Tuesday 27 February 2018

Expo-ing with my YOLOs

I'm back at my desk after last week spent at Homemakers Expo, my first time exhibiting our YOLO Compost Tumblers at this event. I was very fortunate to have my mom with me. She was at Decorex with me last year so she knows the ins and outs of expos and demonstrating compost tumbling.

We went through to JHB on the Tuesday afternoon, staying with friends in Fourways. We took our dogs with us; the were very well looked after by our friends during the day. In the mornings my mom would take Rusty and Tansy for walks within the estate and each evening when we got back from the show I would take Rusty for a good hard run. The estate has a lot of rabbits hopping around; Rusty was delighted. We would slowly walk up to the bunnies and got to within 20cm of them a number of times.

On the Wednesday morning, mom and I went through to setup. We had one compost tumbler unit of each size and a bunch of decorations. My new acquisition includes six block-mounted photographs of our customers' YOLO Compost Tumblers. My favourite 'decoration' was the window, which I made from insulation tape (I got the idea from a search on Pinterest).

This is a before-and-after of our stand.

This is the 25th year of Homemakers Expo and the 20th at the venue, The Dome in Northriding. The Thursday and Friday were quiet overall - not a lot of people milling in the corridors. Nonetheless, we had a reasonable flow of people coming to find out what our compost tumblers were all about.

The Saturday and Sunday saw the crowds coming in and there was a bigger volume of people at the venue. We had a number of direct sales during the event. With experience from Decorex, I know that sales and enquiries will continue over the weeks and months to come.

On Sunday, two of our factory workers came through to see the show. Joseph has worked on YOLO from the start and he has been primarily responsible for moulding, finishing, assembly and boxing. Stoney has worked with Celliers in the past and she has only recently joined us again. She is very good at finishing and assembly and has come on board to work with Joseph so that he can focus on the moulding. We're at that stage in our growth curve where we need more hands.

I was really glad that they got to see our YOLOs nicely presented on the stand. From a bucket of plastic powder to a finished product, Joseph and Stoney create each and every YOLO Compost Tumbler.

Liz, Stoney, Joseph and Lisa
Our overall experience was very positive and it echos our experience from Decorex last year. People are trying to do better with their waste. They're thinking about what they're throwing out, they're separating their trash and they're looking for options that are clean, tidy, efficient, effective and convenient. For organic waste, YOLO ticks all of the blocks.

We had great interactions with visitors, learned from the experience and we look forward to being at Decorex again in August 2018 at Gallagher Convention Centre.

Sunday 11 February 2018

Quarry swimmin'

For the past few weeks I've had the pleasure of running with my friend Karen and her dog/s Rocksy and Skally - and of course my Rusty - to a local spot where we get to enjoy a swim in a quarry. The water is cool, clean and clear.

The first time I took Rusty there, she got into the water without too much enticement and she swam towards me. She didn't go too far from the bank but seemed very comfortable. She got in and out three times, taking short swims each time.

Her friend Rocksy is a very good swimmer and she goes out a good distance with Karen. Rocksy's hips have been troubling her. She loves to play with the visitors at Karen's place, who gladly throw ball for her. At about 12 years old, all the running and playing takes its toll. So the swimming is really good for her hips and back legs.

The second time we went, I took my mom and our friend along too. When my mom called Marianne earlier that afternoon to ask, "Do you want to come swim in the quarry?", there was initially silence on the other end. Marianne took a deep breath, banished thoughts of monsters-of-the-deep from her mind and was at my mom's house two hours later with her towel.

Mom and Marianne on the trail.
Rusty only got in twice for short swims. She was too busy looking for dassies in the surrounding rocky cliffs.

Mom and Marianne in the foreground. Karen and Rocksy making ripples in the background.
On Saturday evening we went out with Karen and Skally - young-and-playful imp she is. Rusty got into the water ahead of me and she had four swims with me - one of them a bit further out than usual. She swims beautifully! Skally isn't very keen on water so she didn't get in. We're hoping that she will in time.

It really is a treat to break our run, in the current hot-and-humid conditions, with a refreshing swim. The dogs are full of beans for the run home. While the weather is still hot and the water temperature is blissful, we'll keep swimming every week.