Get stuffed!

Get stuffed!

Stuffing is one of those things that we really need, but that is really, really, really difficult for us to find.  There are two kinds of stuffing available in Cambodia.  The first, kapok, is a 100% natural fluff that comes from the inside of giant pods that grow on a tree.  It would be ideal as it is natural and abundant but the only issue, and a major one, is that looses it’s fluff over time, by as much as 70%!  So we can stuff a Maddox or a Bunny Nugget until it is about ready to explode and still, within a couple months it will be flopsy. The second is not so cheap used stuffing.  This is stuffing pulled out of animals, pillows, who knows what else.  For toys, a serious no-go!  There is no way to know where it came from, what it’s been through.  The starting price is 4.5 USD a kilo, but we could get it for as low 3USD a kilo if we buy in bulk.  Still, it is icky! So, Cambodia simply does not have a decent supply of stuffing so we need to go elsewhere.  Luckily, Thailand next door has a healthy supply of new, high-quality stuffing.  Better still we can get it for less than the price of the used stuffing here!  We wouldn’t be able to organize it at all, if it wasn’t for our super-amazing-generous friend Riki Hall!!  Riki is an American woman living in Bangkok who speaks fluent Thai, has a great sense of humour and is  fan of CK.  And she’s an avid (obsessive even, in the...
Synchronized Swimming in Hong Kong

Synchronized Swimming in Hong Kong

Social media is awesome and we wouldn’t have half as many sales/fans/friends without it.  Story goes like this:  long lost friend that I took an introductory Japanese class with in Toronto in 2002 and who I lost contact with back in 2006 or 7 found me on LinkedIn.   Then we became friends on Facebook and I invited her to the CK fan page.  She thought CK was cool and passed it around to her friends.  One of her friends happens to travel to Cambodia for work from Hong Kong occasionally and sent the link around to more friends and then collected orders.   These he picked up back in August and then sent us these awesome photos from a satisfied customer (a mom-to-be). Love it!  I don’t think small businesses like ours would be able to succeed without the incredible access (free) we get through the Internet.  To be able to produce a small line of fairly made products in Cambodia and get them to people in far flung places is incredible. We’re so proud to be part of this welcome package for baby! Drying in the sun, with the HK hills in the background. They look like a synchronized swimming...
Knitting Graduates

Knitting Graduates

Chariya and I finally had the time to print out certificates for all the training that has gone on the past few months.  Navy and Poan, who were finally able to learn how to knit after the departure of Mony (who for some reason, on her own, decided they would not be allowed to learn knitting; this still confounds me) received a Basic Knitting Techniques and Pattern Reading certificate.  This means they can do everything from knits to purls, 2 different increases and 2 different decreases, yarn overs, short rows and read patterns (in Khmer!).  Chariya, my translator and right hand woman, also received this certificate cause she knits as well as anyone and she does all the translating. Then everyone received a certificate for Basic Lace Knitting.  This is based on the all the work we did out of the Harmony Guides Lace and Eyelets book.  All of the staff can now do multiple designs, read patterns and charts.  Soon, we’ll do more work on creating our own lace patterns and then they can get an Intermediate level rating.  Exciting stuff! Tyna getting her certificate Rofi getting her certificate Navy getting her certificate Poan getting her certificate Chariya with her...
CK is growing….

CK is growing….

So a few weeks ago, we had a staff meeting at the head office to tell the staff the news that we need to hire more staff and boost production to keep up with growing demand.  Good news!  The next week, Hagar visited us with three potential staff and some of their current students as part of a work exposure visit.  Two weeks ago, three new women started and are settling in with the CK familia. We’re finally filling in the workspace!  Where once there were four, there are now 7!  The photo below shows more as we have a couple women training with us for a couple days in the fine skills of assembly.  I talked to the new staff at the beginning of their second week to see how they are going, and they are happy to be part of the team.  We’re happy with them and hope they can learn and develop more skills over the next...
Sneak Peak at Christmas products

Sneak Peak at Christmas products

The past couple weeks we’ve been working on Christmas designs from Knitables.  We’re going to alter them a tiny bit to turn them into Christmas Tree ornaments (yay!). Below is a first look at the first...