“It’s labour intensive. You have to carry a lot of things and these are heavy goods that need to be loaded and unloaded into the shop,” she explains.
On top of all that, she explains she still has plenty of learning to do on the job despite having worked there since she was a kid. Back then, all she had to do was help pack the goods. Now, she has to serve customers, which requires her to know each products like the back of her hand.
This includes learning about the different types of joss sticks and papers, the prices, as well as the various products used during special occasions like the seventh month of the lunar calendar and Qing Ming Festival.
And it’s a lot more work than one would expect — Jamie tells us that joss sticks alone have over a thousand variations.
“They can be long or short, and have different smells like sandalwood, cedarwood, jasmine and lavender,” she explains.
The store even sells paper offerings that are shaped like houses and cars, which customers typically purchase for close relatives and their ancestors.