Westing Bridge LLC is a family-owned business that was started by four brothers. Its ChiaoGoo brand knit and crochet tools are designed and distributed in Troy, Michigan and manufactured in Hangzhou, China. The brothers were born and grew up in Linan, China, “The Bamboo Capital of China”.
Their 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. Their father followed in the 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's primary product was bamboo knitting needles.
Demand for the knitting needles originated with their mother. She is an excellent knitter and knit to keep her family warm during 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 expanded the product line and its production capacity to prepare for overseas distribution. In 2005, the four brothers incorporated the manufacturing part of the business, and Hangzhou Westing Bridge LLC was formed. At the same time, the youngest son established Westing Bridge LLC in Troy, MI for the marketing and distribution outside of China.