Friday, September 18, 2015

UCAN ZIPPERS



FROM LEFT TO RIGHT,
MALAN, PAUL AND HYRUM LAI
credit: LA Weekly
 For this week's arts and culture column, I took a field trip to a zipper factory!
Here's how the piece begins:

UCAN Zippers, a family-owned business near Downtown L.A., is one of only four full-service zipper manufacturers in the country.

The Lais are Taiwanese-American and live in Rowland Heights. Hyrum, the youngest of three brothers, recently gave me the grand tour.

“My father started the business 26 years ago. His original distribution area was the Mountain West: Utah, California, Arizona, Nevada. He took that acronym — UCAN — for the name of his company.

“My older brother Malan and I used to work here during the summer doing inventory. Hot, sweaty, we hated it. We said, ‘We’ll never work here.’ But when Malan graduated from college, our father said, ‘Give me a year.’ Malan started as a driver, worked his way into production, and now pretty much runs the show.”

Hyrum majored in advertising. He was working at an L.A. agency when his parents set out for a year and a half of overseas mission work. “They said, ‘Hyrum, will you come over and help your brother?’”

Eighteen months turned into 10 years.


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.



credit: UCAN Zippers

credit: Bianca Yarber

credit: UCAN Zippers



2 comments:

  1. I wish I could walk about town and visit different places that give us a glimpse of what Angelenos do and why and how much most enjoy living in Southern California. God willing, when I retire I hope to visit places I remember as a child.

    Thanks for sharing this nice little story. ^^)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yaya, seriously, I have the best job in the world. I feel like I get to meet the creme-de-la-creme of Los Angeles and beyond. I only do stories on people and projects that really compel me, and that's a luxury, too. Hyrum Lai was an absolute delight. Long live UCAN Zippers!

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