Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Big Decisions, Big Developments & Big Balloons!

By Glenn Fadner

Gershwin wrote, "Summertime, and the livin' is easy..."

The month of August has had a "slower" pace for us if you measure it in miles travelled. This month we've only done one "show" and it was close to home. It has nevertheless been an extremely eventful month for KVI.

Probably the most significant event for us was Hagar International's decision to "spin off" Hagar On-Time! (H-OT!), their textile business that manufactures all of our Hagar Design products.

I'm not going to go into all the details here because it will make this too lengthy. You can click this link to get all those details. The condensed version is that in order to conserve finances for their social programs, Hagar International sold H-OT! to a group of like-minded Australians who will operate it under the name STOPStart. Look for our products to begin carrying the STOPStart logo in the near future.

Hagar's decision and the "challenging" economic climate provoked us at Kingdom Ventures to examine our own business model. The picture that I got as I reflected over the past four years was that when we first started out, it was somewhat like duck-hunting - we used a shotgun with scatter-shot which is bound to hit SOMETHING if you sent it into a flock of ducks. That technique worked well in bringing us to where we are, but it won't take us any further. We need to be thinking much more strategically if we're going to grow KVI. It's going to take a "rifle" rather than a "shotgun".

So with several big gulps, we took the steps of applying to exhibit at two more trade shows: Another one in Boston in September and (BIG gulp) one in San Francisco in February. The costs involved are scary. However, it does give us opportunity to be in front of more people who understand and promote Fair Trade.

Finally, we just made the decision to attend the Global Forum on Human Trafficking being held in California in early October. In addition to the opportunity to become better equipped to speak to issues around human trafficking, we will be able to meet face-to-face with the new Executive Director of STOPStart, who will also be in attendance.

Yes, August has been a significant month ~ one filled with change, flexibility, adaptations and preparing for growth. Now it's off to the Festival of Balloons in Dansville, NY this weekend. If you are anywhere in Central New York, stop by and say hello! It's a GREAT time with terrific weather and a view of those balloons in flight that truly IS out-of-this-world!


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