ABAFAZI NEWS LETTER MARCH 2009
To all our valued customers
Each year we create one or two new ranges which we introduce at International shows at the beginning of the year in Europe.
This years two new ranges were the "Twigg" range of throws, shawls & cushions made from Merino wool and Mohair, decorated with beautiful ostrich feathers and crystals.
The "Blommejies" throws and cushions are made from Kid Mohair and are finished off with cute little mohair pompoms. Our ladies here in our Alicedale work shop called them Blommejies from the start and we decided that is a very nice and descriptive name for the range.
We presented these two new ranges as well as our already well known “Mink” mohair range of throws at two International shows this January at Heimtextil in Frankfurt and Maison & Object in Paris.
We were extremely fortunate in that two of our mohair throws, the “Mink” & “Blommejies” were chosen for the prestigious "Trend Forecasting Forum" ,a showcase for exceptional home textile products at Heimtexil. We were also the only company that show cased mohair.
One cannot simply book to be exhibiting at the ‘Trend Forecasting Forum’. One submits samples to the trend forecasting agency contracted to Heimtextil. They then select samples that they feel portray & reflect future trends from literally thousands of entries from all over the world.
The "Trend Forecasting Forum" is visited by 90 000 buyers as well as more than 1000 journalists from all corners of the globe. It is “THE” most influential Trend Setter for the whole of the home textile industry world wide, setting trends for the next year and beyond – These 'Trends' do not only relate to Design, Colour & Texture but also reflect a 'New consciousness'. Products made from natural fibers, environmentally sensitive production methods and social responsibility were highlighted and given prominence at the 'Trend Forecasting Forum' in the form of a separate display.
In fact Abafazi was the main feature in the “Natural Fiber” section of the ‘Trend Forecasting Forum”. There one could see one of our beautiful ‘Mink’ Mohair & Ostrich feather throws on display in the natural mohair colour. We were also the only company to be given a detailed write up.
We really felt honored and very special. And many, many buyers came straight from the 'Trend Forecasting Forum' to see our stand - and to place orders.
One of the most interesting was placed by a German chain of up market home décor shops which also decorated the public spaces at the ‘Berlin Film Festival’.
They placed orders for our ‘Mink’ mohair throws and shawls to be given as a present to all the International film stars at the Berlin Film Festival. As word has it they all loved them.
Our second show, straight after the Heimtextil exhibition was at the Maison & Object show in Paris. It was the first time we were able to exhibit at this highly regarded international show. We were invited to participate in a large stand by the "CBI" a Dutch government funded organization that assists 3rd world producers to enter the EU market. We will be part of their program for the next five years.
We were absolutely amazed how many people were attracted to our range in Paris. Our stand was abuzz with people all the time. They thought it was absolutely wonderful.
Here is a little cameo of an unexpected incident at the Maison & Object show in Paris:
As I was walking through the show and looked at all the marvelous products that were on offer I heard a women's voice behind me calling : madame, madame... I didn't bother to turn around because I knew that it wasn't aimed at me. I didn’t know anyone in Paris. I was right it wasn't for me but for Abafazi. The lady behind me said in French: 'But this is an Abafazi shawl you are wearing. Do you know if they are exhibiting here? We would like to order some'. It made my day to say the least and confirmed that our branding seems to be working.
Many individual shops placed direct orders, some for delivery later on in the year. We also welcomed a new distributor for Romania and for Australia. They joined our existing team of 11 distributors world wide.
Since our return to Alicedale we have also received many requests for visual material from notable international Trend Forecasting publications wanting to feature our mohair throws as an example of future trends. It seems quite surreal to us that a very small company like ours, situated literally at the back of beyond, far away in Africa can be an international trendsetter.
We believe that all in all despite the difficult economic climate we did really well at both shows not only with the two new ranges that we introduced but also with our ‘Mink’ Mohair and Ostrich Feather range that is still going strong.
With many more inquiries to follow up than in previous years and with exposure in a number of well known International Trend publications and with the help of our distributors we believe that this year will be a prosperous one for Abafazi.
Please also have a look at our new web site abafazi.com We would love to have your feed back.
Greetings from the Abafazi Team
Maison & Object
Ville Pinte Exhibition Center
Next to Charles de Gaule Airport
Dates: 23 to 27 January 2009
Stand: CBI Stand Hall 1
View images from the Heimtex event (14 to 17 January 2009) here
Dates: 14 to 17 January 2009
Stand: Hall 3.1 Stand B 09
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