AUG/SEPT 2018 NEWS

Kenana Knitter News - Loise Wangare - her story

Loise was introduced to the knitters by her neighbour Jane Wacuka. Prior to joining the knitters, Loise had been working at a flower farm in the area. Sadly while working at the flower farm in 2013 she dislocated her hip joint and ended up having to undergo hip replacement surgery. During the healing process she suffered a blood clot which resulted in peritoneal nerve dysfunction that later led to amputation of her lower foot and toes. While she was recuperating from surgery, she found herself pregnant with her 5th child in 2016. As the sole bread winner and almost bedridden from her hip surgery she had lost all hope of getting work and being able to fend for her children. Loise joined the knitters when her daughter was 4 months old.

Our initial assessment of Loise was that she was bitter and angry at the world. Her emotional status at the time reflected on her knitting which was so shockingly bad that after a couple of weeks at the knitters we considered sending her away completely. As the months went by and she started to make friends and join into the general camaraderie of the ladies at the workshop, we started to see a general improvement in her work. As her confidence grew, she began to knit beautifully. Today, 2 years later she is a wonderful addition to the knitter’s team, highly dependable and a excellent team player.

I want to thank Anna Akai the knitters workshop manager who really encouraged me not to give up as a knitter. My family has benefitted greatly from my work here. I no longer rely on assistance from friends and family. My daughter is now almost 3 years old and my older children are carrying on with their education uninterrupted. I am so thankful for the opportunity and the fact that they didn’t give up on me. I pray that God continues to bless Kenana Knitters so that they may continue helping the women who work here and those who will come to work here in the future.

Loise Wangare

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News from Kenana Down Under:

We give a very warm welcome to our new stockists, following the recent trade fair in Melbourne, and extend our thanks to our existing stockists for your continued support. Bev, Tanya and I enjoyed meeting up with many of you at the trade fair. Thank you for being part of a movement that changes lives stitch by stitch.

It's Official - the new range of Aussie animals is a complete hit. We are expecting a new shipment late October for all those back-orders, and for those all important top ups before Christmas. Safari Shelf and Ditsy bears are performing very well so have ordered plenty of those, too. 

And for 2019, the Kenana Knitters are working on a couple of new additions to the Aussie animal family and the rascals. These will be unveiled in Sydney at the next trade fair, along with other hand knitted beauties.

Kenana Down Under Pty Ltd is well and truly up and running, with new email: hello@kenanadownunder.com.au. We also have a new bank account (details can be found on the invoice or contact Di). As mentioned before, nothing has changed, except the name :) and Bev, Tanya and I will continue to provide you all the assistance you require to make stocking the Kenana Knitter range a wonderful, worthwhile experience.

Until next time,

Bev, Tanya and Di

Stripey Zebras (below) - many of which are made by Loise Wangare, profiled in this newsletter. Such a pleasure to know a little more of the lady whose knitting is so beautiful.

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Congratulations to Peppermint Magazine on their 10th Anniversary

Peppermint Magazine has, for the last 10 years, been educating, informing and entertaining us in a beautifully sustainable way. With the constant, caring, gentle strength of Kelley, Peppermint has grown and evolved into a quarterly staple for many people in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

In this, the 10th anniversary edition, we participated once again, in their Marketplace segment (bottom left), to promote the Kenana Knitter critters and our wonderful, loyal, trailblazing stockists. Quite fitting really.

Wishing the team at Peppermint the very best always.

xx

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JUNE 2018 News

News from Kenana Down Under

A warm welcome to our new stockists and thank you for incorporating the Kenana Knitter range into your stores. Many thanks for the on-going support given by our current stockists.

As you read this month's news you can discover the amazing the impact our (you and Kenana Down Under) partnership with the Kenana Knitters in Kenya is having, learning about their latest initiative with the Life Skills Counselling course that took place in April. For a full copy of the newsletter please email Di: hello@kenanadownunder.com.au 

However first, we are so pleased to advise you of our Stand location in Melbourne.

Between Saturday 4 and Wednesday 8 August we will be located at
C47 - UNIQUE & BOUTIQUE SECTION
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

We will share our new range of Australian animals, hand spun, dyed and knitted in wool, plus other gorgeous new pieces. We will also have our wonderful best sellers and favourites for you to choose.

We look forward to seeing you there. And should you have any questions, please get in touch with us:

Di - 0430 487710 (NSW, QLD, SA, NT, NZ)
Bev - 0421 042 144 (VIC, TAS)
Tanya - 0450 451 397 (WA)

News from the Kenana Knitter

In April the Kenana Knitters held a 3 day course in Life Skills & Counselling session, led by Margie Ouko-Mowbray. The 3 day course included a youth day, a day for the Knitters and a day for fathers, husbands and male relatives.

