Masad, wearing a white shirt and a badge, is looking at the report of the previous sales promotion in her office on the second floor.” In Kurban Festival we rewarded our old customers with a lottery, and the biggest prize was an air conditioner worth 3899 yuan,” she said.
Growing from a rural housewife who was poisoned by religious extreme thoughts and was afraid of exposure, to a capable professional woman nowadays, Reylamhan experienced a turn in life. She has now started a new way of life.
Broad Smile Bursting from Constraints
“I was poisoned by “Wild Imam” and infected with religious extreme thoughts. The 29-year-old Reylamhan was candid about her past. She and her husband used to live in Kikiya Township, Yutan County. “My mother-in-law was not in good health. An old man in the village often came to see her.” Reylamhan said that the man saw her wearing a short-sleeve T-shirt and told her angrily that it was “not halal”.
It was this “Wild Imam” that made the young Reylamhan wear a burqa. In those years, many people around her were wearing burqa, and Reylamhan gradually accepted the idea that it is right to dress like that. Once she began listening to what other people say, she began to take in all things without her own discrimination. For example, a woman can't show her face, nor can she work to earn money because to do these things is “not halal”.
Except asking her husband for a little money to buy something to go back to her parents' home, Reylamhan stayed at home almost all the time. At the beginning of 2018, her relatives were very surprised to see her: Why do you look so listless like a patient? They suggested that she go to the county's vocational skills education and training center to study.
After a period of studying in the training center, Reylamhan discovered a brand new self. She said, “I have learned the common language of the country and some financial management knowledge. The study of law enables me to distinguish right from wrong, and in particular, made me realize the danger of religious extreme thoughts.”
After getting rid of the shadow of extreme religious thoughts, Reylamhan loved to chat and laugh, and also learned to dance. “I now know not only traditional Uygur dances, but also modern dances,” said Reylamhan with a broad smile.
Reylamhan's husband, Aziz Baydulla, used to do small business of home appliances and furniture. He went to the second-hand market in Urumqi to collect goods and then ship them back for sale.With the transportation and freight costs to and from Urumqi deducted, he could make only a little money.
With the encouragement from her teachers, Reylamhan opened a small supermarket in Yutian Industrial Park after completing her study in the training center at the end of last summer. She managed the supermarket in an orderly manner. And she has gained self-confidence now.
It was also last summer that Aziz wanted to expand the store and sell new products, but was opposed by relatives and friends. “Everyone was saying that the rent and labor costs are too high, and if you don't make it, you will lose money.” Aziz said. At that time, Reylamhan expressed support for her husband. Hence it is--the large store of 2000 square meters you see here today.
Business Getting Flourishing Now
Reylamhan took the reporter to visit the store. On the first floor are home appliances, and the second floor, furniture. Commodity prices vary, covering a full range from expensive ones to economic ones. “Originally the most expensive thing in second-hand home appliances and furniture stores were old refrigerators at around 1,000 yuan, and now we have air conditioners selling at 25,000 yuan in the shop.” Reylamhan is now financial director of the shop and she is familiar with all kinds of goods.
Reylamhan said that the store was jointly operated with a company in Hotan City, each of which invested 50%. With the help of the training center and the community, they got a loan of 350,000 yuan from the bank, and have repaid 200,000 yuan within only one year of operation. Now the store has 25 employees, and its personnel and finances are strictly managed in accordance with the requirements of the head office. It also participates in various sales promotions initiated by the head office.
“We run sales promotions every once in a while to attract customers.” Reylamhan said that since the new store opened, a lot of promotional prizes have been given away, including large items such as air conditioners, washing machines, and small appliances such as rice cookers. And she believes that the most important thing is to serve customers well. There are three trucks in the store for delivering goods to customers, as well as a dedicated maintenance team.
Seven employees in the store are from poverty-stricken families. Aynur Masum is an excellent shopping guide in the small home appliances area of the store, with a monthly salary of nearly 3,000 yuan. “When I started working here, Reylamhan taught me how to introduce products to customers and how to sell them. My performance has been improving since I got familiar with my work. And I’m making more and more money.” She said.
Mamat Barat, director of the sales hall, wore the same uniform as Reylamhan and also wore a badge. “The company has a strict management system. There will be a 50-yuan deduction from one’s salary if an employee does not wear the badge." He told reporters that he was also from a poverty-stricken family and now has a fixed job and steady income. The days are getting better.
Everyone admires Reylamhan, for she speaks Mandarin well, she is highly sensitive to the market, and she is skilled in using financial management software. “Using this software to manage more than 2,000 products from over 20 brands, billing, goods in and out, financial revenue and expenditures, customer information, etc. are all clear at a glance.” Reylamhan said. She worked really hard to learn how to use the software. She developed good learning habits during the training, and so she quickly mastered application of the software.
Living a Life Full of Hope
“Reylamhan is now beautiful and confident. We trust and respect each other.” Aziz said sincerely. Reylamhan also likes the busy life she has now, and she feels fulfilled every day.
“When you first expanded your store, why were you so confident?” The reporter asked. Reylamhan said that in the training center, she learned the party and government's policies for benefiting the people. Having learned about the development and changes of her hometown, she realized that as farmers' homes and yards are becoming more beautiful, there will be greater demand for furniture and home appliances.
In fact, the sales record confirmed her judgment. This summer, air conditioner became the best seller. Many farmers came to the store for it. So far, more than 200 units have been sold. Rice cookers and automatic washing machines are also popular among farmers. And mid-range furniture sells well too.
When chatting with reporters, Reylamhan's mobile phone constantly has voice prompts, which are WeChat payment collection tips for the industrial park supermarket. After the new store officially opened, she focused her attention on the new store, and the supermarket was taken care of by her employees. Previously she used a second-hand mobile phone costing just over 100 yuan. Now she’s using a smart phone which has become a big help. She uses it for watching news, shopping online and watching movies. She shows to the reporter the mandarin learning assistant app installed on the mobile phone. She and her son in elementary school learn mandarin on the app together everyday.
“It used to be too bleak, but now I know how colorful life is!” Reylamhan said sincerely, holding the phone in hand. Speaking of online shopping, she appears very interested and speaks fast. It turns out that the uniforms she and her employees wore are all purchased online.
For today's Reylamhan, learning knowledge is even more important than earning money. In her spare time, she goes to the bookstore with her son to read and buy books. She tells him the importance of learning scientific and cultural knowledge. “If you ask me what kind of life is a good life, I would say that the life I’m enjoying is the best kind of life. Thanks to the Party and the government, I’m now living a life full of hope.” Reylamhan said with emotion.