Cornerstones at the Grassroots

Small business owners are the backbone of local communities in Shanghai. They take pride in the businesses they have built through hard work and attention to customers.

At the cutting edge of curbside vocations

She's 88 and still going strong as a curbside hair cutter in Shanghai. Meet a dogged woman who turned into an icon of those who earn a living on the street.

Clothing where you pick style, color, fabric

ON Lujiabang Road, the South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market attracts customers seeking to order custom-tailored suits and dresses. Jason Tailor Shop is one of the most popular.

House of cards for those seeking answers

Gu Jiaye was a professional tarot-reader for two years before she left the shop where she worked, rented a small house on Chongqing Road S. and started her own business.
Art & Culture

Skilled technician with time on his hands

Jiang Guoliang has been fixing timepieces for 40 years at his European-style workshop Liangchen Horologe in Hongkou District.

An all-rounder in the tools of cricket rearing

Bai Zixiao's specialty is the ancient Chinese pastime of keeping the insects as pets or for cricket fighting.

Coffee and collecting create cottage charm

In the Normandy Apartments, a vintage landmark of Xuhui District, the recently opened Cottage Cafe & Bar lends an extra retro touch to an area with memories of the early 1900s.

Holes begone! The oh-sew delicate skill of mending

Every day for the past 26 years, Cao Shuhua has been patching clothing for people from a small stall on Tianyaoqiao Road in Xuhui District, weather permitting.

Zzzzz ... shop specializes in perfect sleep

The shop specializing in the soft filler for duvets in Huangpu District may be the only one in Shanghai that still sells the cozy quilt material.

Belle of the ball

It's all about ingredients, says the owner of a popular eatery specializing in sticky rice balls. But a lot of gritty determination went into creating this small business.

Music boxes play eternal tunes of craft art

You may think of music boxes as toys. That's not how one passionate collector views these vintage pieces of precision artwork spanning centuries of craftsmanship.