The sessions for each target group were held on separate days at the Knitters' workshop. During the three days, the various groups could interact and discuss topics that included, Sex and Sexuality, Religion, Family Finances, Gambling and other Addictions, Nutrition and Lifestyle, Parenting, among other topics that are considered taboo in the African setting.

One of the topics was related to women's empowerment, given that many of the knitters can be the significant bread-winner and this can be challenging in the traditional home setting. It was important to discuss how this could be a positive not a negative aspect.

As mentioned earlier, for the entire overview, please email me and I will send you a copy of the newsletter. Here, however, is a little about Margie.

Margie Ouko-Mowbray has worked with Kenana in the past, she was the first counsellor the Kenana Knitters had on board when they rolled out their Voluntary Testing Counselling  and HIV/ AIDS Testing initiative.

Margie doesn't shy away from discussing topics which are considered taboo or inappropriate. She has her own special way of tackling serious issues with her audience.

Margie takes a holistic approach on her sessions by focusing on the family. She tailors her message to each audience and delivers a program that will result in meaningful discussion, new information, methods of analysing existing information that ultimately results in kick-starting change. 

Her Life Skills and Counselling sessions are usually peppered with lots of laughter, questions and wonderful discussion all round. It was a delight to have her here again after so many years. 

Until next time,

Di, Bev and Tanya

Paddy & Margie - Life skills April 2018.jpg

Our Stand Location in Melbourne

Super excitED to announce our stand location at the AGHA Melbourne Trade Fair.

 

C47 Unique & Boutique

(Sovereign Room)

at the Melbourne CONVENTION & Exhibition Centre

 

Saturday 4 - Wednesday 8 August

 

Hope to see you all there so we can introduce you to our wonderful knitter critters - the new guys and the favourites.

Emus on the move
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MAY 2018 News

News from the Kenana Knitters - 
New Shop Space
at Kenana Knitters In Kenya
 


During the early part of this year Kenana expanded their shop space. The result is a much bigger shop floor, lots of natural light and of course more display space for all of heir Hand Knitted items. They also have a large selection of outsourced gift items available. The Kenana Knitters have visitors from all over the world and having a lovely retail space is just another way they can reach their customers.

 

Shop Space at KK.jpg

The New Shop in Kenya! 

News from Kenana Down Under

 

Di is away during May, however, while she is travelling you can still send your orders through. Bev or Tanya will be available to handle enquiries and Di's son, Jordy, is handling packing and sending of orders from Brisbane. To keep things moving, all orders placed will be sent on the Wednesday of each week. Thank you for your understanding.

From 1 July 2018, One Colour will cease to be the distributor for Kenana Knitter and Kenana Down Under Pty Ltd will be launched! It is very exciting. Nothing will change and we will share more news about this during June.

Until next time,

Di, Bev and Tanya

MARCH 2018 News

News from Kenana Down Under:
 

Greetings & Happy International Women's Day (for yesterday)!

A big thank you to all our regular stockists who continue to stock and sell our critters, and a big welcome to all our new stockists!

It is great to work with you all.

With each newsletter we aim to bring you news from Kenya and this newsletter is no exception. Read on to find out what is happening at the Kenana Knitters.

 

 The Kenana Knitters

The Kenana Knitters

Investment in the Future at Kenana Knitters:

Despite the tough economic times in 2017, the Kenana Knitters made a significant investment through the purchase of 3 tonnes of organic cotton from Tanzania. This cotton is machine spun in smaller amounts then stored for later knitting as raw cotton or for dyeing.

Three (3) tonnes of cotton will see them through 3 years at the current rate, and hopefully less if they can increase their overall sales. The Kenana Knitters are committed to the future and they are looking forward to the next 3 years of growth with both the ladies and their clients in Africa and abroad.

And as a result, the Kenana Knitters have welcomed Mary and Penninah to their permanent staff.

 Mary and Penninah

Mary and Penninah

Introducing:

Mary Njeri & Penninah Nyambura joined the permanent staff at Kenana Knitters in November 2017. Both Mary and Penninah have been top notch knitters on the general floor. The main focus for the ladies will be in the quality control department, which is engine of the production department. They both bring a wealth of experience to the table. The Kenana Knitter organisation will be strengthened as these ladies share their skills with other knitters and we, in Australia and New Zealand, are sure to feel the benefits, too.

There are exciting times ahead at Kenana Knitters, and for us!

Bev, Tanya and I continue to work to ensure a strong supply chain for the Kenana Knitter mums. We have immense pride in what we do here and enormous gratitude for the skill and hard work that each and every knitter offers. We are so thankful for your support, as stockists. Together we can 'change lives stitch by stitch'.

