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Well, the activities of the last couple of weeks have been somewhat different to the run of the mill operation for KAS in South Africa.  A great deal of our time has been taken up by our participation in a large exhibition in Johannesburg – Hobby X – and, of course, moving into our new premises.

This week we will give you feedback on what was a very successful marketing opportunity for KAS in South Africa.  Gina approached Hobby X and asked whether they would allow us to raise awareness at this event and, after supplying them with details on KAS, they were only too happy to give us a double stand, at no cost, to market our cause.

Our beautifully, bright stand at Hobby X!

We set up the stand on Wednesday, 5 March in anticipation of the opening of the show on Thursday, 6 March.   A great deal of planning went into the look and feel for our stand using many of your wonderful contributions to showcase what we do.  Imagine Wendy’s horror when the panels were treated with a substance that did not allow us to stick or tape anything to the walls of our stand.  But, plan B kicked in and in true KAS style, everything was sewn together and suspended from the top panels with S-hooks and I think you will agree that the effect was indeed a riot of colour!

Thanks to Erin, Gina, Wendy and Brenda for spending the day furiously sewing the squares and photos together, resulting in our masterpiece!

The show kicked off on Thursday morning and was open to trade only on the first day with the general public being allowed access over the following three days.  The stand was manned by KAS volunteers for the duration of the show and we thank them all for their time – Wendy, Gina, Annette, Donna, Trish, Yvette and her son,  various members of Wendy’s family and Lou.  We made some incredible connections and undoubtedly raised the awareness of KAS to another level in SA. 

Volunteers explain what does KAS does - there was a great deal of interest!

To give you an idea of the type of “leads” we generated:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility interest from two corporate businesses – sadly only for next year’s budget!

  • Two wool shops that have asked us to provide them with posters to hang in their shops.

  • Two craft magazines that will each be featuring an article on KAS.

  • A contact in the Limpopo province that Abegail will be following up on for ongoing support and setting up of KAS initiatives in that province.

  • A fashion designer who is keen to get the gogos to make hats for him that he will buy from them – we may yet see KAS on the catwalks of the world!

  • A hospice for indigent children suffering with cancer who are in desperate need of beanies.

  • A book full of contact details for distributions, new volunteers and people who have been hoarding boxes and bags of wool, needles and even squares, not knowing what to do with them.

So, we have a lot to follow up on and some exciting new opportunities on the horizon too.  One thing that was apparent was the strong desire of many visitors to the stand who were keen to learn to knit or crochet and we are seriously thinking of teaching these people in order to get them hooked and dedicated members of KAS – we will let you know what we decide to do.

This little boy asked his mom whether he could stay at the KAS stand and crochet rather than walking around the show - wonderful to have such dedicated, young enthusiasts!

I have to admit that Hobby X did take its toll on us and by Monday Gina, Wendy and I were all man down with various ailments.  So it was off to bed for all of us so we could build our strength to tackle all the sorting that needs to take place in our new premises.  Details on that in the next report!

Below are some of the photos taken at Hobby X – see if you can identify any of your contributions on display?

The table display of various KAS items.