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PINYIN PRESS: Treasures to Turn your House Into a Home

March 21, 2019 , In: Beijing Shopping , With: No Comments

I am a huge fan of pretty décor and anything that will make my house into a home. If at all possible it should be fun, affordable, and cute. Three years ago, I moved to Beijing and started to source bazaars and markets.

One of the vendors I’ve always loved is PINYIN PRESS. I have been slowly saving items from Sarah Armstrong’s collection and they always have a prominent place in my home.

They have cute salt and pepper shakers that I wanted to gift to friends at home as souvenirs but had to keep myself. Their super cute tea towels are frameworthy; I won’t be drying dishes with these.

Many of the collections are excellent presents for our family and friends when we visit home. But I can’t part with them as they remind me of my time in Beijing and China. So sorry not so sorry if you will never receive a PINYIN PRESS present from me. I am keeping all the treasures for myself.

Visit PINYIN PRESS on markets in Beijing or Shanghai, or go China style and scan the QR code and get some pieces delivered to your door. Being a busy mom can make it difficult to visit shops and markets but their WeChat store is bilingual and delivery over China only takes two days!

This cross cultural décor, lifestyle and gifts are designed by Sarah Armstrong. A shanghai based entrepreneur.

The meaning behind the name Pinyin Press: Pinyin was invented by Zhou Youguang in the late 1950s and is described by him as ‘a bridge between China and the rest of the world” For foreigners living in china Youguang offers a simple piece of wisdom “Do something to help bridge understanding between Chinas ancient civilization and the modern world” Armstrong created PINYIN PRESS to tell her story of her life here and to help connect others to the culture of China.

Armstrong creates pieces based on her (and our) experiences as part of the international community in China. Many of these situations are foreign to our families but part of our daily life here. Armstrong explains:

“When I was looking for gifts and design to send to friends and family, I wanted to gift something from China which people could relate to and which would tell a story of everyday life here. Whether it’s the Finger Counting sign language I use at the wet market, an exchange with my neighboring Ayi on my way to work or some steaming hot dumplings on my bike ride home, it’s these everyday experiences which I draw upon for design inspiration.”

“I still remember when I bought my first Bāozi from a street vendor when new to Shanghai. I remember the hesitant transaction, pointing to the Baozi, trying my best to pronounce a few Chinese words and the reward of the rich flavors brought to me in the first bite.  I remember looking up at the toothy grin of the Baozi vendor and sensing a reciprocal curiosity and a comforting sense of community and belonging.”

“Many of my family and friends in UK have yet to visit China and on trips home I sometimes have difficulty in communicating what everyday life is like here. Through Pinyin Press however, my designs can initiate a conversation and a way to connect. Each time I gift a product, I notice that an opportunity arises for me to be able to share a story about my everyday interactions which inspire the designs.”



As my family and myself getting ready to leave China, Iembark on a treasure hunt for pieces that remind me of China and our time here.I’ll be framing the tea towels and decorating my home in pretty pieces of PINYIN PRESS that I have collected over my time spent in China.

Start collecting yourself; you never know when your China adventure might come to an end. And don’t forget to get some pieces for the family and friends back home, you might be a bit more sharing than I am.

Visit PINYIN PRESS on markets in Beijing or Shanghai, or go China style and scan the QR code and get some pieces delivered to your door.



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