Until next time,

Di, Bev & Tanya

PLEASE NOTE: A forward notice regarding a few things happening prior to the end of this financial year:

  • Di will be away from 15 April to 1 June 2018 (travelling with her husband). During this time orders will still go out but will be limited to one dispatch day per week. We believe this is both realistic and achievable for Di's sons, Harry & Jordy, who will be handling this side of things while Di is away. So, should you need critters, we have you covered!

 

  • From 1 July 2018 Kenana Down Under will become a Pty Ltd company and One Colour will cease as the business name used to distribute for Kenana Knitters Ltd in Aus/NZ. This is a super exciting event! Can't wait to role out the company name properly, along with the new logo. However, be assured that nothing will change with respect to the way we do business. You will still receive our great customer service and the critters will still be gorgeously unique and hand made by the spectacular Kenana Knitter Mums.

PRE TRADE FAIR FEBRUARY NEWS 2018

Greetings!

First up, we are very excited to expand our Kenana Down Under family in WA with Tanya Branch of Billeve.  Our WA stockists can now enjoy a dedicated person in their local area! You can read Tanya's profile below.

With less than 10 days to go before the AGHA Sydney Fair, we wanted to let you know that we are really looking forward to sharing the beautiful homespun woollen and organic cotton Kenana Knitter critters with you.

Large Organic Cotton Safari Zebra

New Organic Cotton Safari Zebra - pic by Greg Harm

Our stand is 3E16 and is located in Hall 3 at the Homebush Showground.

Very excited to see you and share with you the marvellous, hand knitted creations by the even more marvellous Kenana Knitter mums in Kenya.

If you can't make it to the fair that's fine. Bev, Tanya or I will be in touch.

These special critters carry the hopes and dreams of over 500 ladies. Their knitting makes their hopes and dreams a reality. As their motto so aptly says they are "Changing Lives Stitch By Stitch".

Until next time,

Di, Bev & Tanya

PROFILE - OUR NEW WESTERN AUSTRALIA AGENT!

Tanya Branch is a passionate advocate for all things fair trade. She has a wealth of experience in both business to business and retail sales, as well as a unique eye for design and colourful aesthetics.

As a mother to two young girls she strongly believes in education, empowerment and in the power of individuals and communities coming together to make a difference and force change for good both locally and globally. 

Tanya's skill set, ethos and commitment to fair trade make her uniquely equipped for her role with us.

For our WA stockists, Tanya can be contacted on e: 

Greetings!

First up, we are very excited to expand our Kenana Down Under family in WA with Tanya Branch of Billeve.  Our WA stockists can now enjoy a dedicated person in their local area! You can readTanya's profile below.

With less than 10 days to go before the AGHA Sydney Fair, we wanted to let you know that we are really looking forward to sharing the beautiful homespun woollen and organic cotton Kenana Knitter critters with you.

New Organic Cotton Safari Zebra - pic by Greg Harm

Our stand is 3E16 and is located in Hall 3 at the Homebush Showground.

Very excited to see you and share with you the marvellous, hand knitted creations by the even more marvellous Kenana Knitter mums in Kenya.

If you can't make it to the fair that's fine. Bev, Tanya or I will be in touch.

These special critters carry the hopes and dreams of over 500 ladies. Their knitting makes their hopes and dreams a reality. As their motto so aptly says they are "Changing Lives Stitch By Stitch".

Until next time,

Di, Bev & Tanya

OUR NEW WESTERN AUSTRALIA AGENT!

 Tanya Branch of Billeve

Tanya Branch of Billeve

Tanya Branch is a passionate advocate for all things fair trade. She has a wealth of experience in both business to business and retail sales, as well as a unique eye for design and colourful aesthetics.

As a mother to two young girls she strongly believes in education, empowerment and in the power of individuals and communities coming together to make a difference and force change for good both locally and globally. 
Tanya's skill set, ethos and commitment to fair trade make her uniquely equipped for her role with us.

For our WA stockists, Tanya can be contacted on e: billeve.home.play@gmail.com

FEBRUARY 2018 News

News from Kenana Down Under:
 

Greetings!

We hope that 2018 has started well for everyone and that you have had time to enjoy the (generally) quieter month of January. We want to thank our long term stockists for your support and we want to welcome our new stockists and those who have enquired to stock. Without you, Kenana Knitters is simply a dream of better things, not the wonderful reality it is.

While we have all been taking things a little easier, in Kenya the Knitters have been super busy preparing our next order. Although we still have some stock we are looking forward to much needed replenishment and of course, we are looking forward to receiving the greatly anticipated new arrivals, of which the Rascal Koala, Bunny and tiny Bilby and the new organic cotton safari shelf guys (lion below)!

organic cotton safari lion

The new order will arrive at the beginning of March so we are TAKING PRE-ORDERS NOW.

