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...
CK in Australia

CK in Australia

Canberra to be specific. Last month when we were en route to Sydney, (and nearly missed our flight because we forgot that Singapore was one hour ahead and while happily checking emails using Singapore airport’s free wireless service at what we thought was 6:45pm with lots of time until our 8pm flight and Yeng’s name got called over the PA and we both immediately realized our mistake and ran, ran, ran to the gate…) I got an email from a woman who runs a baby products store in Canberra, interested in our toys. It was serendipitous because we planning to be in Canberra only a few days later! We managed to meet Emma at Brindabella Baby and are more than happy to supply her shop! She’s just moved her shop to a new location in Canberra, Rodney’s Nursery, 24 Beltana Road, Pialligo, and had the opening last week. We didn’t get to see the new shop but from the photos below it looks lovely and inviting. Emma has been running the business for a few years, selling eco-friendly, fair trade products for the under 5 kiddies. She started doing this out of her house, but as the business grew and she found more and more great products from around the world, she eventually opened a shop. She focuses on products that are fairly produced and help the communities in which they are produced, a true ethical consumer. You can read more about Brindabella Baby and see more photos...
More new stuff!

More new stuff!

Since the beginning I have been thinking about how to best display finger puppets for sale. Way back when, I did a search for finger puppet displays and one that looked great was the chopsticks in vase options which we have been using since. It’s a cheap, easy option and kinda cute. Not the best for shopping though as they tend to get messed up and it’s sometimes hard to have a good look the bunch without tipping the display over. So for the past few months, I’ve really wanted to improve on the display and since Phnom Penh is a great place to put idea into practice at any variety of small scale wood, metal, plastic workshops I thought it would be snap. Not so. Well, yes so, but you need to have the right person to do the legwork for you. Luckily, CK has Chariya who is not only a great translator, but a Sherlock Holmes when it comes to tracking down any variety of un-simple requests I have. Thanks to her, in less than three days we have our puppet...

A troop of monkeys

Today I read a news story about a man who was caught with a 1000 images of child pornography on his computer. He blamed his cat, claiming that the cat had walked on the keyboard when he left the room and had initiated the download. Yeah right! Now, if you had a well trained monkey, like the ones below, I could see this excuse almost working, but to blame your kitty is just a tad ridiculous. I digress. We’re knitting away and I’ve been to visit the village where four of the knitters live. It is a very poor village, with most of the houses made of scrap wood and corrugated iron roofs, on stilts at the edge of the Tonle Sap. They had told me that there were 8 women in their village who already knew how to knit who wanted to join CK and another 10-15 younger women who wanted to learn how to knit. I initially thought that we’d first work with the women who already know how to knit and also give them training on how to share their skills with others. It was not to be. It turned out that the eight experienced knitters were from a different community, 2 kilometers north of where my current four knitters are from. This shouldn’t be an issue except that they are much more well off and, well, were quite snooty towards my knitters. Cambodia is a very hierarchical society and the poorer you are, the lower you are on the ladder. I had planned for the current knitters to act as mentors to the new group,...

Finger puppets

Here are some photos of finger puppets that we are practising to make right now. The patterns are from etsy designer Raynor Gellatly who designs very cute amigurumi with a finger puppet option for the body. The knitters are very happy to be working up the designs and enjoy watching the little critters slowly come to life in their hands. The knitters are getting very proficient and confident at reading the patterns. Now we need to work more on improving the finishing, quality and consistency. I still need to find suitable stuffing. I might have mentioned before that basically NOTHING is available in Cambodia and I’ve had to order in most everything we need. The safety eyes are on their way from the US and I’ll need to take a two day trip to Bangkok to find the stuffing and more tapestry needles. So have a look at the pics, but know that these are just the...