Jiang Naijun, 98, works at the 97 Supermarket she opened in July, in Changchun, Jilin province.(Photo provided to China Daily)
But such difficulties could not stop the family.
Jiang made a clear division of labor among the family: Her daughter and two sons were in charge of external business while she took responsibility for management, supervision and logistics support.
Her eldest son, Lin Xisen, bought some surplus copper logos cheaply and, after repeatedly disassembling and assembling them, discovered how they were produced.
He also learned production techniques from experienced craftsmen and independently developed some machines to make production more efficient.
"No matter what happened, we never changed the high standards of product quality and reputation," Jiang said. "Fortunately, we persisted and achieved success."
In 1994, the factory moved into a new 3,000-square-meter plant and began upgrading its product range.
Jiang retired from the business in 2000, and passed it on to her children. Four years later, her eldest son set up a company, Lintianyuanda, to produce souvenirs, logos and sculpture crafts.
With more than 500 employees, its annual output is now worth 100 million yuan and it produces logos for famous automobile brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen and Lincoln.
"The company had developed quite well under the management of my children, and I wanted to do more for society," Jiang said. "Nobody could stop a 97-year-old senior from learning or starting a business. I really wanted to try something new.
"I have dreamed of opening a small supermarket for many years. After communicating with some young employees in our company, I decided to seek crowdfunding for the business."