Email:
Bev on ethicalagencies@bigpond.com
or
Di kenana-down-under@onecolour.com.au 

and of course you can order at the forth-coming Sydney Trade Fair. Our stand details for the fair are as follows:

Sydney Homebush Showground, Stand 3E16, Hall 3. The stand is under the name "One Colour".

Please drop by to visit the critters (and us).

As always, if you have any questions or you want further information about anything, please let Bev or me (Di) know.

Until next time,

Di & Bev

The Sydney Trade Fair

Can you believe that it is almost time for us to attend the AGHA Sydney Trade Fair!?

Since 2015 we have attended the annual Sydney AGHA Fair at the Homebush Showground, enjoying the wonderful atmosphere with other fair traders and wholesalers. We have also enjoyed sharing the Kenana Knitter critters with you all.

This year the fair runs between Saturday 24 February and Tuesday 27 February - Times are: Sat-Mon 9am to 6pm and Tue 9am to 3pm.

Our stand location is:

Stand 3E16, Hall 3, Homebush

Looking forward to seeing you over the 4 days and of course introducing you to our new critters and all the wonderful favourites.

If you have any questions please email on kenana-down-under@onecolour.com.au

Below is a sneak peek at our newest Kenana Knitter family members.

InstaPic_New_2018.jpg

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a wonderful finish to 2017 and may 2018 bring you much joy!

We thank each and everyone who has purchased or stocked a Kenana Knitter critter this year. You have helped change someone's life in Kenya! After all, the Kenana Knitter motto is "changing lives stitch by stitch" and that is exactly what happens via those critters!!

 Sean with his friends wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Sean with his friends wishing you a Merry Christmas!

November News

News from Kenana Knitters:

Did you know that all Kenana Knitter critters are designed and made in Kenya by the Kenana Knitters?

More often than not, the idea for a new critter comes from a photograph. The critter is first drawn up by Paddy, the founder, then tested by the sample knitters to see if the pattern works. If it works, bingo! If not, it's back to the drawing board for another try. Sometimes even reducing the size (scale) of a critter can take 3 or 4 goes. We are very fortunate to be the recipients of these wonderfully imagined and made critters.

 Some of the earthy colours (plants and veggies) for the hand dyed wool.

Some of the earthy colours (plants and veggies) for the hand dyed wool.

October News

News from the Kenana Knitters:

Glasses making things clearer at the Kenana Knitters.

Having instituted a simple reading test for all the ladies, the Kenana Knitters have been able to give 12 ladies much needed reading glasses which they had no idea they needed. Knitting has suddenly become much clearer for them!

Christmas top up!

If you need stock please let Bev or me know as soon as possible. We want you to have the opportunity to offer the lovely critters to your customers between now and Christmas, especially as we have our last shipment arriving late October. Once the back orders have been filled we will have limited stock until 2018.

Bev: ethicalagencies@bigpond.com or on the phone - 0421 042 144
Di: kenana-down-under@onecolour.com.au or on the phone - 0430 487710

 

Christmas Top-up! 

How cool are these Christmas Decorations - Kenyan style!

Cotton Ornaments.jpg

September News

A Big Welcome to the new stockists around Australia and in New Zealand.

Here's a quick update on the Kenyan General Election (held 8 Aug). Uhuru Kenyatta was announced President however the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, submitted a challenge to the outcome with the Kenyan Supreme Court. On 1 September the Supreme Court found that there had been irregularities in the outcome of the election and Kenyans will go back to the polls within 60 days.

This is the first time in Kenyan and African history that a Court has upheld the challenge against the outcome of an election.

Things have stayed reasonably calm in Kenya and people can get back to their daily lives. For our knitters it means they can continue to come to work in safety and for us it means we can secure one final shipment, due to arrive early November. 

If you need stock please let Bev or I know as soon as possible. We wouldn't want you to miss the opportunity to offer the lovely critters to your customers between now and Christmas.

Bev: ethicalagencies@bigpond.com or on the phone - 0421 042 144
Di: kenana-down-under@onecolour.com.au or on the phone - 0430 487710

P.S. We've jazzed up the home page at Kenana Down Under and you can now view our instagram feed.

Kenana Sheep Family.jpg

August Fair Fall Out!

So wonderful to be in Melbourne again for the AGHA Gift Fair. Bev, Kate and I had a fantastic time with the critters, meeting new people and catching up with familiar faces.

Big Sean made his first appearance and kept us entertained by sitting without moving each day. He's so clever and patient.

Big Sean and friend

 

Thank you so much for once again stocking the Kenana Knitter critters. Such a privilege to work with you and to be part of the thread that joins us all together - Kenya and Australia.

And a couple of our happy snaps.

Colourful Cottons
Rascal Lion